Revising the Process


I mentioned the other day that I have been tweaking my writing process. Looking into 2016, a large part of that will involve the use of voice. Dictation.

I first got the idea from reading about Kevin J Anderson’s process, then it took on more traction after a classmate at Seton Hill did a teaching presentation on “Technology for Writers.” Specifically, he was addressing  Scrivener and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Scrivener, I was already using. Dragon intrigued me, but I had not seen it in action/spoken with anyone actively using it. That’s not to say that I’m planning on switching completely over (Dragon, for example, I’ve tried with mixed results), but there is merit to the process of dictation.

I have already been carrying around a portable recorder for the past year, using it to record my hashing out of story ideas – character motivations, exploring events [“What events would make sense if this thing needs to happen?” or “What might happen next, after some big event happens?”], or simply exploring beats in a scene.


Part of my plans for 2016 do involve trying to dictate actual scenes – usable prose, not just brainstorms. To that end, I picked up a Yeti Blackout (like the one pictured above), from some Black Friday watching, to use with the home computer. I just unboxed it and set it up less than an hour ago and gave it a test spin: about 500 words, while randomly blathering, in under 10 minutes.

Was the capture great? No… For example:

Playing with the controls with disputing points of words being completely random completely non-formulated completely and proud just kind of off-the-cuff seeing how well this works how well this picks up how far away I can be set for omnidirectional witches intended goal like podcasts and voice overs oil as my tethered point so standing up to about I can hear the fan and their purchases sound machine as well some be interesting see what it picks up six out how it picks up and the headphones

But, it was still words on a page. Ever hear the writer’s adage “You can’t edit a blank page”? Part of what I’ve noticed is that it’s an issue with my rate of speech – fairly quick, if I’m just riffing. So my plan is to run the portable recorder at the same time, then I can go back and re-listen during  an initial editing pass…At least, until I can retrain myself to slow down a bit while working (versus whatever I might do while brainstorming).

So far, I’ve been impressed with how the Yeti sounds (listening through the built-in headphone jack at what it can pick up, even with a small fan and ambient noise machine in proximity to the mic). I am hopeful that this will become a useful tool for slinging words and building stories.

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