I was done with Star of Time way before I was finished with Star of Time, you know what I mean? I love the book. I love what it has become. I was just ready to be done writing it. It's consumed me for the better part of what? Two years now?
The last few days, when I was getting so close, I was only wishing I could type faster. That felt like the only thing really holding me back. Then I realized, why not skip typing altogether and just dictate the darn book?
I did a little research and thankfully my Mac has dictation built right in. After a quick download and plugging in an old microphone headset I was ready to go.
Here's what I learned:
1. It's awkward, but not like you'd think. Or like I thought, anyway. I thought I would struggle with "ahhhhs" and "ummmmms." I didn't.
I did struggle with remembering to say punctuation. It was weird, y'all, having to say, "open quote, blah, blah, blah, close quote," all the time. It felt awkward to call out all the punctuation.
2. I have to plan more carefully. I can't do dictation if anyone else is in the room. I have to block out time to sit in the office and close the doors and focus. The mic will pick up everything and the errors are pretty frequent already, so I don't need to create even more work.
It also means I have to have a solid outline. I did for this book. I'm working on the outline for Star of Fire. To hit the pace I want I have to have a scene by scene breakdown of goals and motivations and conflicts. It means more work up front, but it's so worth it!
3. It was much easier to immerse myself in the story. Not even kidding. I would lean back in my chair and just start dictating the story and then I'd look up and have 1500 words done. It was insane.
4. Even with the errors it was faster. I would dictate a scene and then go back and fix the glaring errors (most common was writing out punctuation - weird. <shrug>). It was a messy edit, mind you. I'll get the little stuff when I do the full pass through. Still, I netted 4500 words in an hour.
Stop. Read that again. 4,500 words in an hour.
I had only a couple of 4k days before that and they were all day efforts.
For my next book (Star of Fire) I plan on leaning more heavily on dictation and I look forward to spending a couple of hours to get 10,000 words. If I can manage that I can move on to book 3 before the end of the year. That alone excites me so much!
When time is a premium, I have to find ways to make the most of my time. Dictation seems to be the answer. Even if I have to spend a little more time cleaning up the errors, I'm okay with it. Just knocking out that first draft feels so good period