Right now, I am editing another manuscript which has been created with voice recognition software.
More authors are using programs such as the Dragon series to create their masterpieces, and this is a terrific time-saver. I am seeing more and more of these types of manuscripts.
However, be aware that problems do exist if you use this type of system.
The other day, I had a doctor’s appointment and my regular doc could not see me, but another in his group could.
This ‘new-to-me’ doctor came into the room and after examination, proceeded to record his findings into my file. He was using one of the Dragon programs so I asked his thoughts about it.
Dr. M told me that he had to ‘train’ the voice recognition software program to recognize particular words.
Now remember, he is working with medical terms, but if you write Westerns, you will have some training to do also. Not all language is standard.
He also said he had to constantly be adding vocabulary to the base program. A big problem he ran into was during upgrading. He had the program working very well, then the hospital upgraded and all of his software training disappeared.
He had to start all over teaching the program the words that he needed. It was a real, time-consuming chore, but he felt in the end, that program saved him time.
As editor, I am seeing some consistent issues in recorded manuscripts. Probably the most obvious is punctuation. Maybe it is the user, maybe it is the program, but punctuation in every manuscript has been all over the map or even non-existent.
Another issue is that the voice recognition software picks up everything, so extra words are very common.
Voice Recognition Software
Can Create Problems!
Here’s an idea: before you send your manuscript to your editor, sit down and read your hard copy aloud and have a red pen at the ready. You will be amazed at how many errors you can find by doing this.
If you fix these errors before your editor goes through the manuscript, your editor will spend less time and that manuscript of yours will grow into a book before you know it!
Regardless of how you write, there are problems. If using a voice recognition program will help you to get your words on a page, then use it. Just be aware of its particular limitations and work to fix them.