Dictation, Plotting, and What I’m Working On Now

Dictation is now my preferred method of writing.

dictation for post

ID 32292887 © Andose24 | Dreamstime

Dictation has finally grown on me.  Learning to adjust to it was like learning to ride a bike.  Earlier this year when I started, I ended up disgusted with it because I ended up having to rewrite 75% of the scenes I dictated.  It was a lot more work than simply typing the story out.  Since I was forced to go back to it last month, I started out with small word counts.  I didn’t even add punctuation for fear it would pull me out of the story because it can be hard to think of what the character is thinking, saying, or doing when you’re worried about what punctuation to use next. I was pretty much forced into using it because my husband couldn’t make out anything that I had dictated, and I was tired of sitting with him for an hour to work on one scene.

Now, I am very comfortable dictating with punctuation.  Better yet, I don’t have to rewrite anything because dictating the story has become as natural as typing it.  In fact, I actually prefer dictation at this point because when I dictate, I can go for a long walk, too.  I dictate while on my iPhone and then email myself the scene when I’m done.  I then take the email and paste it into my document.  From there, my husband will polish it up. Sometime, I’ll have to share some of the amusing things the software “thinks” I said.

I have finally established a regular word count goal for each dictation session.  I figure for every 1-2 miles I walk, I can write one scene into a story.  One scene is between 1200-2000 words.  Sometimes I break up a scene between sessions, but sometimes the words just keep flowing, and I’m able to get everything in. It’s not too unlike typing.  These days I’m averaging 3-5 miles of walking a day.  When I first started, I did good to get 1 mile in. I didn’t realize I had been that out of shape.  So when I think about it, this issue with my eyes has been a blessing in disguise.

My eyes are doing a lot better, but I still have to limit how much time I’m on the computer.  I find that it’s also better when I’m outside instead of indoors.  I suspect there’s something in the air conditioning that is aggravating my eyes, but I have no proof of that.  Come winter, it’ll be interesting to see how my eyes do.  I don’t think I’m going to go back to typing, though.  I’ve now gone from 1500-3000 words on a writing day to 3500-5000 words.  I heard that exercise can boost creativity, and I’m inclined to agree with it.  Plus, I feel better than I’ve felt in years.

By the way, I use an app I bought off iTunes called Dragon Dictation. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking into dictation software. Once you get used to it, it’s a great tool.

Plotting is actually going okay.

plotting book

ID 96571708 © Albin K.B | Dreamstime

I’m surprised.  The Bride Price is my serious experiment in plotting.  I had Stephannie Beman’s help on it because she plots and I don’t.  I thought for sure the story was going to morph into something else about 1/4 of the way into the story.  I’m shocked that it’s right on track.  I’m halfway into the story now, and things are progressing just as it was supposed to according to the outline.

Just so everyone knows, my outline is very simple.  It’s like this:

  1. Angela gets off the train and realizes something is wrong.
  2. Sep learns that there’s a man who are going to auction off women the next day.
  3. Sep enlists the sheriff’s help and rescues them.
  4. Sep picks Angela to marry because of her scars.
  5. Etc

So I didn’t go into detail on anything, which left me plenty of wiggle room to be a panster in certain scenes. For example, between #1 and #2, I inserted a scene where Angela finds out what has happened to her, and she meets the other two women, who will be the heroines in books 2 and 3 of the series. So I have been inserting things to help flesh out the story better.

My original plan was for this book was for it to be about 30,000-35,000 words since novellas in romance seem to be popular these days, but this story is already at 30,000 words, and I’m only halfway through.  I might be just over the halfway point.  But there’s no doubt that this will be a full-length novel.  And that’s fine.  I don’t stress over how long a book is going to be.  As long as the story is complete and doesn’t have any sagging middles, I’m happy.

Another thing that surprised me is that plotting out the book hasn’t caused me to lose interest in it.  Some authors say they get bored if they know what will happen in the story.  That’s not happening with me.  Maybe that’s because I made a skeleton of an outline which has given me plenty of room to be a panster.

Would I plot another book?  Probably not.  I love being a panster. Being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up are my favorite part of writing.

Here’s What I’m Working On

If It Takes A Scandal

if-it-takes-a-scandal-ebook-cover

Click here to pre-order on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

I hope to have it available for pre-order on Amazon soon, but at this point, I suspect early September will be the release timeframe for it.   Right now, it’s with my awesome editing team.

This book finishes up the Marriage by Bargain Series, but don’t worry: I’ll tackle Lady Eloise in the Marriage by Fate Series.  In this one, she got off unscathed.  Sometimes it takes a while for characters to get their just desserts.

The Bride Price (Misled Mail Order Brides: Book 1)

the-bride-price-ebook-cover10

Click here to pre-order on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

The Bride Price was originally posted for a November release, but I expect it to come out in October instead since I’m already halfway into it.

Married In Haste (Marriage by Fate: Book 2)

Married In Haste ebook cover 3

Click here to pre-order on iBooks and Kobo

This one is about 20,000 words in, so we’re just 10,000 words shy of the halfway point…I think.  The heroine (Miss Ava Baynes, who was Opal’s best friend in The Reclusive Earl) is going to try to join Lady Eloise’s group.  The hero in this book is Brad Bachman, the Earl of Youngtown (who was Loretta’s brother in The Rake’s Vow), and if you’ll recall, Brad hated Lady Eloise.  So yeah, some interesting stuff is coming up in this one.  But it’ll also start the ball rolling for what I have in mind for Lady Eloise.  *rubs hands in evil delight* I know it’s usually wrong to be excited about the downfall of a character, but I’m looking forward to getting to the end of this series so I can finally give Lady Eloise what’s coming to her.

I want to get this out during the last week in December.

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I have no cover yet, but the book I just hit 11,000 words in is Wanted: Mail Order Husband.

I am going with the romantic historical western romance about the hero who grew up in a wealthy household back East who thinks he’s marrying a wealthy woman out West.  His family has lost all their money and has gone to London, leaving him all by himself in America, so he marries a rancher’s daughter, thinking that since her father owns a ranch, he’s wealthy.  Boy, is he in for a rude awakening.  He hasn’t had it yet, but he will very soon.  I’m looking forward for the humor to begin.

Anyway, this was the one everyone voted for.  Thank you for chiming in on the book you wanted most to read!  It helped to make the decision a lot easier.  You guys are the best for helping me out!

I’d love to have this one out in January.

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I’m finally in 16,000 words into The Outlaw’s Bride

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover

The hero and heroine are already married and have just arrived at his cabin tucked into the mountainside.  This isn’t on pre-order because it’ll be released as a free book since it’s a rewrite of The Stagecoach Bride.  Right now, I’m having to decide which parts from The Stagecoach Bride will go into this book.  I still want her past to come for her, but I think I want to insert more of the hero’s sister into this book.  The heroine doesn’t know her husband is an outlaw, so I need for her to find that out, too.  At least, I want her to discover it.  We’ll see how the story plays out.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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3 Responses to Dictation, Plotting, and What I’m Working On Now

  1. Pingback: Dictation, Plotting, and What I’m Working On Now | DM Yates Journalings

  2. Hmm. Never thought about walking and dictating. I should dust off my treadmill and give it a try after Aria is in bed for the night. LOL…though that usually means I’m pretty wiped out. Maybe I’ll get back into my desk dozing for 20 minutes, then jump on it and see what happens. 😀

    Glad your eyes are doing better! 🙂

    • Having a little one around would make walking and dictating difficult. I remember when my kids were toddlers. I had to do all of my writing when they were in bed. By then I was too tired to even think about walking. LOL let me know if you actually make this work.

      Thank you! 😀

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