Describing Spell Check

If I can say one thing, it would be ‘all hail for editing!’

So far I’ve edited 17 chapters. Randomly this includes the first 16 chapters and then the last one because I had this idea of splitting the last chapter into two but then as I was going to do it, it didn’t work. Yeah, anyway, moving on.

The reason I say all hail for editing is because, no matter what anyone tells you, spell check is crap! Now, I am sure most authors already know this. Hell, most intelligent people already know this, let alone anyone who wants to write anything more exciting than ‘John walked down the street.’ I’ve always kind of known that spell check was crap. No matter what I do with or without a comma, it always has a problem with it.

The reason I now call Microsoft and that little animated paperclip out on their awfulness after years of silent abuse suffered, is that I’ve finally come to terms with why I hate it so much. – Despite their understanding of sentences that apparently don’t make sense, they still can’t point out that you’ve written the entirely wrong word.

Now, I wouldn’t mind this if it were one of the words I’ve created for the story, they’re all underlined in red anyway, but it’s normal words. Mistaking ‘he’ for ‘we’ for example, and ‘walked’ for ‘talked’.

But this isn’t a rant about Microsoft, not really. I actually do use Word as my primary software for writing (Sorry Scrivener, you’re an after the fact organisational system.) This is actually an ‘I love editing’ jump for joy.

Everyone says that you lose a lot during editing, but in fact, so far I’ve added about 5,000 words. That is not to say that I haven’t cut extra words out and deleted small phrases I didn’t need, but I’ve also added descriptions and explanations that in the frenzy of getting the story down, I’d missed.

For example – it wasn’t until I was editing chapter eight that I realised I hadn’t described any of my characters. I know what they look like, and I hate those ‘look in the mirror and describe yourself’ paragraphs. So it’d just sort of slipped my mind. That was an interesting day, reading through and trying to find where each character is talked about so that I can try slipping some interesting description bits of them.

For example:

Sticking her head in through the doorway of the first car, but not climbing up, Georgianna waved to Jaid. As usual when working on the Way, Jaid’s cropped auburn hair was sticking up in every direction above her thin, pointed face. Georgianna could usually tell how busy Jaid had been during her shift by how spiky her hair had become, the older woman having a habit of running her fingers into her hair and twisting short locks around her fingers while she thought. Her moss green smock was stained and two buttons at the hip had come undone. Apparently, it had been an incredibly busy shift.

Yeah, so I’m feeling pretty good about it all right now. I’m getting through somewhere between 3 to 5 chapters a day, depending on how much time I have after work. They’ll all need going through at least two or three more times before I’m satisfied with them, but for now I’m feeling really good about my progress.


About chelecooke

Self-Published author of the Out of Orbit series and the Teeth series. UCL Residence Assistant, obsessive cross stitcher, avid reader and TV show watcher.
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One Response to Describing Spell Check

  1. You have a great weblog over here. I just wanna thank you for all the interesting information on it. I’ll follow your website if you keep up the good work!

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