I'm sitting here being crushed by deadline. The sequel to 0 day code. It took me a while to figure out what the theme of this book was, so even though I knew what the storyline would be I was having trouble understanding the journey some of my characters were on. That sounds like a wing, and maybe it is, but it's a real thing. So of course in the middle of this, I decided it was time to have a look at my productivity. I bought a book about voice recognition. Although I've been using dictation software for more than a decade now, it was still useful. There were a couple of things about using dictation software, about the way you hold the story in your head, I suppose, that I hadn't really thought about before. And they were interacting with the way I used a Midori method to hold me back a little bit. So I tweaked my method.
I normally work in half-hour bursts if I'm doing something I don't particularly want to do. That is the part of the promontory method. Even if some writing task is completely loathsome, you should be able to focus on it for at least half an hour. And by focusing for half an hour you normally get past your resistance at doing the Bad Thing. When I'm working on something that I actually want to work on they can stretch the pomodoro out to nearly an hour. Somewhere between 50 and 55 minutes is usually best. But it's not easy to talk to yourself for 55 minutes. Not if you want to maintain progress on a linear narrative. It's also tempting to go back and fix up every phrase or sentence or scrap of dialogue just written. This is a completely natural process when you're typing. You don't even think about it. The words come out, they could be a little bit better, you tweak them, and move on. A simple, intuitive, almost thoughtless process when typing. But not when you are using dictation software.
One of the tips for young players that this book recommended wise knowing what you're going to write before you write it. This is an old writers trek. You are very slow when you are trying to figure out what you are writing as your writing. You're even slower if you are correcting the grammar and the aesthetics of the language as you go. So slow in fact, that you can lose all of the benefits of dictation, which can be 35 or even 10 times faster than writing something by hand.
So what I tried to do was reorganise the way I move through those 55 minute blocks of writing time. For dictation time to be completely honest about it. Rather than trying to just talk for 55 minutes and see what I had in diverse, I wrote out the entire chapter paragraph by paragraph one line summary was happening in paragraph I then had a blueprint to refer to what I was dictating but I wouldn't just look at the blueprint and try and talk my way through it expanding upon online summaries as I went. Instead I looked at the first paragraph and I asked myself what is going to happen in this a. I spent about a minute figuring it out, imagining the scene in my head, and all of the dialogue be spoken in it. I wasn't looking for a perfect word for word image in my head of what would appear on screen I simply wanted no what was going to happen. Beats of the paragraph. The narrative waypoints. Whatever this means dictating about 2 to 300 words in the space of 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat the process over 55 minutes and you get about five or six chunks writing, some 300 words long about 1200 or 1300 words in all.