Spell Czech the writers worst enemy

Most writers believe their worst enemy is a bad review, but it is  not. I have one bad review-the person had trouble reading the last chapter, but no matter. I went to new Orleans and found a Cajun voodoo priestess who took care of that person for me.  I will not reveal her name or what she did. I am sure you understand why. The real enemy is spell check. We know the problems with spell check, but it can not be stressed enough.

The computer is smart, but not smart enough to know what you mean and the grammar is suggests is sometimes laughable. I bring this problem up because even professional writers in their Kindle eBooks have misspellings.  It is easy to miss certain words when you don’t see the obvious red squiggly line underneath a word when you look at the screen. Even during an edit words can be missed. Two words ‘there’ and ‘their’ can be a problem and ‘are and ‘our’ are another. And in the first paragraph above I found the word ‘stresses’ and it should be ‘stressed’. I found it when I proofread.

The problem during an edit is that the eyes read faster than the mind can process and ‘there’ can be missed for ‘their’. During an edit it is easy to scan. You know what you wrote so the mind is familiar, it does not give it a second thought-just like a programed spell check. I hate to point this out, but the only way to catch some of the misspellings is not to read, but proofread and that is a pain in the hemorrhoid.

In proofreading you do not read the word, you look at the letters. It is a slow, and I do mean slow process. Slugs move faster. But in the end you do want the work to look professional, so you take the pain.

I read the paragraph first, then a second time a read a sentence, then read the word. If you have a method, a process, you find yourself inching faster just a wee bit. I would also point out that regular books published by New York publishers sometimes have errors in them. That means the author, the editor, and the proofreader, all missed the word. Mistakes happen, but we should work to eliminate as many as we can. Readers will catch those darn things you know and we need not subject them to that. And yes, I am sure I have made some. If you find any in my books feel free to point them out to me.



1 Comment

Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, fiction, fiction writing, Uncategorized, writers, writing

One response to “Spell Czech the writers worst enemy

  1. The worst thing spellcheck does is fail to recognize the correctly-spelled WRONG word, which is why I keep stressing to my fellow writers, “Spell check is no substitute for understanding your own written language.” You cannot rely on a computer to do your editing for you. You need a human brain and a fresh pair of eyes.

    I always suggest to writers that they change the font of their manuscript and read it again, or print it out, or probably best of all, have another person read it. It’s easier to catch mistakes in other peoples’ writing, because you aren’t numb to it through familiarity. There are freelance editors who can be paid reasonable fees to do this.


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