1. what the dickens
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    what the dickens Member

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    Typing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by what the dickens, Aug 21, 2010.

    Hi

    I am not a Writer/Author, or even a book reader or anything like that, infact my trade is a very manual job such as a carpenter.

    But i have a few ideas on a few what i think are good and original stories and when i run these past another person who is in to reading books, she thought they were very good and even more so when i had wrote about 9000 words of one of the stories which has given me the encouragement to pursue this..

    I would like to get these stories finished and turned into a basic word document which can then be ready for turning into a book "IF" the finances ever arrive, so i can at least say i did something in my life other than make things out of wood even if i never sold a copy.

    My problem is i am a very slow typist and find it really a struggle and have heard of software which can be dictated too and relieve me of what i find a real chore. I have tried the dictation in Windows 7, but have a lot of errors to correct afterwards. Is there any other which won't break the bank and can understand an English accent? and i would love to hear of anybody using same or similar.
     
  2. Bad_Valentine
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    Bad_Valentine Member

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    I like your username. :D

    I don't know about any good software you can use, but another idea would be to just record your story and then pay someone to transcribe it. If you have friends/family that can type, maybe they can transcribe some of your tapes for free to cut down on the cost. Another idea would be to learn to type, maybe get some typing software (like Mavis Beacon.) They try to make it as fun as possible so it wouldn't be pure torture. ;)

    In any event, good luck getting your ideas on paper. :)
     
  3. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    For typing, I believe the best would just be to learn how to type faster. There are a lot of cheap/free programs out there which can help you improve your typing. All it takes is some practice, and at the end all the time you spend practicing will be worth it. You will spend less time typing, and that could save you time in more areas than just story writing, like emails.

    As for the part about finances, the thing with writing is that it is one of the cheapest hobbies imaginable. In order to get it published, you don't have to pay a single penny. Vanity publishing does let you pay to get your book published, but really, that doesn't count.

    Apparently, you have some good ideas. Now all you need to do is get them down onto paper. It is going to take some time, or more accurately, a lot of time before you get your stories finished. Besides the writing itself, you still need some time to edit. Getting good typing skills will help you accomplish your goals a lot faster.

    Another word of advice, start some reading of your own. The only way you will ever succeed in writing is if you read. Writing a story is a lot different than telling a story orally. Look at some of the work out there, and watch for writing techniques that are being used. Find out what you like, what you don't like, what authors do right, and what they do wrong. You will come a long way in developing your own writing.

    The editing part might be one of the hardest things to do. On this site we have a review room, where you have a chance to critique other people's work. Do as many as you can of those, go back to your own work, and you'll find that you can edit your own work better. One of the best skills to have in writing is the ability to edit your own work.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no advice to offer you, but a few words of encouragement. Being a slow typer can be a good thing, even if it is annoying. There is always the upside to it that when typing slowly you have time to chose your words and sentence structure.
     
  5. what the dickens
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    what the dickens Member

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    Thankyou for your replies.

    Problem with learning to type better would be to have smaller hands:) but i take you points.

    Reading well i honestly cant as i just have a problem with concentrating even on half a page, but i play my stories out as films in my mind as if i am seeing them and then try to write it down which has worked so far with the tiny amount i have done.
     
  6. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Go into a computerstore and ask for a keyboard for someone with huge hands? I'm sure it they dont have it you could order one online.
     
  7. what the dickens
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    what the dickens Member

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    I didnt know you could get larger keyboards..Well that would be an improvement staraight away.

    Thanks
     
  8. Bad_Valentine
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    Bad_Valentine Member

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    I think the ergonomic keyboard style might work well for larger hands. :)
     
  9. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    Depending on the size of your hands, a normal keyboard might be okay, though larger ones are available if you really need it. When I started typing, it was always on a regular keyboard. At one point I switched to a laptop. It was brutal at first, but overtime I adjusted to the minimal spacing between keys. Now I have trouble typing on regular keyboards. :)
    Since you have not done a lot of typing yet, starting out with a regular keyboard might be okay. You can always switch to a large one if you find that the keys are too close together. The basic idea of a 'qwerty' keyboard doesn't change between sizes, so adjusting won't take so long. Just be aware that some keyboards do have a different set-up.
     
