Sunday, June 17, 2012
Today I wish I was perfect, and probably tomorrow, too
Besides the fact that I write recursively and therefore edit constantly as I write, I am now on my fourth line edit of this work. I can say that turning on the feature that checks grammar and mechanics in a word processing program can be the most annoying and beneficial experience. I found myself examining nearly every sentence and defending or correcting innumerable aspects of my writing. Frequently, the program would highlight a word or two and state "if you are using this to mean...., then you are correct. But if you mean...., then...." I can't say how many times I said, "Can't you tell?" Every once and a while I was glad it did not let a single questionable word by, as I had in fact used a word incorrectly.
Dialogue can play a large part of a fiction work, and in an effort to sound like the genuine article, my characters often speak in phrases or are not necessarily grammatically correct. So I was reminded on a regular basis that I had fragments of sentences or slang where I intended them to be. This still was a benefit as I noticed that some of my characters did this more often than others, and I had the opportunity to decide if this was a characteristic I wanted for the individual or if it was too heavily used.
The fine tooth comb that I am using now gives me a headache, but not using it would be worse than a headache. So off I go again scraping each sentence free of error. This is one of those times when I really wish I was perfect.