Don’t Always Listen to Spell Check

How many times have you typed a word like “melons” but really meant “lemons”?  To the spell checker, both are words.  So what’s wrong?

The problem is that spell check does not read as humans do. Depending on what the sentence is about, the incorrect word could make it confusing.  For example, how many people heard of turning melons into lemonade?  Anybody?  Bueller?

Having someone to proofread is generally a good idea, but even humans miss stuff.  So what’s a writer to do?

Ruminated Scrawlings

Spellcheck has the tendency to lead you astray when you are writing anything on a word processor program such as Microsoft Word. It may tell you to put a comma where a comma doesn’t belong, remind you about how bad you are at spelling because it keeps giving you the wrong word no matter how many times you rewrite the word, and it always asks you to remove a word that is obviously there for effect.

Spell checkers and by extension grammar checkers work on an algorithm which uses grammar rules, and a dictionary which contains all the common words in the English language. The problem is that when you are writing a story you sometimes need to ignore grammar rules or spelling, or you have made up words or words from other languages which the spell checker cannot detect. It’s hard writing fantasy when you see red squiggly lines all over…

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The #Editing Style #Guide

Self-editing involves a lot more than correcting misspelled words or starting consecutive paragraphs with the same letter. A.C. Wyatt shares her observations on passive vs active voice, wordy sentences, and verb/subject agreement.  Knowing how to edit these, and other tips revealed, can improve the quality of the story.

Nerdy & Wordy

Look, editing is hard. I’ve said it many, many times. When you’re starting, it can be incredibly confusing. One person tells you to do this, and another tells you oh God no. Do this. Do that. It’s hard. I can’t tell you what’s right for your story, but as far as I can tell, there are a couple basic things you need to know.

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#EDITING 101: 22 – Using Registered #Trademarks and #Brand Names…

In our everyday lives we use certain words as common speech, and think nothing about trademark or branding. However, when writing fiction, the complex of using these words can be a financial and legal matter. Sometimes sticking to general terms is the safest bet.

Image: Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names

When you’re writing and your character uses a Kleenex, you’ve just used a registered trademark. Normally in non-fiction or business writing, you’d see it this way: Kleenex® or Kleenex™. To avoid using a brand name, you could say your character used a “tissue.”

You do not have to use ® or ™ in fiction writing.

The words aspirin, escalator, phillips-head screw, zipper, yo-yo, and vaseline were once trademarked but have lost that protection. They acquired such market dominance that the brand names became genericized. Companies want their products to become popular—but not too popular!—since there’s a price to pay for that popularity.

Kleenex®, Xerox®, Band-Aid®, and Plexiglas® were once in danger of losing their trademark…

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#Editing??? I Don’t Need No Stinking Editing

Gotta love the double negatives in the title.  Especially in reference to the header image. 🙂

I for one, need editing. Without it how good could a work be? Unless, we’re like the guy from the Limitless movie, writers need editing and editors.

Grammatical errors, plot holes, and the like can turn off a reader. It’s like getting your mouth set for the popsicle in the freezer only to find your spouse ate it already. I don’t know of anyone who gets excited about Continue reading “#Editing??? I Don’t Need No Stinking Editing”

Why you shouldn’t #edit as you go

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I often write and edit as I go under the guise that I’ll be done with the writing process quicker.  But as mentioned, this can be time-consuming to the point of missing out on getting the story done.

A couple of months ago, I spent an entire day on one paragraph.   I wanted it to be perfect, but in the end I was frustrated, tired, and it still wasn’t to my liking.  After taking a step back, I made a highlighted note of what I really wanted from that part of the story and then moved on to the next piece.  It was hard to let it go, but to keep from hindering progress I had to do it.  I managed to get two chapters written the next day.

Photo: An insight into my process of content creation for the web via photopin (license)

The Writer's RX

Editing while writing is a common habit for many writers – and most of the time, it’s not an intentional or beneficial one. Even I’m doing right now, as I write this post. But the truth is, it’s not something I’m proud of, and it’s not something that really helps me much at all. Here’s why:

  1. You’re wasting your time. If you keep revisiting the same writing over and over again as you go, taking things out and putting things back in, you’re using up time that could be better spent … well, writing. You’re going to be coming back to this once you’ve finished the first draft, so why are you tripling up on unnecessary peeks and tweaks?
  2. You’re making it harder to effectively edit the finished product. When you edit as you go, you are spending so much time on each sentence, paragraph, chapter, etc. that you become too…

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Write-a-Thin: Finishing the #Race, So How’d I Do???

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Since the entry of 2016, the year has proven to be a busy one thus far.  From bad colds and tummy troubles to increased workload, it has been a challenge keeping up with everything.  But as one of my favorite authors would say,

quotestill I rise – Maya Angelou

Earlier I mentioned joining the WFWA’s Write-a-Thin project, so here’s my progress report.  I met my goal, but the more rewarding side was the encouragement and sometimes-comical comments from fellow writers.  Like me, others ran into “life” which caused setbacks to production.  But having the support system felt like having a person on the sidelines – handing out cups of water and cheering you on.

So where am I with the other 2016 goals?  I’m sure you’ve been on pins and needles to know (lol). Continue reading “Write-a-Thin: Finishing the #Race, So How’d I Do???”

#Editing??? I Don’t Need No Stinking Editing

morguefile

Gotta love the double negatives in the title.  Especially in reference to the header image. 🙂

I for one, need editing. Without it how good could a work be? Unless, we’re like the guy from the Limitless movie, writers need editing and editors.

Grammatical errors, plot holes, and the like can turn off a reader. It’s like getting your mouth set for the popsicle in the freezer only to find your spouse ate it already. I don’t know of anyone who gets excited about reading something full of errors or a plot that’s confusing or has gaps.

The Writer’s Digest has some great advice on editing. Things like taking a break between the first and second draft to refresh, asking the right questions after a read-through, and enlisting the help of beta readers or editors can make the difference between a good story and a great book.

Check out the link above for more insight.