I Mustache You a Question – The Process

I Mustache You a Question is story number twenty-eight in the #52ShortStories challenge.

**SPOILERS BELOW. If you have not read the story and want to be (hopefully) surprised, come back to this when you’re done.**

A few fun factoids regarding this whimsical tale of espionage:

  • It was a years-old premise I’d resurrected from the dead. I was not as well-versed in the craft as I am now and I didn’t have the guts to see it through. I was glad I did this time around. It may not be perfect, but that’s part of the point–write it anyway! 🙂
  • I made my first attempt at dictation. I knew that was something I’d have to tackle on the first day of writing as I couldn’t imagine trying to wrangle my way around text I’d already written through such an unwieldy technology. It made sense to try and get the bare bones down and then take it from there. I have to say, I was both exasperated and impressed. The speech-to-text technology on a mobile phone is not there and I don’t have the capability to implement Dragon Naturally Speaking software as I write with a Chromebook. I know there are services that will transcribe audio for you, but it seems a little costly for what I’m doing…I had initially planned on using the AI-powered Amazon Transcribe service, only to learn it’s still in beta. So that meant I ended up stuck doing my own transcribing. Not sure if this was worth it, but I don’t think I lost anything through the process. If anything, I learned I can talk a lot faster than I can type. Not to say I kept all of the words, but I rarely do anyway. The benefit is I was able to get the skeleton in place and proceed from there. I’ll definitely be trying this again in the future and looking for a way to streamline the process.

Overall, the story didn’t have any dialogue until the end. Risky with casual readers, but it was fun. I’ve seen a lot of modern science-fiction taking this tack, so I wasn’t too concerned since, if I submitted this for publication, I’d be putting it in front of the same audience.

Here’s the general scratch file:

And the daily journal entries:

-Phillip

3 thoughts on “I Mustache You a Question – The Process”

  1. I’ve never thought of trying speech-to-text technology for my writing. It might be a good idea for when I make my long drives to New Hampshire to check in on my mother. Then again, I don’t want to get too distracted and drive off the road. ? But maybe it’s not worth it anyway if I run into the troubles you had with it.

  2. I’ve been seeing the idea pop up more and more (great Joanna Penn podcast/article here – https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2018/01/10/healthy-writer-dictation-tips/). As I mentioned, it seems to be okay on mobile if you’re willing to transcribe it yourself or have another human do it for you, but I wish the power available in something like Dragon was an option for the phone. I’m sure we’ll get there in a couple of years!

    Until then, it’s more of a fun experiment for me than anything else at the moment. 🙂

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