World Building: Book Dictation



Hello Space Cadets, today I bring you another World Building Wednesday.  This one will be about my use of the Dragon Dictation Software to write.  I hurt my hand while I served in the Army, the infantry school combative classes aren’t anything to sneeze at.  Right now, it alternates between being fine, tingling numbness and no feeling in two fingers on my left hand.  I can type now, but if I want to think long term as an author I need alternatives.  Hence audio dictation.




Since I struggle to overcome the limitations of my injuries, I went looking for answers.  It was suggested that I might benefit from using audio dictation software to write, so I started researching.  I went on to purchase the Dragon Pro software, bought a decent microphone (Blue Yeti) and plowed forward towards that goal.  The program is very intuitive and easy to use, however, I’ve found that actually dictating my books to be harder than I imagined.  Towards that end, I’ve bought a few books on the subject, which I will try to write about later.  I also read this insightful article about audio narration by the ATMAC group.  They’re a group dedicated to helping people overcome their disabilities with technology, though they seem to advocate for Apple specifically.  While reading the ATMAC ideas, I took them all with a grain of salt but loved the individual ideas so why not.  I hope that it helps you as much as it helped me!


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Now that we’ve talked about what we have, let me tell you about how I use narration.  First, I use them to get my handwritten notes, outlines and other supporting documents because they’re mostly bullet points and brief ideas of the progression of the story.  Then I use the program to get the basic structure of the scene written.  Afterwards, I’d revert to the traditional method of typing to clean it up.  Ideally, I would like to get to the point where I could use the program exclusively but I’m a narrator in progress.  My narration hero, Monica Leonelle, is able to crank out over a novel a month using this method.  Someday I’ll get there, but I’m not there yet.  Dramatic sigh, someday.


Finally, let me pass on some of the advice on dictating that I was given.  Everyone will tell you that it’s difficult at first but it is a skill you can learn and they’re correct.  I’m constantly getting better and it helped sustain my word count during NaNo when time was short and I was behind.  First, to do narration well you should probably outline the scene before you get started.  Some people will call this your beat, or beating out your scene.  I just call it an outline, but whatever you call it, they help.  Another thing I did at first was writing the scene by hand and then reading it out loud to the microphone.  I found that once I was in the groove, I would be able to keep going past what I’d written by hand.  Not where I want to be, but I’m getting ever closer.


I hope this gave you some insight into my process and motivated you to consider the audio narration process.  If you do, pop back by and let’s talk about it!



Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess JR


 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are owned by JR Handley.


1.      Dictation: Dictate Your Writing – Write Over 1,000,000 Words A Year Without Breaking A Sweat!

2.      Dragon NaturallySpeaking For Dummies, 4th Edition

3.      5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter (Volume 1)

4.      The Productive Author’s Guide To Dictation: Speak Your Way to Higher (and Healthier!) Word Counts

5.      The Writer’s Guide to Training Your Dragon: Using Speech Recognition Software to Dictate Your Book and Supercharge Your Writing Workflow

6.      Dictate Your Book: How To Write Your Book Faster, Better, and Smarter

Family Friday Interview Series



Hello Space Cadets, today would be my inaugural Family Friday series but that just isn’t going to happen.  I intended to do a series of interviews with authors, editors, and anyone else in the book industry about how they manage their passion with the demands of any other careers and their families.  I’m doing this series because I certainly don’t have the answers so why not interview other authors for advice?  Maybe we can learn the great secret together!


While planning for this interview series I made a few logistical goofs.  In my ignorance, I didn’t plan ahead enough for an interview series.  It had more moving parts than I knew about, though common sense should’ve clued me in.  Basically, I had to write the questions template, make one for the spouse/significant other and save it.  Then I would need to tailor it for each individual author with the appropriate introduction etc.  This will include links to their social media, webpages and blogs so anybody interested could find the author in question.  And all this BEFORE I could even get it to the artists.


Once I had a potential interview subjects, I would need to ask them (several at once) if they were interested and hope they say yes!!  If they did, I would need to give them the interview document with enough time to answer it.  I think a few in the cue would help here, so that would take some organizational skills as well!  Finally, I would have to wait for them to mail the form back.


This might take me several weeks to organize, but in the meantime, I’ll post a link to a podcast which has been super helpful and hope you enjoy it too!  It is the NaNoWriMo Every Month Podcast by author J. Daniel Sawyer.  He is a great guy, very willing to help new authors and his podcast has helped me a lot.  Yes, I realize the back catalogue is deep BUT the podcasts are less than 15 minutes each!  Go give it a try, you won’t regret it!


Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!



–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.