We create meaning in our world by telling stories. We have done it from the dawn of time. First by firelight, then by quill pen, followed by typewriters, laptops and now, using a new form of technology, voice to text dictation.
Many famous authors have used dictation to write their stories, from Dostoevsky to Dan Brown, Churchill to Barbara Cartland. Advances in technology have now turned our humble smart phones into our own personal dictation devices, with accuracy rates of 95%.
There are many benefits to using voice to text dictation to write your life story –
Save Time – Dictating your first draft definitely takes less time than if your were to write or type it. For a recent short story competition, I managed to dictate 1400 words in 20 minutes. For a short story that needed to be under 2500 words, I pretty much got my first draft down in less than 30 minutes.
Stay Healthy – No need to sit on a laptop, straining your eyes, back and wrists to write your first draft. Take your phone with you to the beach, as you walk or where ever you get a spare moment. I wrote my short story on the bow of my small yacht, overlooking a glorious Clarence River sunset. Just me, my phone and a small notepad, outlining the key plot points of my story to help guide the enjoyable process.
Kill your Inner Critic – When you write or type, it is very hard to not edit as you go. This inner critic can lead to writer’s block and procrastination. If you never get your first draft finished, you may never finish your book.
There are some tricks to using your smart phone to tell stories, which I will teach in my new course run at the Yamba Community Centre from 9am-2pm, Friday 21st of May 2021 Cost: $130. Morning tea will be provided and tickets can be booked here. There are only ten places for this course so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Please bring along a pen, paper and a smart phone connected to a google account. It will also be handy if you have an idea for a short story of your life to work on.
“I want everyone who does the workshop to complete at least one short story of 2,500 words.
*Participants will learn how to set up their phone for dictation.
*How to develop a strong theme for their story, that will guide them till the end.
*They will learn how to develop an outline for their story, learning of classic plot outlines that have been used for over 2,500 years.
*There will be several exercises on how to bring back memories and develop the world of a story – describing a character including how they talk, a location and a period in time.
*Finally participants will get started on dictating their story, using their outline to voice the smallest units of a story – beats. These beats will beget scenes, scenes will beget acts and acts will get your story to the finish line, hopefully in no time at all.” Mark Shea
Mark Shea has been a documentary filmmaker for over 20 years, having his work featured on the ABC and internationally. He is also a published author, fascinated with how one can use story structure and myth to make stories come alive. For more information feel free to send me an email .