Writing Tip of the Week: Use Spellcheck and Double-Check your Content

wtotw

Hey guys. How do you like my new title^? I was looking up for some ways to jazz up the blog. Are the rainbow colors too much? I tend to love rainbow-colored things because I just love colors (I was the kid with the 94 and 120 crayon boxes from Crayola) and the way these seven colors look together. Let me know if I should tone it down (maybe black text with rainbow line?).

Anyway, today’s writing tip of the week is going to be one of those that most aspiring writers should know through common sense, but it seems that some still forget about it. Before I go into this, I want to make it clear that sometimes you don’t always catch mistakes. Even editors and publishers don’t catch certain mistakes. I have no problem with a careless, overlooked error once in a while but when your work is full of them, that’s when I start losing respect for an author/publisher. Ahem, Zondervan.

When you finish writing your book or short stories, spellcheck is your friend! It will pick up on any misspelled words. But keep in mind that spellcheck won’t catch every mistake. It won’t catch incorrect punctuation or when you use the wrong words. Some programs, like Microsoft Word, will help with grammar, but I’ve found that it isn’t 100%, or even 80% in my opinion, reliable.

The best way to ensure that your story is as error free as possible is to read it slowly aloud to yourself. If you have friends who are willing to help, let them read it. Since they will be reading your work with a fresh mind, it will be easier for them to catch errors. Sometimes we are so familiar with our own work and writing that we tend to overlook our mistakes. I’ve found that putting a story aside for a month or two and then trying to catch errors works much better than trying to proofread right after finishing the draft.

So even though proofreading should be common sense for all writers, it’s still an important enough part of the writing process that I thought it needed stressing on.

And now, I need your help!

Picture Source: bewarsetalk.net
Picture Source: bewarsetalk.net

If you are reading this, what are your writing weaknesses?

What kind of tips would you like to see to help you improve as a writer?

Sometimes I have trouble thinking up writing tips because I feel I’ve pretty much covered most of my weaknesses and anything helpful I thought others would find useful.

So please, please, help me out.

What tips haven’t I covered that you would like to see more of? Actual grammar lessons? Writing exercises that focus on certain skills? POV? Character development? Tense?

Please let me know! Otherwise, I might have to start doing writing tips once a month just to come up with new, helpful ones.

jncahill_name

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3 thoughts on “Writing Tip of the Week: Use Spellcheck and Double-Check your Content

  1. I love this–I find I get so familiar with my own story that it basically reads itself in my head, but actually reading it out loud makes you refocus.

    As for my weakness’s (or is it weakness’?), they would be character development, right now my main problem is the inability to work on the follow up book–just some writers block I guess, but still annoying.

    1. Thanks for the response! I’ll see what I can do about coming up with some character development posts and possible writer’s block tips. I believe I’ve already done a post on re-gaining inspiration. Should be under the “Resources” tab if you want to give it a look and see if any of the suggestions help?

      And yeah, I find reading my work silently doesn’t work unless it’s been a really long time. I guess it’s just hard when it’s your own work?

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