This is a repost from April 2008 … Randy Ingermanson mentioned how handy this technique can be in his latest Advanced Fiction Writing E-Zine, and I thought I’d share how to do it for free.
So read on … the following tip will not only IMPROVE YOUR WRITING, but also IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY!
As part of the 2008 Genesis contest, one of my judges pointed out that I used the word “was” way too often. Instead I should have chosen better verbs.
So I took my work in progress and I used the find dialog to locate all the offending instances of “was” (using the “highlight all items found in” option), and then highlighted them green. When I scanned my document, I found the judge was right! The little weasels had snuck into my text and had hidden themselves everywhere!
Fixing these existing instances is one thing … I can do that as I revise the first draft. But how to prevent them in the future—that is the question!
I tried to mentally catch myself as I wrote, and found it very difficult. The little buggers just wanted to pop out of my fingers and jump onto the keyboard!
So here is the solution I found. There is a way in Microsoft Word to auto-highlight offending words as you type them. REALLY!
Click the Read More button below to see the tutorial on how I did it.