Hello World Out There World,
I have a lot of experience when it comes to writing in MS Word and I have just as much experience when it comes to writing fantasy/ fiction in MS Word. Sometimes it is a blessing to see that little red line but after a while, when you have names that aren’t normal or places that don’t exist being highlighted, it can be distracting.
So, what do I do?
Well, at first I ignored the red lines. Sure they were annoying but once I got in my mind that they weren’t worth focusing on them they faded into the background as I typed away on my drafts. What I didn’t know was once you hit too many unrecognized or “incorrect” words the program stops highlighting them. Word literally quits doing its job on making sure you spelled everything the way you were supposed to.
This is great for one reason – you don’t see those dizzying red lines anymore. The reason this isn’t so great – those errors that you are making aren’t being accounted for.
So, how did I fix this problem so I could have Spell Check continue doing its job while not hindering my writing process with suggestions that maybe I meant lion every time I typed Liora?
Simple, I added them to my dictionary.
The thing is you can click Ignore All, but this is only a temporary fix. If you type that word that you’ve typed 10,000 + times in your draft it is going to highlight that word as wrong all over again. If it is a character name, place, language, or what-have-you that you use on a regular basis add them to your dictionary. That way if you spell a character’s name wrong or add an extra letter to a name of a place it will highlight as wrong and ask you if you meant the word you meant to type.
This has helped me cut down time in my editing and makes my writing process run smoother because MS Word is now working for me, not against me. So, instead of it suggesting Liora should be Lion it says, “Did you mean Liora?” when I am typing so quickly that I mix up the I and O (Loira).
I have no idea if this will help you out or save you time, but someone last week asked what I do with spell check. You could disable that feature if you are brave enough to type without it, but most of my writing skills came from learning the correct spelling from that program. Back in grade 8 I was a horrible speller and it was my hours spent typing away with red lined work in MS Word that helped me improve my writing skills – in that sense I rely on the tool but at the same time I respect it.
Now, it is your turn. Let me know what hacks you use to cut down your editing or writing process in the comment section down below. I love to learn knew ways to approach the writing process and who knows, we could learn from one another.