This is not a post about dictating books as I do not dictate books.  It does not work for me.

I own six books on dictation and have read them.  I tell you this to let you know that I did the research before I tried and failed to dictate my books.

Without filling this blog post with a story about the majority of my writing voices being male, I will just get to the parts of dictation that worked for me.  

Idea Capture

I walk my dog roughly five miles a day, and I am what some might call a gym rat. 

Without fail, I will be 1,000 steps into a walk away from home and my journal when the best story idea of ever slaps me across the face.

This is where dictation can shine, shine, shine.  

I use the voice recorder on my phone and speak a one or two sentence synopsis of the idea

and carry on walking.  

When I get home, I drag and drop the voice memos into Dragon Transcribe, and there are my ideas ready and waiting. 

Walk Through

When a story idea is beyond the concept phase and has a hint of beginning middle and end,

I’ll start walking myself through the story aloud.  No punctuation.  No dialogue.  

I do this while walking or pacing around the kitchen island.

Most often my sentences sound like this:

“So, he says something about not being a dog, and she asserts her professionalism.  Also, there should be lots of trash around.”

See.  Very informal, because no one else will ever see or hear these notes.

Just like before:  drag, drop, transcribe.


This is the most valuable way to use dictation in my opinion.  Idea capture and walk throughs are great, but this is where the rubber meets the road.

Basically, I take a walk and tell myself the story scene by scene.  Each scene is only two sentences long with little side notes about lines I definitely want to use.  I also throw in questions I might have about characters or settings.

I tell the story to myself until I am done.

When Dragon is finished transcribing and I have cleaned up the text, I have an easy to use outline.  

Normally, these outlines are one or two pages.  

Basically, I use dictation as an accessory to talking to myself.  So far, it is working pretty well.

I hope you found this helpful.  If you use dictation or transcription, I would love to hear how you use it.