After I did the incredibly brave (read stupid) thing to write 100,000 words during NaNoWriMo in 2012, I vowed to never to do that again. My hands hurt for weeks afterwards. Given the fact that I am responsible for writing a large report to our project's client every month, it had not been a smart thing to do.
Since then I have been looking out for voice recognition software that was easy to use, had a good accuracy rating, was compatible with my accent (I speak English, but with a South African accent) and was affordable.
The last requirement had been the most difficult. The one package, Dragon Naturally Speaking, fit all my needs, except for the aforementioned price. I found it on Amazon, but had to wait quite a while for a special offer to come around to be able to afford the package, the shipping and duties to South Africa.
Using the software
- Take the time to let the software "learn" your voice. Every person is unique and the software can only work with a good measure of accuracy if you take the time.
- DNS also learns your writing style from books, emails, articles, etc. that you have already written. Be patient while it works through these files.
- Pronunciation needs to be clear. Computers do not understand mumbling and incoherent speech, although people do.
- Invest in a gaming headset with microphone. These kinds of headsets are of higher quality and aimed at interaction with a computer.
Part 2 will be my personal experience with using DNS software, and other comments on writing fiction with voice recognition software :)