Learn to Speak Your Book to Life
People can talk faster than they can type. (In general. We’ll leave the typing speed-champions out of this.) The average speaker talks about 150 words per minute. On the news, they can get up to 250 words or faster if they need to. A person can speak around 9K – 12K words in an hour. But the average writer will fall between five hundred and a thousand words an hour. A fast writer will do about 5K words an hour. So at top speed, you can talk at least twice as fast as you can type.
The trick, then, is getting it transcribed. There are programs for this, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a bit of an investment and learning curve. There is another online service, called Trint.com, which will allow you to upload a recording and then edit it directly while you listen to it, and will cost you about 25 cents a minute. You can then download the final text. Other services will transcribe for you for about $1 a minute, which is the average rate. If you want higher accuracy or faster turnaround, it will cost you more. But you’ll still have to edit the work once you get it back, regardless.
If you have a MAC, you can download their enhanced dictation, which is pretty good. Google also helped us out by incorporating this into their Chrome browser on their Google Docs. Most of this book was originally transcribed that way. It does need an active Internet access, fairly fast. The trick with Google Docs is that you actually have to watch the screen because it will quit on you if you get involved in telling the story and then not transcribe what you’re saying.
But with practice, you can keep an eye on it to make sure it’s working. Obviously, this takes some getting used to, if you type everything. My limited testing shows that this does change your writing style, but it’s far more normal to talk a story than it is to wrestle is around in your mind and then manually type it out.
If you figure that you can spend 2 hours a day speaking your book, four days a week, then you’ll be able to have about 80K words by the end of a week. Then you can start editing them into shape. If you’re writing only 500 words a day, it’s going to take you about three months to get to that point. 5K words per day will take you 16 days, and so on.
You can see how this is more efficient. Spend the second week editing it or however it works for you. Shorter works are simpler to edit, so you might want to edit the short works as you get them done that day.
You’ve also seen how talking your book can at least double your writing speed. It takes some getting used to. People who have experience in drama and public speaking will have an easier time of it – or not.
The Secret to Learning To Talk Stories.
Read out loud.
Yes, that’s the trick. Find short stories in the area you want to write in. Read these out loud to yourself each night (or to your children.) This is one of the ways of learning, much like copywriters would take other’s ads and hand write them in order to internalize the patterns they used in those ads.
Get collections of short stories in your genre and read them out loud every night. Then go through and dissect them according to the Story Circle for the plot elements and how they were used. Download the most popular short stories on Gutenberg. Then fill up a notebook by dissecting each story.
You can outline a story based on that plot dissection and speak it out.
Another thing to do is to record your thoughts as a journal. Get used to forming sentences without pauses, stutters, hesitations, etc.
I recorded an idea I had while checking my cattle on their pasture, and that 18 minutes of talking wound up with 1800 words of usable text.
Speaking your book affects your ability to publish by speeding up it radically.
Next: Lesson 6 – Learning to Write What You Love to Read