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Productive start


Welcome to Day Two of this daily-posting thing. It’s 6 AM and I just finished recording a 50-minute dictation session. I finished up Chapter Six, then started up Chapter Seven, then ended up spending a lot more time on a particular scene than I’d thought I would…so I decided to let the transcription happen and see how many words I ended up with before going on.

That’s probably pretty silly of me. Yes, I had a semi-plan for the chapter (meaning I dictated three sentences about what might happen, using Dragon Anywhere so I could instantly see the text and refer to it as needed, before I started “writing” via dictation/transcription). But so what? If everything I had in mind won’t fit, given that chapters so far in this book seem to be running 2500-3000 words or so, I can move part of it to a later chapter, right? Well, maybe. ‘Cause I had that thought, then I thought maybe the first part of it wasn’t interesting enough to carry readers to the second part. Which led me to wonder: does this stuff need to be in the book at all?

Chances are, it’s fine. It was just something I wondered about, and I was beginning to let it take over too much of my mind, so I’ll just let the transcription happen while I write this and see what I end up with. I’ll give you word count and such tomorrow…I could wait a bit and do it today, but I won’t always have time to do that and figure it’s better to report each day’s progress on the following day. Seems cleaner.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s dictation session got cut a bit short and I got 1324 words in 27 minutes. I like the words-per-hour metric there, and the transcription barely needed any edits at all. Which was also nice. But I’d really rather get more than that done on a daily basis. Still: other commitments this week.

Anyway. I’m kind of happy with how this is going.

Couple of things about process:

  • I’m not outlining, exactly. Or not specifically for this work. I do have this sort of master outline mash-up that includes things from the Hero’s Journey, a 4-act structure, the Lester Dent plot formula, and some “beats”/scenes typical to romance novels. I combined all that and posted it on the wall. It’s been weirdly helpful so far–when I’ve found myself worrying about the book as a whole, all I need to do is glance at my “outline” (by which I mean I don’t even need to read it) and I get reminded that I’m not writing the book as a whole at the moment. Just the words in the particular bit I’m working on.
  • I’m also barely sitting down at all as I work on this book, which is nice, because I hate sitting down to write. Even with dictation, sitting down (or lying down) just encourages me to sort of drift and poke along. Instead I pace, or walk around outside. Works much better. And with the editing bit, I also mostly stand up for it. I have this thing called a “Connect-A-Desk” that holds my laptop. Basically it’s a plastic shelf I strap to myself, so I can wander. I combine that with a finger mouse, since the laptop’s touchpad is against my (substantial!) belly and awkward to use, and all’s well. In the past I’ve used a standing desk–I do have a version of that now, but I like my current solution better–and I also once built myself a treadmill desk, but in our current abode I don’t really have room for anything like that. Plus, I can just step outside whenever I want this way. Looks weird to the neighbors, probably, but what the heck.

Anyway. Transcription’s done and I’m going to check it out.

Having fun here. Hope you are too. See you tomorrow!

Yesterday’s dictation count: 1324 words
Time spent dictating: 27 minutes, 1 session
Week to date: 1324 words
Novel total so far: 17,427 words
Total words since 1/22/18: 1324

Published inDaily postMy Fiction


  1. Sarah Wilson

    I look forward to following your progress (and process).

    • David

      Glad to have you along! {8’>

  2. Amanda Mefford

    Your neighbors probably already knew you were weird anyway. No big loss.

    • David

      It’s difficult to disagree. Though I do kind of want to. {8’>

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