Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here There Won't Be Dragons

Over a year ago, my wife bought me the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. I will admit that it was after several weeks of hint dropping and finally flat out begging, but that is beside the point. I was convinced that it would help me tremendously with my writing, which it did. Sort of. Let me explain.

For the first few weeks, I happily played with my new toy, training it (you have to teach it to recognize your voice), dictating emails, composing posts on my old blog, and playing with the voice commands to navigate the web. The program worked just as advertised, so I was full of anticipation as I sat down and began with a short story. That's when the problem occurred. Not with the software, mind you, but with me.

It didn't take me long to realize that using Dragon NaturallySpeaking actually dropped my daily word count. All because of  "the groove." You know "the groove," after those first few sentences are out of the way and the words begin to flow in a beautiful torrent until a child or spouse needs something (or you get an incoming message that must be answered because you forgot to disconnect from the internet).  That groove.

The software does exactly what it is supposed to do and types what I speak. The problem is that while the words I use when I speak and when I write are pretty much the same, I just can't get in the groove while I'm talking and the words don't flow like they should. I can use it for non-fiction work fairly well, but if I am writing fiction? Forget about it.

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