Lian Tanner
 

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How I write

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how I write, recently. How I go about getting a story down on the page. It might seem obvious – think of words, write them down. But I have just recently bought some voice recognition software, and it is enormously different from typing, or from writing by hand. I’ve used it before, years ago when I had repetitive strain injury, but once I got over that I very happily went back to typing. There is something about seeing the words come out of the tips of my fingers that is very satisfying.

So why voice recognition software? Simply, my neck. It doesn’t mind editing, but it complains dreadfully when I sit down for half an hour and type madly. Which is what a first draft is all about. So, it was either stop writing (nooooooooo!) or find some other way of doing first drafts.

The technology is a lot better than last time I used it – which is a very good thing. Though I miss some of the mistakes it used to make. One of my favourites was ‘the far distant pasta’ instead of ‘the far distant past’. And a friend of mine was telling me of someone with a heavy cold who sent her an email message that was supposed to read ‘Hi Jules, I left a message on your answering machine’, but came out as ‘Hi Jewels, I bid to welcome you to my ancient regime’. I can only hope that my software will give me such splendid misinterpretations. 🙂

So now I have to work out how I can talk my story, instead of writing it. I’m sure it can be done – it’s just a matter of practice. (I’m talking all of this, so it’s not doing a bad job.)

In other news: I handed in the second edit of Accidental Heroes last Tuesday. It was a bit of a rush, because my Australian publishers want to put out a reading copy, so everything had to be done very quickly. And now, or rather tomorrow, I’ll go back to writing Secret Guardians. The covers of all three books should be done soon, and I’m dying to see them.


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