Thursday, 22 May 2014

Taming the dragon

Today, I managed to dictate the first of seven new Granny Rainbow stories using the Dragon NaturallySpeaking programme we set up yesterday.

Apparently it's very funny to listen to me dictate. According to the rest of the family, most of the time I just seem to say 'scratch that' or 'spell' or the same word over and over and over again...

The dragon's learning though. It now 'knows' I mean wool, not wall, in this particular Granny Rainbow story. It's 'learnt' how to spell Atchoo (as in sneeze), via 'at you', 'that you' and 'a chew'. It's even learnt to swear - because the screen froze temporarily and I told the computer that it 'was a b****y stupid thing'.

Which it promptly wrote into my children's story once the screen unfroze...because the microphone was still switched on.

(Scratch that!)

I'm not so keen on the 'open quote/close quote' command for dialogue, mainly because when you come to the end of the dialogue and say 'said Katherine', 'said' always appears with a capital 'S'. I was copy-dictating something written by a 10 yr-old yesterday, (lots of 'said Rob', 'said Jane') and only after I'd changed 'said' about a dozen times for the same name did Dragon finally realise that maybe that's what I wanted after each bit of dialogue. In fact, I admit - I got lazy today and focused on getting the outline of the story down, so I didn't add any quote marks at all by dictation. I'll probably do them all by hand, later.

The dictation itself is the relatively easy part. I'm still getting to grips with opening files and using the internet. But I'm getting there. Slowly.

In spite of my initial reluctance (you know I'm not at all teccy) it's a tool I'm glad I've got. Not just because it's helpful with the tendonitis at the moment, but I can see that it'll be a huge bonus in getting that s****y first draft captured for future stories.

It certainly captured the outline of Granny Rainbow and Marmaduke's Mischief .

(And now you know the title of one of the new stories! Don't forget there's a competition running to use one of YOUR ideas in the next Granny Rainbow book. Click this link for details - you might see YOUR story idea in print!)

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