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To Dictate or Not...

I recently listened to a podcast with a guest author who talked about how dictation really upped her word counts and productivity. I often wonder how quickly I could get my first draft done if I could tell the story rather than type it. So, I tried it. Here's what I found.

1. I will definitely be dictating outlines and summaries of books. When I'm not worried about the sound of the language or word choice, dictation is a pretty smooth option and I focus on getting ideas down rather than perfecting them.

2. Dictating works well on first drafts or those paragraphs that include setting details, character details, characters' thoughts, basically anything but dialogue. It was great hearing it read aloud. I can see how that might eliminate the need for some beta reading and cut down on reading through drafts, which I do at least 50 times.

3. I need to type dialogue. Though I still speak it (I always have even though my family has given me some strange looks) it's just easier to get the punctuation right rather than to go through it multiple times, correcting everything.

4. I like writing on Microsoft Word and ProWritingAid and Windows Speech Recognition is accurate when picking up my words as long as I enunciate. It even picks up on names.

5. It just feels good getting work done. Sometimes it takes a new hack to make me feel more productive and this did the trick. Who knows if I’ll stick with it in the future or if I’ll go old school (not pen and paper, that’s too old school)?

So all-in-all, I think dictation was a success. What do you think about text dictation? Let me know in the comments. Read & Write Dangerously Christina Hagmann

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