NaNoWriMo 2018: Day 26 report

For a few days I had quite a head of steam and I felt I would actually hit 50,000 by month’s end. Now, with four days to go, I am at 22,222 words (yes, kind of weird), which is not quite half. While it is theoretically possible I could write enough in the next four days to pass the virtual finish line–at a pace of 6,944 words per day–it is rather unlikely.

But that’s okay. Why? A list!

  • Unlike so many other times, I have an outline. If I get stuck on a particular scene, I still know where the story is going
  • I’m invested in the story and will see it through, regardless of the arbitrary November 30th deadline
  • Without the deadline I may actually produce a higher quality first draft, as I’ll put a smidgen more thought and care into the writing instead of just trying to blaze through as quickly as possible

On the downside, I missed a day or two due to other issues coming up (I won’t make excuses–I still could have written something on those days) and it did exactly what I feared, derailing my momentum.

On the upside, I have started writing again, though not quite at the same feverish pace as before. I’ve also done my first real writing through voice dictation. My setup is as follows:

  • Dictation software: Dragon Professional Individual v. 15
  • Writing software: iA Write (Windows version). I chose this because it’s very lightweight.
  • Microphone: Blue Yeti, which I have previously described as big and heavy enough to murder an elephant with

The dictation was surprisingly accurate and as they say, no typos, though it sometimes get things wrong. For example, I wanted it to write:

William’s lane

But instead it wrote:

Williams Lane

It’s a natural assumption on the program’s part, and easy to catch and fix when editing. I’m wondering now if some of the weirder errors I’ve seen in some books are due to voice dictation best-guesses getting missed.

The most difficult thing I’ve found so far is not remembering to speak punctuation out loud. I got used to that pretty quickly. Instead, it’s actually speaking your writing aloud. When I’m typing I’m moving slowly enough that my fingers never get ahead of my brain. With dictation I find it’s so easy to speak out sentence after sentence that I sometimes find myself pausing to figure out where to go next.

I’m going to try more transcribing from voice dictation from the phone again soon, too. I like the idea of being untethered, as I often think out loud and almost always do it while walking around, whether it’s pacing back and forth around the condo or just strolling down a path where I don’t have to be concerned that the crows might think I’m a lunatic babbling to himself.

I’m at a pivotal and exciting point in the story, but I’m unsure how to proceed, as there are a few options. I should just skip ahead and write later scenes, but I have a strong preference for writing the story in chronological order when possible. I don’t know if I’m concerned I’ll confuse myself, have too much of a mess to stitch together or what, but I should probably get over it.

In the meantime, here’s to 7,000 words per day! (Ho ho.)

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