Some authors LOVE dictation software and couldn’t produce a novel without it. Since twelve hour writing marathons can play havoc on my body, I wish I was one of them!
But my—albeit limited—experience has been that dictation software adds a whole new meaning to the “Creative” in “Creative Writing.”
Still…I was determined to try again when I heard that Mac’s new operating system—Mavericks—comes with a dictation software that is arguably better than Dragon’s Naturally Speaking for Mac, and best of all its free!
Now, I know the software is supposed to get smarter the longer you use it. But Mac’s version doesn’t appear (that I could figure out) to allow you to add words to its dictionary, so as soon as I started speaking my characters’ names, what it spit out got really interesting.
“Brian and David and Martha and Patti and Velma and Mary” came out:
Ron I am at David and aren’t fat and the and tell mom her and Mary
Obviously this is intelligent software and KNOWS I didn’t talk in a complete sentence so it tried to make it one!
I tried to use a command like “list” but it just typed “list”. So…
I thought to myself, I will try to teach it. I dictated a sentence and corrected its minimal errors, then I dictated the same sentence again, and again.
But it was as if the software started thinking this person cannot be an idiot [which as I dictated this paragraph, it typed “in yada” for “idiot”] and wanted me to type the same sentence twice. She must mean something else.
So as I dictated the same sentence a second time, it was typing it out correctly then all of a sudden, it started back spacing! As I’m talking!! And retyped something totally different!!!
Here it is for your amusement:
Original Sentence: Lisa and Melvin are getting married tomorrow.
Computer Attempt #1: A second out and will wait tomorrow.
Attempt #2: Are they set now thing will do tomorrow.
Attempt #3: Lisa and now thing will wear it tomorrow.
Puts a whole new spin on creative writing don’t you think?