Let me tell you, this week has been a crazy week. I’m already proofing my next two releases– Shades of Fyre and the second Marauder book, Call of the Wylde. I can’t wait for them to come out and I think you will like both books. But beyond that, I’ve been working on new stuff. New stories. Yay! Which brings me to the joy of transcription.
When I bought Dragon 12 Naturally Speaking, I went full tilt into it. Let me tell you something, it’s fantastic when I directly talk into it. Yes, there are a couple of things I need to fix, especially when I suffer from what I call “Mush Mouth” syndrome. However, the transcribe mode was the toughest to learn because my digital recorder is not one of their favourite or on the majorly approved lists. It’s a cheaper one and in time, I will get a better model. But until then, I use what I have. What I didn’t do was memorize and learn to my heart all the necessary phrases for Dragon to know when I needed a new paragraph, or when I was having a character speak out loud. *headdesk* Yeah, you begin to see my problem.
So to fix said problem, Cyn has been listening to the vocals she’s done and typing them up. It’s not easy. Oh gods, I sound like crap. LMAO But luckily my digital recorder has a program that let’s me slow down my voice so I can play it back at a different speed– like 60% of normal, etc. This helps a lot, though then it sounds like I’m dumb, not just a writer who rambles on the recorder. I laugh at myself sometimes because it makes me sound so different yet the same. But I’m doing it. It’s a long process because I made a LOT of recordings before I got the hang of the correct terms to use to help Dragon. Plus, somehow, I had duplicates of some recordings I put into files. Sorting those out have been a task and I’m still not done with them.
What is the plus of doing this? Honestly, I’m learning that I do tend to repeat myself in some aspects– usually things I want to make sure are in the story. This is good, but not good in the short term of me transcribing. I also am learning that I can force myself to type up anywhere from 2-6k a day this way. It’s a weird thing, but my ADD doesn’t seen to mind this as much as long as I do the important thing– take regular breaks. If I do that, I can do anything. Funny aspect, it’s allowed me to write while transcribing. Go figure that one out! I’m actually remembering some of the scenarios I’m talking and I’m editing it to make it clearer while putting in better details. I’m also cutting out some of the other things that I might or might not need in the storyline itself. *does happy dance*
So, do I recommend you dictating a lot of your story by recorder and then listening to yourself? Yes and no. It’s a great experience to see how you think as you create. It’s also a great way to see if your characters sound natural or sound too natural where it won’t come across cleanly in print. The other thing it does help is when you want to get your ideas down quickly without having to type things up. It’s fantastic in that regard. You can have a voice recording of the ideas and how you want to do them. That way you can go back and listen to see if it’s still viable after time. But if you’re going to do your chapters– record each chapter then type them up– be warned, you’ll want to self edit yourself every moment of every word. It’s no joke! So, you have to learn to listen, stop the playback and type it up as much as possible. Go back and relisten, then type more, changing things to fit how it should read versus how you said it, then continue onward. It’s not a bad thing– it’s just an awkward thing until you get used to really dictating properly. Or until you memorize the commands for Dragon 12 and let it to the transcribing. Which is what I should have done in the first, second and third place!
This was a great learning experience for me too. I learned I can do transcription work as a job though. It’s not too hard, in fact, it’s something I possibly could enjoy. Weird but there you have it– as long as it’s not my own voice! I will remember to make my dictation notes on notecards that I take with me on walks so I won’t forget the proper cues and so I know where I’m at in a storyline. That’s the other thing I realized in doing this– you can seriously forget where you left off in a story! Which makes it hard to transcribe in one piece. You then have to do it in sections which you piece together and edit to make it flow properly. Which isn’t as bad as it seems. Trust me on this one. It does have some good moments to it.