  10. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone's slow at typing at first. You'll get faster quickly.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    All speech recognition software will require a certain amount of correction, but a good one will learn from you, and the number of corrections will decrease somewhat over time. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking some of the time, and it can be a time saver when I'm entering long passages, even taking the corrections into account.
     
  12. what the dickens
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    what the dickens Member

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    Dont you think it is so primitive though?

    I would have thought this dictation software would have long taken over manual typing. Obviously not otherwise i would be swamped with recomendations.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Automated language analysis is much harder a problem than it sounds, and for a speech recognizer to recognize spoken speech accurately, it must "understand" context.

    I'm continually surprised by some of the passages that the speech recognizer manages to handle properly, including capitalization, while at the same time I get frustrated when it completely misses the mark on simple phrases.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The other thing is that it wouldn't work in a crowded office. You wind up with a cacophony of people all talking to their computers.
     
  15. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    Actually, that's a great idea! This way, the boss will know exactly what the employees are up to. No more fooling around. Productivity will increase a hundredfold!
     
  16. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    If you want to write seriously, I would suggest learning to type quicker. You'll be surprised how easy it is once you know where the keys are.

    I had a job once that required a couple of weeks of solid data entry and this is where I developed the skill of touch typing. Now I can type just as quick as I can speak.

    Try it for a couple of days, type without looking down at your hands. You'll learn from your mistakes where the keys are and you'll get quicker over time.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ever work in a help center? It's no worse than that, and with noise-cancelling headsets you can even dictate into a speech recognition program with moderate background noise,

    I often have my TV on when I use the speech recognition, although I did discover that a commercial with Regis Philbin must be muted. Apparently, my computer finds him as loud and obnoxious as I do,
     
  18. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    If you have skype & a blutooth, i wouldn't mind manually transcribing your words sometime
     
  19. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I can understand your problem, having faced that same problem in my initial years of writing in a computer. Well, I still type with just two fingers, but a lot faster lol So, don't worry you'll get there as you write your book.

    Another thing, I think you should have your story critiqued by some more people, preferably people who doesn't know you personally and writes. You can utilize the review forum here. Because more often than not people who know you personally might be just praising your work not wanting to hurt your feelings. Chances of your book's success will increase many fold if you have it critique and improve your story.
     
  20. what the dickens
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    what the dickens Member

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    Thanks for all your replies and offers.

    I will have to learn to type then because to be honest i use just one or two fingers even though i am very well advanced on a PC and software applications, i still havent progressed with the keyboard and now my shortcomings are holding me back.

    I dont know if my story/book will ever get as far as being printed to be a success or not (finances), but yes when it is finished i would like to hear what others think of it to find out if this little venture is worth carrying on or not for me.
     
  21. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I was taught in high school to use all 10 fingers, but then I began to use my two index fingers and I was typing like lightning.
     
  22. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    First I would highly recommend to try and improve your typing speed. Knowing where all the keys are always helps. I am sure if you google ways to improve your typing skills it will get you a bunch of useful sites. :)
     
  23. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Speaking from personal experience, I never really tried to learn where the keys are. Using my two index fingers I typed, first I had to look at the keys to write.. very frustrating and distracting... but I started doing it regularly (luckily, my work required data entry), and then after a few weeks it was as if my two index fingers have eyes of their own... I didn't have to look at the keys while typing, which means no distractions and full concentration on the writing, just like writing with a pen.
     
  24. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's worth the trouble learning to touch-type. Print out a diagram of a keyboard, where your fingers are clearly marked, and cover your hands with it while you're typing. After a while, you learn to type quickly without looking at the diagram.
     
  25. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know that feeling. Most of the time I don't think I am conciously aware of what my fingers are doing on the keyboard. Heck half the time I am not even sure where most of the keys are off the top of my head. But my fingers seem to know them without any trouble at all. lol
     

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