Friday, July 24, 2015

Happiness is finding a new tool in Word

I just finished typing my Sleeping Beauty short story into the computer (while rewriting along the way, of course, though it still needs copious amounts of work). It's longer than I expected! I thought it would be around 7,000 words. Maybe 10,000 if I was lucky. It's always hard to tell when you write the first draft in a notebook.
The story ended up being 12,727 words long, and forty-five pages! Woo-hoo!
There are several specific problems I'm going to tackle tomorrow before printing the whole thing out so I can go over it with a fine-toothed pen (not a comb, as some would suspect. I find that combs do absolutely nothing for my writing). One of these problems is as follows: today, about two or three chapters from the end, I decided to change one of my main character's names from "Ronan" to "Rory."
I dreaded the thought of searching for all of the "Ronan"s in the story. I dreaded the thought of switching them all to "Rory." I'd be sure to miss one. Or more. Probably more. Many more.
And then, my dad came to the rescue (thanks, Dad!). He showed me a glorious little button in the top right hand corner of Word called "Replace." When one clicks on this button, a box pops up that says "Find what: ______. Replace with: ______."
Problem solved! I typed in "Ronan" in the former space, and "Rory" into the latter space, and seconds later, lo! yet another box appeared! It said: "183 items changed."
Hip hip! Huzzah! Woo-hoo! Yay!
Now I have more time to focus on the actual story! And the characters! Yay! Yay... yay. Oh, great. Now I have to focus on the actual story. I have to work out all the plot holes and add foreshadowing and figure out if the beginning is too slow and if the story is Sleeping Beauty-ish enough. And don't get me started on all the problems the character's have.


  1. I love that little replace button. I used to play with it while editing Sew (changing Robin to Hot, Robert to Cool, and said to "oh" That sort of thing). I'd always undo it quickly, but I got some good laughs out of it.

    But it's a lifesaver when you decide to change a character's name.

  2. I need to see if my writing program has that feature, because it could save me a lot of problems, some I've run into and others I will be sure to.

    Aw, the joys of editing 8-P (You know chocolate really helps with that)

    1. I believe all word processors contain the feature (every one that I've tried has had it), just hit Control F, and then select the "replace" option.

  3. Find and replace is my favorite! Careful to still keep an eye out though, as sometimes it can backfire on you. Anne Elisabeth tells a story on her blog about changing a character's name from Lance to Claude, and doing Find/Replace and then later finding that it ALSO for some unknown reason, decided to change all forms of the world "glance" to "claude" as well, and the story was then full of people "gclauding" at each other and throwing "gclaudes" across the room... which is humorous, but also quite obnoxious!