Author Topic: Dictation for writing  (Read 1942 times)  

Offline AllenOwen

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Dictation for writing
« on: October 10, 2019, 08:39:40 am »
So Chris Fox recommends using dictation as a way to increase your writing speed.  Does anyone here do that? 

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    Offline ImaWriter

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 12:07:53 pm »
    A lot of us here have used Dragon. Or used it in the past.

    Offline AllenOwen

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 01:20:01 pm »
    Is Dragon for both iPhone and Android?

    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 02:24:33 pm »
    I think the software is too large for a phone. Dragon is for both pc and mac.

    Offline Glis Moriarty

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 02:40:32 pm »
    Is Dragon for both iPhone and Android?
    Dragon Anywhere is.

    Offline vagabond.voyager

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 04:42:53 pm »
    Dragon Anywhere is.
    Dragon anywhere relies on an internet connection to the sever - as Siri does. Dragon on PC or Mac is self contained.

    Offline Glis Moriarty

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 02:43:10 am »
    Dragon anywhere relies on an internet connection to the sever - as Siri does. Dragon on PC or Mac is self contained.
    True, but it's the same underlying technology.
    Request was for Dragon on iOS and Android, which Anywhere is. Siri is iOS only, Google Dictate is Android only.

    Some say anywhere is better than the desktop, some prefer desktop.

    Offline Vinny OHare

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 06:02:08 am »
    I did a whole book using Dragon. I haven't updated from version 4 on mac because I get crazy accurate results from it. No need to rock the boat. It even works good despite my Brooklyn accent.

    Offline thenotorious.v.i.v

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 07:06:20 am »
    I'm really curious to try it out since a lot of high-volume authors suggest it, but I haven't found any books/blogs/whatever that give really solid instructions. Does anyone have a good resource, or was it just a trial and error sort of thing?

    Online Brevoort

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #9 on: October 11, 2019, 07:44:33 am »
    So Chris Fox recommends using dictation as a way to increase your writing speed.  Does anyone here do that? 

    A great many people use dictation for fiction/non-fiction, myself included.

    I find that if I have a good idea of what I want to say, just a focus statement or a goal sentence that outlines where I will be going in the session, then I can quite easily hit 3,000 to 4,000 words a minute and sometimes more. If there is little wind or background noise in the recording then Dragon Premium Individual 15 can give me an accuracy rate close to 100% which cuts down on the editing cleanup time.

    If I don't have a mental outline of what I want to achieve in a dictation session then it becomes a peat bog of nonsense and huge waste of time.

    I record into a handheld recorder (less than $100) and have Dragon transcribe it. Others will use a human transcription service, it's up to you.

    Note: not all versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking (the company likes to keep changing the name) supports transcription. And, do not pay full price for Dragon. There are always good and legitimate deals and coupons on the web that can be hunted down.

    For short emails, notes to self, writing ideas, I find the voice recognition software in Google Docs to be very good.

    If I do not have my recorder with me when I am out and about, I use a voice recorder program in my Android phone that has the ability to automatically email my recordings to the cloud for later transcription. The quality, especially with a lapel microphone, is very good.

    There are two books I recommend.

    The newest is by Kevin J Anderson and Martin L Shoemaker called "On Being a Dictator". It does an excellent job of outlining how one should go about the mental process of telling story onto tape. It is more than worthwhile to pay attention to this book because Anderson dictates all of his science fiction and fantasy novels and has done so for years, while he heads off on monstrous mountain hikes. Anderson has published well more than a hundred books and has won several major science fiction awards including the Nebula and Locus.

    The other book is "The Writer's Guide to Training Your Dragon" by Scott Baker. This is a must have because it solves all the abstruse technical difficulties of using Dragon and getting decent voice recognition rates. It is a superb book and goes way beyond the technicalities into the kind of attitude and approach one needs to bring to the process.

    There are several others available, including "The Productive Author's Guide to Dictation" by Cindy Grigg, and "Dictate Your Book" by Monica Leonelle, both of which are very good.

    And lastly, there is a huge twisting dragon's tale of a thread on this board called "1 Week Training My Dragon" that has been read 120 thousand times and which includes many many useful tips and techniques.



    Rick Grant
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    Offline Vinny OHare

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 08:06:21 am »
    I keep my voice recorder on my sun visor. Never know when an idea will come! It is also like 99% accurate when I have dragon transcribe it.

