Wired Magazine has published an interview with author Richard Powers on the Wired web site and it also will appear in the dead-tree version. In the interview Mr Powers discusses how he writes on the Tablet PC because he finds it stimulates the creative process. That sure sounds familiar to me. Mr. Powers dictated a large portion of his new novel, The Echo Maker, using the speech recognition on the Tablet.
You wrote most of The Echo Maker on a tablet PC running voice recognition software. How did you arrive at that method of composition?
I’ve always wanted the freedom to be completely disembodied when I’m writing, to feel as if I’m in a pure compositional state. Typing is a highly unnatural activity, and your writing style ends up reflecting the cognitive shackles. When I started to use the tablet, things that are extremely difficult to do on a word processor opened up to me. I could also make drawings to see what a character looked like, and these sketches would be integrated into my research. Part of the mystery of The Echo Maker hinges upon what happened on a certain stretch of road on the night of the accident. I figured that out visually by drawing the scene over and over and seeing how all the elements moved in relationship to one another.