Last time, I threw out some ideas for helping writers get more done with the allotted BIC time they have.
Today, I’ve got a couple of final suggestions which might take word counts to the next level for writers struggling with productivity.
So, without wasting any precious time, let’s get started.
Plan to maximize time
As a newly-confirmed pantser, much to my chagrin, I’ve got to confess, this idea doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. Okay…not true. It does. But this simply isn’t the best way for me to write, period. So when I hear a lot, and I mean a lot, of prolific authors all crowing about how much more they get done now that they’re planners instead of pantsers? Well, I get a little worried.
But take heart, pantsers! It’s not all doom and gloom. Like most everything else in the world, there are degrees of planning and outlining. Some folks like one, maybe two bullet pointed statements per chapter or scene, depending on how they write. That’s all the guidance they need to take off and fly through their story, keeping it cohesive and real.
It’s not the only one, either. There are tons of books out there about how pantsers can use modified outlining techniques to their advantage. The best advantage of all, in this context, is speed.
And remember, it’s not an all or nothing deal. Planning can be done in baby steps, or in tiny amounts, if it helps. But a lot of high-output writers (and I mean along the lines of ten or more books a year) say they couldn’t do what they do without this tool in their little writer’s tool kit. So, it’s worth thinking about.
Dictate the terms
Using dictation software can help writers break down barriers in their finger-to-key speed. Most of us can speak much faster than we write, or type. So even though you’re typing speed is good, it’s probably only a fraction of even your slowest speaking speed.
So, investment in something like Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software can really help bolster hourly word output. By all accounts, the latest version is much improved in its ability to recognize speech and “learn” your voice patterns. The time invested in “teaching” the software your speech patterns and mannerisms pays off in having multiple thousands of words per hour…on the order, according to some, of 5000 or more words per hour.
Now, I’ve always thought doing this would be cool. But the fact is, I don’t know if dictating fiction is even something I could do. I don’t use the same vocabulary when I speak as when I write. Words being visible as they come off my brain’s “tongue” helps me think the verbiage through. I like working the words through my fingers, and don’t know if I could manage the same proficiency in speaking it.
Many writers do this, and many writers have had great success so doing. Stuff writers doing this have said:
- Use of a good microphone may or may not help the SRS (speech recognition software)
- Be prepared to clean up the dictation; the editing time alone may nullify the gains made in the initial drafting speed
- Use of a handheld recorder and microphone, then dropping the dictation file into Dragon’s dictation module/portion, seems to greatly aid the success of the translation from speech to text.
If I do this, I can see myself doing it with a recorder, mic, and then dumping the file into the SRS. I still am not sold on this, however.
So, there you have it. A couple more tips to help writers on a tight time budget get the most out of their time.
I hope you’ve benefited some from these tips. If you implement them, let me know in the comments how it goes for you and what you tried.