I know the secret to optimizing your creativity while satisfying that little editor who sits on your shoulder as you type your manuscript. Okay, so maybe it isn’t a “secret,” but many authors are about to have an “aha” moment.
When writing your manuscript, did you know that hand writing, dictating and typing each tap into the creativity center of your brain differently, thus giving you different results?
I’ll give you one guess what I’m about to tell you to do next. Yep, you need to do all three when writing your manuscript. I can hear it now. “She must be crazy. Who has time to do all three?” You do. Hang in there with me. I’ll tell you how in a minute, maybe less if you’re a speed reader.
Many authors type their manuscripts because it’s faster than having to transcribe something that is handwritten or dictated into a recorder. I fully understand this and have been there. But faster isn’t always better. You want your manuscript to be the best it can be. How many times have you heard that you should read your manuscripts aloud to ensure the flow and dialogue are on point? Okay, I’ll stop trying to convince you. Let me tell you about the author’s secret weapon—speech recognition software.
So here is the process I’d like you to follow for the next chapter of your book. Write it by hand. It will take you a little to get into the flow of it. Turn your internal editor to low and allow your creativity to flow. Soon you’ll be carrying a notebook with you everywhere to go to write. If you want to write more than a chapter, GREAT. Go for it.
Now it’s time for your speech recognition software. It’s not as expensive as some think. Windows 7, Windows 8 and several other operating systems come with speech recognition software. Many times it’s as simple as plugging in your headset, then going into the Accessibility area of your computer’s Control Panel and turning on the recognition program. I’ve used the Windows 7 & 8 recognition software and they worked very well. There are also vendors that sell speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is my preferred speech recognition program.
As you are dictating what you wrote, you’ll change the wording, catch items and improve the flow. There are other benefits to speech recognition software:
- The software is a great speller.
- If you do any type of public speaking, using speech recognition software will help you with your diction, enunciation and pacing. It makes you more aware of how you sound. Note that most of these software programs learn your speech pattern. For example, I have a character named Tex, but the software thought I was saying “text.” I could have corrected it as I went along and eventually the software would have automatically written Tex instead of text. I chose to slow down my pace of reading just a tad. I stopped acting like I was in a race and was very happy with the results. When I was a speed racer, the software kept up, but because I wasn’t speaking as clearly, it typed what it sounded like I was saying, but not what I wanted. Slow down.
Last but not least, it’s time to turn your internal editor to high and use your word processor to make updates to your manuscript. One of the downfalls of speech recognition software is homonyms such as to, too and two. Read through your chapter and make corrections and update as needed.
Will this process take more time? Maybe. Many people find they don’t have as many writer’s block issues when they write by hand or dictate. I don’t worry about time. I worry about quality. I want my novels to be the best they can be. This method usually improves your writing because you are tapping into that creativity center three different ways. Picking up benefits of each along the way. You’ll be shocked at how much your writing improves. For those of you worried about your hand writing. My hand writing was horrible, but now it’s just bad. I write my entire book, then dictate.
Now that you know the secret, optimize your writing time by incorporating all three methods of writing your manuscripts.
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