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Topic: Transferring hand written to typed, suggestions?

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Subject: Transferring hand written to typed, suggestions?
Date Posted: 3/16/2010 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 8
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 I am currently writting what I hope will turn into a novel/book, but I can't "write"  on a computer. It just doesn't flow right, and I HATE transferring from the hand written page to typing it. Something always gets lost, or messed up, sometimes whole sentences, LOL. I have heard of those talk to type programs, but I am wondering if they are worth it.Plus, I think they are pricey. Any suggestions or advise are welcomed, :)

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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It can be done BUT yes they are pricey.  They also have a big learning curve and need you to tell the program to use fullstop, comma, qutoations and speech marks. Which can really draw you down. I know several ladies who used this to write 80,000 word novels and it took them longer to say it then write it.
Plus when you transfer written to typed, this can be your first edit. Just need to pay more attention to what you are writing/typing. Did it for a 59,000 word novel the first year I did NaNO..hehehe.

NOW what I recommend is a FLY pen which records what you write and then transfers it to a computer.  It can also record sound. They are not cheap either but not as expensive as some of the quality speech/type programs.

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
Posts: 169
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I'm the same way Michelle. I write my first draft in longhand on a spiral notebook. I then transcribe it to Microsoft word.

It's VERY tedious! And you can skip over whole sentences.

I suggest you keep doing it any way. Those speak/type programs aren't worth buying.

Sometimes a person must suffer to express themselves

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 8
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Thank you both! I did spend some time today researching product reviews for the talk to type/text programs, and I don't think my OS has the requirements to run one. I had thought of paying a college student, or high schooler to transfer, but, it was just made me think of standing there naked in front of them. LOL, just too personal. Guess I will take it one page at a time.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 3/19/2010 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I used to be like that, but then forced myself to sit down and just start writing at the computer.  Now I can't do it the other way...

On the plus side, my typing speed has exploded...

Date Posted: 3/20/2010 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2010
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Michelle, I'm like you.  I like to be able to write where ever I am, so spiral bound notebook was my means.  However, what Paul said is now true for me...you have to make yourself type.  You can do both, too.  I find that having someone else transcribe takes out your editing power too.  When Im transcribing I find mistakes or holes and fix them.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/20/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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I much prefer the computer, but a simple thing would be to make sure you double space what you handwrite. Makes it a little easier to transcribe.

Date Posted: 4/2/2010 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,102
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You could always pay a starving student or a senior, say a retired secretary looking to top up Social Security, to type it up for you. But unless you're writing it longhand to finished copy state, you'll still need to edit and revise which is so much easier on the computer than in longhand.

Date Posted: 4/2/2010 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2009
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I published my first book two years ago. The writing was a long process, having first written it in notebooks, then later transcribing to paper. yes it was very tedious. By the time it was done I had went through two editing drafts. But the plus side of this was that i had total control of the manuscript, even down to how it was formatted on the page. I can look on my book now and say I did all this (except the cover). Doing it this way gave me a great feeling of accomlishment, as my lifes dream was to write a book. In contrast i wrote a short story recently using voice software. Though i was able to do it slightly faster, it didn not leave me with that same feeling that bare bones creativity gives you. So My recommendation is stick to the way a lot of burgeoning writers do: jot it on my paer, then transcribe it to pc. Another alternative to this would be the flypen, but i havent used that product yet (though i do intend to give it a whirl). good luck with your novel!

Date Posted: 7/25/2010 6:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2009
Posts: 73
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I am currently trying to write my own stories but mainly use the computer and then a voice recorder for when I have ideas on the fly. If you hired a person to transcribe for you who is also interested in writing then they could perform an edit after they have transcribed your works. I would be interested in helping you with this for a nominal fee (currently a starving student working on my BA in Literature).




Date Posted: 8/7/2010 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2010
Posts: 13
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I usually write on my computer but I take notes like mad on paper.  I've done transcription work in the past for fellow writers and friends who are in school.  I don't mind typing and it puts a few bucks in my pocket.  Professional services CAN be pricey (up to $10 a page!) but ask around - you never know if one of your friends might be willing to do it on the cheap.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/7/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2009
Posts: 73
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I would transcribe if you are interested.

Date Posted: 8/15/2010 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2010
Posts: 1
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Consider using speech recognition.  Even faster than writing -you just dictate to the computer.  It is part of later MS OS already.  Or you can buy another package.

Date Posted: 8/16/2010 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2010
Posts: 3
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I just recently bought a livescribe smartpen because I regularly need to take notes when meeting with people at work.  In addition to capturing your handwritten notes (and drawings), it also has audiorecording.  Downside is you have to buy special paper, but the cost isn't too prohibitive.  Your handwritten notes can be organized and searched, and you can also buy a separate inexpensive software addon that actually converts your handwriting to electronic text.  I do not know how accurate the conversion is, guessing it may depend somewhat on your handwriting. 

Subject: Using a scanner and OCR software
Date Posted: 11/19/2010 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 29
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What about scanning the pages using the OCR (optical character recognitino). If you have Adobe Acrobat sofware, you can scan into Adobe and select the OCR function. From Adobe, you can convert to *.doc or *.rtf for editing.

My guess is that for the above to work, you'll have to either print neatly or write clearly.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 11/19/2010 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
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I used to be like that, but then forced myself to sit down and just start writing at the computer.  Now I can't do it the other way...

I have 9 published books now (none self-published), and hundreds of magazine articles. I started out only being able to hand-write, but if you want to make a living as a writer, you're really going to have to get yourself used to typing--just my opinion of course, but it's much more efficient.

Date Posted: 2/4/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 6
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You could try one of those speech to text programs.

My friend uses one called Dragon Dictation, you have to use it several times before it recognizes your phonetic patterns.

Subject: re: Transferring hand written to typed, suggestions?
Date Posted: 2/6/2011 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/20/2010
Posts: 6
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MichelleB, if you're interested in transcribing your handwritten work then speech-to-text is really the most inexpensive way to do it. And, in fact, if you have Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later with Microsoft Word, you can do text-to-speech without purchasing a program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking (which by the way, is not really that expensive at $99). Of course, if that's really not the way you want to go, you can find typists pretty cheaply to simply transcribe from handwritten to print but they're scarce. Most are expensive.

There's little question that you would benefit from a typing class. There are still a few writers who write longhand like Stephen King and James Patterson, but if you're serious about getting your work into a computer word-processor, the cheapest and most efficient way is a dictation program. One other option you have is the AlphaSmart Neo, a nifty little device that is nothing but a keyboard and small LCD screen, and works equally well for note-taking and writing drafts without requiring a lot of expertise.

Last Edited on: 2/6/11 3:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2011 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 75
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Everyone is being very kind.

However, IMHO you need to suck it up and learn to type. This might mean spending hours getting your typing space just the right height, comfort, angle etc. but in the long run... learn to type.

And learn format while you do it.


Last Edited on: 2/8/11 10:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2011 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 1
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I use Word 2002 and it had a voice package with it, no cost.  I've used it once or twice because I thought that dictating would be easer.  However, it did not work for me and I went back to typing.  I don't know what word processing package you have but you might search to see if there is a dictation part of it.  While it might not be as sophisticated as some of the dedicated packages, it should be enough to give you a feel whether this is something that would work for you.



Date Posted: 3/2/2011 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2011
Posts: 31
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I'm not sure if this has been suggested, but you can take it paragraphs at a time, then cross stuff out once it's in the computer.  However, this somewhats "ruins" your original copy.

Date Posted: 3/9/2011 5:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 8,672
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Last Edited on: 2/14/15 7:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1