Monday, November 28, 2005


Well, I made it back to town in one piece, despite the Oklahoma winds doing their best to knock me hither and yon. While on the drive, I tested out the cassette recorder, filling up almost a tape and a half with ideas for my New Obsession, and then transcribing them once I got home. How did it all pan out? Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.

The Good: I made a heck of a lot of progress today. Some of it might have lasted in my brain long enough for me to get down on paper once I got home, but as I listened to the tapes I came across tons of stuff that would have been lost forever otherwise.

The Bad: Transcribing from tapes is not the ideal way to write. First of all, I'm not used to taking dictation, which is most definitely a skill you have to develop; it's probably a lot easier if you can just put yourself into a zone where you're just letting your fingers type whatever you hear without thinking about it, but that's pretty hard to do when it's your words and you feel compelled to rewrite yourself as you go. Subsequently, about a 75-80 minute recording took me nearly three times as long to transcribe.

The Ugly: The typos. The many many typos. Early on I was just trying to keep up with the tape, not wanting to stop it too often, but I quickly decided that it was going to take me just as long to go back and fix all of the typos my speedy talking was causing as it would to stop and go. And then there was the stutering, and mumbling, and occasionaly "Er, um, uh, yeah" type pauses peppered throughout the tape. The early sections were the worst, when I was just trying to do a stream of consciousness style composition, but I eventually decided to get what I wanted to say pretty firm in my head first, and then turn the recorder on.

All in all, I have to say the recorder experiment was a success; yes, it can be a bit of a pain to deal with, especially until I work out the kinks, but I think it's going to be a useful addition to my writer's aresenal. Plus, it's not like I'll be making 5 1/2 hour road-trips all that often.

As for the New Obsession, well, I'm much farther along in the process than I thought I would be at this point; the odds of finishing it up by my self-imposed deadline are vastly improved *knock on wood*