    A great many people use dictation for fiction/non-fiction, myself included.

    I find that if I have a good idea of what I want to say, just a focus statement or a goal sentence that outlines where I will be going in the session, then I can quite easily hit 3,000 to 4,000 words a minute and sometimes more. If there is little wind or background noise in the recording then Dragon Premium Individual 15 can give me an accuracy rate close to 100% which cuts down on the editing cleanup time.

    If I don't have a mental outline of what I want to achieve in a dictation session then it becomes a peat bog of nonsense and huge waste of time.

    I record into a handheld recorder (less than $100) and have Dragon transcribe it. Others will use a human transcription service, it's up to you.

    Note: not all versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking (the company likes to keep changing the name) supports transcription. And, do not pay full price for Dragon. There are always good and legitimate deals and coupons on the web that can be hunted down.

    For short emails, notes to self, writing ideas, I find the voice recognition software in Google Docs to be very good.

    If I do not have my recorder with me when I am out and about, I use a voice recorder program in my Android phone that has the ability to automatically email my recordings to the cloud for later transcription. The quality, especially with a lapel microphone, is very good.

    There are two books I recommend.

    The newest is by Kevin J Anderson and Martin L Shoemaker called "On Being a Dictator". It does an excellent job of outlining how one should go about the mental process of telling story onto tape. It is more than worthwhile to pay attention to this book because Anderson dictates all of his science fiction and fantasy novels and has done so for years, while he heads off on monstrous mountain hikes. Anderson has published well more than a hundred books and has won several major science fiction awards including the Nebula and Locus.

    The other book is "The Writer's Guide to Training Your Dragon" by Scott Baker. This is a must have because it solves all the abstruse technical difficulties of using Dragon and getting decent voice recognition rates. It is a superb book and goes way beyond the technicalities into the kind of attitude and approach one needs to bring to the process.

    There are several others available, including "The Productive Author's Guide to Dictation" by Cindy Grigg, and "Dictate Your Book" by Monica Leonelle, both of which are very good.

    And lastly, there is a huge twisting dragon's tale of a thread on this board called "1 Week Training My Dragon" that has been read 120 thousand times and which includes many many useful tips and techniques.





    Offline thenotorious.v.i.v

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 09:02:48 am »

    There are two books I recommend.

    The newest is by Kevin J Anderson and Martin L Shoemaker called "On Being a Dictator". It does an excellent job of outlining how one should go about the mental process of telling story onto tape. It is more than worthwhile to pay attention to this book because Anderson dictates all of his science fiction and fantasy novels and has done so for years, while he heads off on monstrous mountain hikes. Anderson has published well more than a hundred books and has won several major science fiction awards including the Nebula and Locus.

    The other book is "The Writer's Guide to Training Your Dragon" by Scott Baker. This is a must have because it solves all the abstruse technical difficulties of using Dragon and getting decent voice recognition rates. It is a superb book and goes way beyond the technicalities into the kind of attitude and approach one needs to bring to the process.

    There are several others available, including "The Productive Author's Guide to Dictation" by Cindy Grigg, and "Dictate Your Book" by Monica Leonelle, both of which are very good.

    And lastly, there is a huge twisting dragon's tale of a thread on this board called "1 Week Training My Dragon" that has been read 120 thousand times and which includes many many useful tips and techniques.

    Thank you for these! I'll check them out.

    Offline Steve Margolis

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 09:23:34 am »
    I don't use dictation software, but I assume for dialog you have to actually say things like "open quote", "close quote", and "new paragraph"?
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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #13 on: October 11, 2019, 10:21:14 am »
    I don't use dictation software, but I assume for dialog you have to actually say things like "open quote", "close quote", and "new paragraph"?

    Yup. But you get used to it.





    Offline jaglionpress

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #14 on: October 11, 2019, 11:10:15 am »
    I don't use dictation software, but I assume for dialog you have to actually say things like "open quote", "close quote", and "new paragraph"?

    Foolproof Dictation, the book that taught me how to dictate, advised skipping quotation marks (and using the bare minimum of punctuation, like commas and periods and maybe question marks) and then conducting a keyboard edit to correct things like that (and misheard words) after each dictation session, so that's what I usually do.

