Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG - December 2016

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
I'm feeling pretty good this month.

I beat NaNo in record time this year--11 days
I've used Dragon several times to dictate my first drafts. I love it for new words.

This year I used a dictation recorder and talked the book while I walked (something Kevin J. Anderson and Cindy M. Hogan do). I decided to give it a try.


I used to almost double my word count by using Dragon on my PC. BUT, and this is a big but, I found myself always caught up in the editing mode as the words appeared on my screen. A different--not creative--part of your brain handles editing. It really pulls you from your story creation.

By dictating it and letting Dragon transcribe it for me when I was done with the session, I was getting between 1,700 and 2,000 words in a 25 minute writing sprint.

Now, that is an ugly first draft. But all my first drafts are. At a retreat I went to in November, another author decided to give it a try. She got 2,000 words in her 30 minutes walk.

While in Hawaii babysitting three grandkids ...

We went to the beach

Saw a whole pig in Costco

Had Thanksgiving dinner with some of my daughter's friends
who are right next to one of the places they filmed the original Jurassic Park.

Went to the beach again
We also watched Fantastic Beasts 



There's something so very fitting in watching Moana while in Hawaii. Loved both films!

Have you seen the movies? 
Did you try NaNo?
What are your plans for December?


  1. I'm such a slow writer, maybe I should try that software.
    Looks like an awesome time in Hawaii. Not sure about the whole pig though. Surprised we don't see those here.

    1. Sure might be worth it. Once you get used to talking the story.

  2. Blah, one thing I'd never buy at costco lol

    That is great indeed. I tried the software way back but the stupid thing kept using words I wasn't saying. I had to edit 50 times more than I usually do. I'll stick to typing.

    1. They're getting better and better with understanding what you're saying.

  3. Congrats on NaNo! Loved your newsletter, BTW, with all your pictures. Sounds like a fun time with your grandkids.

  4. Good for you with NANO. once again, I did not do it. Shame on me. What program do you use to dictate while you're walking. Sounds like a good way to go.

    1. I just use a dictation machine (handheld). I know people who use their phones to do it. The program that then transcribes it is called Dragon (by Nuance). I got the professional version at the recommendation of Cindy Hogan. I think it's word recognition is better than the regular.

  5. Donna, interesting idea walk and dictate your story. Makes sense as I have so many good ideas while walking. Beats jotting down notes on receipts from my wallet.

  6. Lovely pictures, Donna. I have had Dragon for a while. I must get it out again and try it. I did lose patience when I first had it. Wishing you a super December and many congratulations on your NaNo success!! Great news!

    1. I'd never used the transcribe feature before. I'm so excited by this.

  7. Yay for you and Nano. I thought about doing it this year, but just didn't have the energy. This talk to print thing sounds interesting and something I may ne3ed to look into. I have trouble with my hands working properly most days, but my mouth can go like crazy.

    I saw Fantastic Beasts and Moana over Thanksgiving while at Disneyland with the kids, and it was special, probably not as special as seeing it in Hawaii, but maybe next year.

  8. I have one of those ugly first drafts waiting for me to return. Grrrr. Not where I like to be in the stages of writing. Good luck with yours.

  9. Wow, eleven days--awesome! I tried using a tape recorder while driving a couple of times, but found it really, really awkward--then even more awkward when I had to listen to myself!

    My NaNo flamed out at 500 words and one day, but I was working on revisions, so I'll give myself a pass.

  10. Congrats on your NaNo progress! Yay, you! Love the pictures. I've never tried Dragon. That's a lot of words in such a short time. Wow.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    December co-host

  11. Looks like you had a great time on Kauai. Moana is on my list to see. Finished NaNo again this year, really enjoy the freedom of writing without major editing. Thanks for visiting my site today.

  12. Congrats on Nano! I finished, too, just barely. It's good to hear about Dragon Naturally Speaking. One of these days, I might just try it.
    Merry Christmas!

  13. what technical wonders are those!?! It is pure Star Trek!
    Love the festive background with the windows!

  14. Hawaii!!!! I bet it was fabulous. I'd love to go there. You're the first I've ever heard of who dictates your book. But I know quite a few who can make 3000+ a day (writing/typing). Much of it has to do with writing in first person. I write in 3rd and dictating wouldn't help since 3rd is more detailed. Honestly it's awesome you found something that works so well for you!


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