To Speak A Novel

To Speak A Novel

I’m writing this with the help of Dragon NaturallySpeaking — I hope that I’ll be able to resume blogging fairly quickly now that the software has arrived and I’m getting used to it. It’s a great deal quicker than the Windows one I was using in the past, and works considerably better too.

For those of you who don’t watch my YouTube videos (and while my hands are still in this situation, it’s the best place to get updates from me – with the possible exception of Twitter), I’m still planning to do NaNoWriMo. Yes, you heard that right. Despite the fact that I am unable to type or even write by hand, I still somehow think it’s a good idea to write 50,000 words in a month. Maybe I’m a masochist, but those of you who have been reading for a long time will know that NaNoWriMo has been very important to me, and I take part every year.

Of course, I’ll be dictating. This is part of the reason I obtained Dragon, instead of persevering with the free Windows software that drove me absolutely barmy and did not facilitate any sort of creativity whatsoever, and although it only arrived yesterday I can already tell you that it’s awesome.

So I’ve kind of got a quandary. I don’t know whether to write an artsy novel — pretty pretentious, to be perfectly honest, but it suits my purposes — in the hope that speaking will allow it to flow creatively and make it easier to write quickly without compromising on quality, since it’s the kind of novel that would probably take me a while to write compared to my normal standards, or whether I should go for something with a more informal style so that speaking doesn’t feel so unnatural.

I’ve got a lot of novel ideas at the moment, but none of them are fully developed. The one that is currently listed on my NaNoWriMo profile has a plot, which is always a good start, but none of the characters have names, and I’m not even entirely sure what gender they are. The other novel I’m considering has characters and central concept, but to say I’m slightly sketchy on the details would be an understatement.

Obviously, I wrote a lot last year. The speed at which I wrote my first novel then was largely due to the fact that I’d planned it in detail before I started, and already knew what was going to happen in each chapter. It’s not a technique I often use, but it worked, and I’m beginning to wonder whether I should be a plotter rather than a pantser. I know, I know: I’m going against all the principles by which I originally wrote. I’m a better writer now than I was then.

So I don’t want to go into it without knowing what my novel is going to be about, or what my characters’ names are, or really anything important. I think I’m going to have to learn how to draw a mind map using Dragon (so if anybody knows, feel free to let me know).

However, one thing that has consoled me in the last two days is the realisation that Dragon will allow me to write much faster than I would have imagined. Having adjusted to the impossibly slow speed of the free software, I had no idea that speech recognition could be so easy. I’ve barely had to correct anything writing this blog post.

So if you add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo website, just remember that I’m talking. Not typing.

Though, given that I always manage to write so much by using every lunchtime and 10 minutes before school, I suspect I will still be considerably behind my usual standards, and all of those I usually leave behind in my wake will be catching up and laughing at me.

Despite this new ability to blog, I’m still happy to put up any guest posts, and I know there are a couple that I haven’t done yet which people have already delivered to me. So if there’s anything you want to say, just let me know. I’m sure when I’m busy writing during November, I’ll need some guest posts to keep my blog from disappearing again.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep my YouTube channel updated. If you don’t hear from me, check there first!

7 thoughts on “To Speak A Novel

  1. Good luck on your NaNoNovel. I want to try dictating a story someday, but not, if you don’t mind, in the same circumstances in which you find yourself. I’m sorry for you, and I hope your speaking pace allows you to complete the challenge in good time.

  2. Once again – tough break on your hands!! Still, I’m glad Dragon is working out well for you. I still remember the adverts we used to see for it in Australia. Dad very nearly bought it, but then we decided against it for some reason or other. Possibly spider-related.

  3. Good luck on NaNo!
    I have no idea how to do a mind map on Dragon but if I actually, like, lived nearby instead of halfway across the world, I would totally sit down with you and draw out the mind map if you told me what to put. *sighs* Why are there so many cool people I’d love to meet who I only know online?
    *wonders if there is a way to keysmash using Dragon, because that would be greatly amusing*
    I could do a guest post, if you’d like…

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