Archive for the ‘Dictation software’ Category

The other week I was interviewed by the lovely Helen Stubbs for Galactic Chat. We talked about a range of writing related things, Rayessa and the Space Pirates, the difficulties writing the sequel, using a pseudonym for my paranormal romance work, using dictation software and also about things I’d either watched or read. With regard to reading, I mentioned reading Anna Cowan’s Untamed, a fresh and interesting take on Regency Romance. I think it’s more fringe Regency, with a cross-dressing duke and a barely there lady. I was mesmerised by it. I had also just bought A Single Girls Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse by JT Clay, out with Momentum Books. A zany sounding book, packed full of fun.

Anyway, I have to get to work. I am moving house over the next week. I’m moving in with my partner of four years in a big house in Canberra.

Here is the link to the Galactic Chat interview.


BTW Did I mentioned I handed up the last of my Masters of Creative Writing assignments? All done!

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I’ve been meaning to post this for some time, but events got in the way.
I’ve done a couple of posts about dictation software and how I used it to save my arms, by dictating emails and blogs. I felt it wasn’t that easy to write fiction but okay for work stuff, particularly audit reports.

Well I was working on my novel a couple of months back and my hands hurt but I really wanted to keep writing. So in desperation I put on my headset and started dictating a scene and it worked and I did it. Just like that. I made the cognitive leap. I’m not saying I prefer it over using my hands to type, but that I could dictate a scene.

The way it works for me best is to stop after a couple of paragraphs and make corrections. My version of the software reads back what I said and that helps a lot. It will also read what I’ve written, which also helps with picking up small errors.¬† If I go too far (and I did) the play back function gets dodgy if you have edited the text. That is, it won’t play back and you have to work out what you were trying to say.

Basically, I dictated the last quarter of the novel and it was quick too. I could do 6000 in a day with no aching hands. I use my hands to edit, but that was okay.

Later, I found out that my aching hands wasn’t a resurgence of the RSI but low Vitamin D. It causes inflammatory type reactions in things like your hands and feet. Now I’ve been gulping down a double dose of Vitamin D, the aches are gone. (It had dropped to 39).

Dictating fiction is possible. I found dialogue the easiest and the program¬† didn’t mind me talking like my characters. I don’t like anyone being around while I write. I’m a bit self conscious about it. I’m the same with practicing presentations and readings.

However, to make it work, I have a souped up laptop with 8 Gb of RAM, a $300 headset (wireless) and the premium version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. All this combined helps make the program work better and reduce errors. I still have errors but not the same level of frustration I’d have if I wasn’t packing mean machinery. I also had lessons and trained the software.

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