    If you just want to get a feel for how dictation works, and see if it is right for you, I would recommend borrowing a skype-capable microphone and trying the speech to text option in the OS your computer runs on. Dragon plus recommended peripherals can be kind of pricy, and I'm not really a fan of spending money on stuff you're not sure you'll use.
    Mel Dunay | Jaglion Press

    Offline Glis Moriarty

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #15 on: October 11, 2019, 12:31:24 pm »
    If you just want to get a feel for how dictation works, and see if it is right for you, I would recommend borrowing a skype-capable microphone and trying the speech to text option in the OS your computer runs on. Dragon plus recommended peripherals can be kind of pricy, and I'm not really a fan of spending money on stuff you're not sure you'll use.
    A quality microphone is essential whatever the software. Don't need to be quite so fussy if you have a very quiet environment. And the Dragon recommended ones aren't necessarily best.

    Nuance have a 30 day moneyback promise.

    Offline Glis Moriarty

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 12:34:19 pm »
    Dragon is for both pc and mac.
    Dragon on PC or Mac is self contained.
    They dropped support for the Mac version, so desktop is best seen as PC only now.

    Offline Rob Martin

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 01:55:32 pm »
    I've tried it. I purchased Dragon, the recommended microphone, everything necessary. My wife loves it and never seems to have any difficulty. She's even converted a few of her friends as well. I try it, and my southern drawl gets turned into something entirely illegible. I know I can spend the time training it, but I just never seen to have the time/inclination.

    Online Brevoort

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 06:33:00 pm »
    They dropped support for the Mac version, so desktop is best seen as PC only now.

    I am running DNS Ver 15 quite nicely under Parallels on my MacBook. That's not a good solution for everyone because the emulation software costs and so does a licence for Win 10, but it works better than the Mac only version ever did.

    I keep hoping that Google will ramp up its voice recognition capabilities to include transcription.
    Rick Grant
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    Offline AllenOwen

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #19 on: October 11, 2019, 08:16:28 pm »
    I get the impression what a lot of people do who have Dragon Dictate on their home PC is this:  Make a voice recording on their phone while out driving or whatever, then play back the recording on thier phone while Dragon Dictate picks up the audio on a microphone?  Or am I making it too complicated?

    Offline Crayola

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #20 on: October 12, 2019, 07:03:49 am »
    I get the impression what a lot of people do who have Dragon Dictate on their home PC is this:  Make a voice recording on their phone while out driving or whatever, then play back the recording on thier phone while Dragon Dictate picks up the audio on a microphone?  Or am I making it too complicated?

    I either use my cell phone to record or I have a small Sony icd-px333 with clip on mic and fuzzy thing to keep the wind noise down.  Record the audio file, drag and drop into the folder dragon looks for files, and it auto-transcribes.

    Offline AllenOwen

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #21 on: October 12, 2019, 08:17:38 am »
    It auto-transcribes?  As in I don't need to let my cell phone recording playback near the computer microphone?

    Offline Vinny OHare

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #22 on: October 12, 2019, 11:57:52 am »
    It auto-transcribes?  As in I don't need to let my cell phone recording playback near the computer microphone?

    My dragon does transcribe. I upload the mp3 from my voice recorder.  Not all versions of dragon has this.

    Offline AllenOwen

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #23 on: October 12, 2019, 12:50:56 pm »
    Which version does?

    Online Brevoort

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    Re: Dictation for writing
    « Reply #24 on: October 13, 2019, 09:16:38 am »
    Which version does?

    Version 15 Professional Individual has batch transcription and an upgraded voice recognition engine that does an okay sort of job transcribing multiple speakers in the same recording. The problem with Dragon is that despite the number of years it has been around it has never hit the market with what one would call a polished version. There are quirks and oddities in the program that have never been addressed. And, in my personal opinion, the customer service is lacking to a large degree.

    Other versions also have transcription features including some of the Version 13 releases that can be had for much much cheaper than the latest. But, as quirky and infuriating as I find Version 15 I must say that the voice recognition engine is very good. If you are looking at other versions than 15 then read the description very closely. The company has a bad habit of changing the names of its products and it is easy to end up with a version that does not handle transcription. Of course, if you have a lot of money you could buy the Medical or Legal versions but that is a pretty large purchase.

    Scott Baker goes into the is issue pretty thoroughly in his ebook "The Writer's Guide to Training Your Dragon".
    Rick Grant
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