Miscellaneous · Writing Tips

You’re Spell Check is All Ways Write

You’re Spell Check is All Ways Write

If you’re a writer or a reader, you probably just had a panic attack due to my horribly written title. Fortunately, you don’t have to correct me. I know it’s wrong. It’s terribly wrong. But here’s the funny part: my spellchecker didn’t even underline that sentence. In fact, according to a few technology programs, the title isn’t wrong at all, and that is why I love editors so much. Real editors. Human editors. Don’t get me wrong. I love programs that aid us just as much as the next writer. In fact, I have some of my favorite ones linked to below, but we can’t rely only on them, and that is what I’m talking about today. I have FINALLY uploaded Episode 3 to my YouTube channel – Coffee & Cats – and I hope you enjoy it! If you aren’t into watching videos, don’t worry. Skip below.

Basically, in this video, I pick up Seconds Before Sunrise – a professionally edited novel – and text a small excerpt to myself. Granted, I know texting is not an editing tool, but I think this autocorrect experiment, especially since it is already professionally edited, shows a valid point about how writers should still hire an editor after using technology. For comparison reasons (and great laughter) here were the two excerpts: (On a side note, this particular excerpt on page 155 is told from Jessica’s perspective when she is drunk, so even the real excerpt might seem a little strange because of that. In the texting version, I italicized everything my autocorrect changed.)

Real excerpt:

I didn’t answer because I didn’t know. My head was spinning too fast to collect my thoughts, let alone my feelings, so I buried myself with silence. My body tingled, and the feeling, somehow, seemed familiar in the darkness. The overwhelming vision of flying flowed through my veins, and I shifted from side to side as if I would take off at any moment.

It was beautiful. The sky, I mean. It was clearer than anything else around me, and the midnight color mixed with the stormy clouds like an obscure painting. I wanted to paint right now – right now, like how Robb and Linda weren’t together right now.

Robb grabbed my arm. “Are you even listening to me?” His face swayed from side to side, and I could smell the bar on him.

Texting version: 

I didn’t as cms answer because I didn’t know. My head was singing too fast to collect my thoughts, let alone my feelings, sui I buried myself with silence. My body tingle and the feeling, somehow, seemed family in the darkness.,the overwhelming vision of flying flowed though my veins, and I shifted from side to side as if I would take I d at Abu moment.

It was beautiful, the sky,I mean. It was clever than anything else around me, and the midnight color mixed with the story clouds like an obscure painting. I wanted to paint right New..right new right now, like how rib and Linda weren’t further away right new.

Rib grabbed my arm. “Are you listening ruby?His face swatted from dude to suffer, and I could Angel the car on him.

Pretty bad, right? I just wanted to take this last section to clarify that I still encourage technology use. In fact, I love my Dragon Dictate, the Hemingway App, and my Grammarly account. I often use these throughout my writing process. If you know of a great app, be sure to share it below! Or tell us who your favorite editor is. I cannot thank my beta readers or my editors enough, but here’s a shout out to my amazing team: Tyler, Raul, Kyle, Atheil, Cassie, Kirsten, Alex, Elizabeth, Greg, and AEC Stellar’s Heather, Ky, and Ray!



41 thoughts on “You’re Spell Check is All Ways Write

  1. Panic attack because of your title: check.

    I wholeheartedly agree that a human editor is crucial when you write! I couldn’t do without mine! I like that she has such a keen eye for details and wording and catches my little (or huge, I mean, I’m only human) messes!

    1. Editors our are best friends. (Haha, jk on that horrible grammar, two.) Oh, god. Now, I can’t stop using bad grammar and giggling at it. Hope you had a nice laugh, too. :] Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. When writing on the computer, I turn off auto-correct, auto-formatting, and grammar check. When writing comedy, I’ve found format can make or kill a punchline, and proper grammar can hold that punchline for too long.

    Here’s a truth I realized of my own work: If I had an editor, she’d soak and ring my novel’s draft out for the ink so it could be put to better use.

    That’s O.K. I want to write it over. Something auto-correct can’t do.

      1. I think Dragon’s secret is more to do with having to lock yourself away and concentrate, so you’ve no chance of trying multi-tasking!

  3. The Hemingway App told me a few truths but it threw some odd ones my way, too. As English is not my first language I feel only safe after having two independent editors look through my work 🙂

  4. Thanks for this techno srutiny. I love your blogs and always find them so helpful, especially as I am new to the writers world.

  5. If only I had a dollar for every time my spellchecker betrayed me. Misses horrible spelling/grammar errors, but won’t leave me alone about one of my character’s names being capitalized.

    Funny thing is I came to this post after watching Weird Al’s music video of ‘Word Crimes’. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

    1. It does! My editor had a funny one with “Take Me Tomorrow” – Since one of my character’s name is Miles, spellchecker kept taking off the capitalized version to make it the noun, miles. Made for some funny sentences! I will go check out that video right now.

  6. Fantastic and so true. This is one that I’m going to share with everyone – – especially my students! Reblog Reblog Reblog. Thanks, Shannon! Also, I love your new picture! 🙂

  7. Spell check’s a funny one, isn’t it? It’s handy – essential, really – and yet, when we’re tired, it can make us neurotic – boy, I can curse when it comes to the spell check! I won’t do without it though.

    I’m a translator too. And believe me, google translate etc are even worse.

    Literature invents its own language each time we write. And there’s where technology will never be any good… 🙂

  8. Pretty sure an editor is the best investment I made as an Indie author to date. Unless you count the expandable garden hose, which is not author-related.

  9. Amen sista! Preaching to the choir. Even after using a professional editor, re-read and double check bc they still miss things. My first publisher was a farce… said she had an editor but I had to have it edited after she sent me the final. Then she only made 75% of my ‘suggestions’. Thankfully that publisher and I parted ways. My second book was edited and there was still a handful of things that needed to be fixed, after it was professionally edited. I’m sure after this third one releases next month, I’ll still find some that my editor missed. We’re human … it happens. But when you rely on technology only … it’s not pretty.

  10. Wow… texting an excerpt…. I have a hard enough time with the corrections that Word offers me… I don’t think I’d want to see what my phone will suggest!

  11. Reblogged this on Insomnia, Nightmares and General Madness and commented:
    This entertained me immensely, so I’m sharing it. Especially the portion about texting yourself snippets of your work and how that went. (Given how my phone likes to mangle my titles, character names or certain words when I just reference them to people briefly, I shudder in fear at what would happen if I took the time to actually send myself a large chunk of manuscript…)

  12. Also, thanks for alerting me to Hemingway; that looks to be a potentially useful tool. (Though I’m sure with my love of parenthetical material and semi-colons it’s going to be yelling at me constantly.)

  13. Editors definitely are needed, but they are also only human. I think the more eye a project has on it the better the finished project will be.

    1. Hi! I’ve used it before, but I’m not sure what you mean by “purchasing” it. It’s completely free online. I know you can purchase a desktop version though. In regards to the free version, I think it’s a fun tool to try out. It definitely depends on the writer though. For instance, if passive voice is something you struggle with, you’ll LOVE the Hemingwayapp. I’ve enjoyed using it before, but I don’t use it very often. That being said, I know many writers who always put their entire novel through it every time. I hope that helps!

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