About Dictation Trail

I have a writing secret, learned from Kevin J. Anderson and mastered by many writers before me: I dictate virtually all of my fiction. I average 25 to 100 words per minute, depending on my circumstances and mood. (100 is really rare, but that was my rate on “Today I Am Paul”, the award-winning story that forms the start of Today I Am Carey.)

But Kevin has an advantage I lack: he has the Rocky Mountains out his back door. He dictates while hiking. I’m not so fortunate. Instead, I dictate on my treadmill.

I call it Dictation Trail, and it feels like cheating. I consistently dictate 50 words per minute on my Exerpeutic treadmill. I can hold a pace from 2-3 m.p.h. and an elevation from 0-15% for 90 minutes, and I never even notice! The story distracts me from the walk. So I get 4,500 to 5,000 words and I burn 500+ calories.

Soon I hope to share some of these exercise sessions with you so you can see my Blue Collar Space stories in their earliest form. In the meantime, if you have questions about dictation, I recommend you start with On Being a Dictator, cowritten by Kevin and myself.

The Latest from Dictation Trail

  • Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 7. Rocks September 3, 2021Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 7. Rocks
    Welcome to the fifth episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 6. In the Chasma September 1, 2021Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 6. In the Chasma
    Welcome to the fifth episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 5. Rescue Mission August 30, 2021Dictation Trail, Building the Future, Episode 5. Rescue Mission
    Welcome to the fifth episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • This Week’s Dictation Trail Sessions August 30, 2021This Week's Dictation Trail Sessions
    If you’d like to join a Dictation Trail session and give me your feedback in real time, here are upcoming meetings. For security reasons, I require preregistration for each session. I’m still learning how to manage Zoom security. Please bear with me! You are invited to a Zoom meeting.When: Monday, Aug 30, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern ...
  • Dictation Trail Episode 4. Broken Ground August 27, 2021Dictation Trail Episode 4. Broken Ground
    Welcome to the third episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • Dictation Trail Episode 3. Morning Drive August 26, 2021Dictation Trail Episode 3. Morning Drive
    Welcome to the third episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • Dictation Trail Episode 2. Suit Leak August 24, 2021Dictation Trail Episode 2. Suit Leak
    Welcome to the second episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • Dictation Trail Episode 1. Awake on Mars August 22, 2021Dictation Trail Episode 1. Awake on Mars
    Welcome to the first episode of Dictation Trail! The future doesn’t just happen… Somebody has to build it!(A Blue Collar Space series) Discover danger and intrigue across the Solar System in the worlds of The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon for October 2019), The Last Campaign (2020 AudioFiles Earphones award), and Blue Collar Space. ...
  • The Instant Story Show: The Time Courier August 19, 2021The Instant Story Show: The Time Courier
    Besides Dictation Trail (dictating while I’m on the treadmill), I also enjoy The Instant Story Show: Live, improvised dictation based on story prompts from the audience. Here’s a session from last year, a story I call The Time Courier.
  • Dictation Trail Opens Soon! August 4, 2021Dictation Trail Opens Soon!
    I have some details to work out yet; but soon I’ll be hosting live dictation sessions from Dictation Trail, my “recording studio”.

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