Speak Your Stories
Dictation software like Dragon Naturally Speaking is used to transcribe spoken words into written text, but it can also be used in a variety of unexpected ways to stimulate the writing process.
Here are a few creative ways to use dictation software to improve your writing process:
- When brainstorming, it is critical to turn off the self-censor. If you find yourself having trouble doing that, it may be helpful to speak rather than write. Dictation software allows you to speak your ideas into a microphone and have them instantly transcribed into text, capturing your thoughts effortlessly and freeing you to generate new ideas.
- Pretend you are talking to a friend and tell them the story you want to write. This can give your prose a more approachable, casual style. The natural linguistic habits of the spoken word can make your writing feel more authentic and from the heart.
- Dictation software lets you write while driving or anytime you need to be hands free. With dictation software, you can take your writing with you wherever you go. This can be especially useful for writers who struggle to find enough hours in the day or simply love to work in different environments.
- If you are having trouble with dialog, you can play the different parts of the conversation out loud, allowing the dictation software to capture the exchange. This technique can help you create realistic conversations. The more you can channel your characters, the better.
- Using speech recognition software can also help relieve eye strain from staring at the computer screen for long periods of time, and can help relieve the pain and cramping of RSI in your hands.
- Automatic writing is an amazing technique that involves letting go and just writing whatever comes to mind, yielding all control. Lack of self censorship is key, even more so than with brainstorming. The point is to be unanchored and let the words flow where they want. Even holding a pen in your hand or your fingers on a keyboard can serve to anchor your mind. Dictation software lets you drop that anchor and babble away. Yes, as with stream of consciousness writing, a good deal of it may not be unusable, but you can find gold when you sift through it.