Spellcheck Hell or Highwater

My critique partner and I are working on new novels with the usual thrills and chills! Yesterday I received her gentle rant concerning a problem fraying the nerves of writers world wide. Spellcheck.  Here, in part, are her comments:

“I’m literally a walking dictionary. Words that I’m familiar with, or their derivatives, don’t even show up on Spellcheck or are marked as wrong.”

Spellcheck in Word is different in Scrivener in iPage ad infinitum.  Some spellchecks are US English, others British English – on and on. So, you may have to spellcheck in several softwares or just go with your gut.thinking-in-mirror-image

“Thank goodness for my 1978 dog-eared paperback Roget’s Thesaurus, yellowed-pages held together by an old rubber band. It is still the best writing resource I own.”

While pondering this spellcheck mess, I stumbled on a fantastic thesaurus lurking on Scrivener.


Go to thesaurus. com and check it out. Not only does it have more synonyms that the Word thesaurus, but it has sorting options that I’ve never seen before except on clothing and shoe buying sites.

“I would much rather NOT have spellcheck’s screaming red lines pull me away from my initial intent and focus.”

Turn it off. Word, iPage or whatever you are using should have a toggle to toast the offending red lines.
How do you feel about spellcheck? Is it an invasive, dull-witted pain in the butt or the saving grace for your writing?

Change of View

Synopsis Update:

How do you see your novel? My synopsis was beginning to look like this:frozen-brainstorm

I was just about to buy a copy of Scrivener. But – I stumbled on something else. Another Literature and Latte product called Scapple.

Since I’m still creating the synopsis, I needed a way to see, at a glance, synopsis ideas, path map, brainstorming. Yes, I know many writers do this brainstorming on paper, but once ideas start to flow there’s no way my hand can keep up with my head.  Until I tried Scapple, I was hesitant to use keyboard and screen. Drawing software is clumsy and Word is impossible. But Scapple is amazing. All you do is click on the blank page and new bubble comes up. I’m in heaven. I started with my two main characters, built around them, took them down the path with its twists and terrors  and ended up almost at the end. I have more synopsis grinding ahead, but it’s wonderful to see my ideas as part of a cohesive whole. Check it out.

Scapple png art

With Scapple creating new notes, linking them with arrows, adding color, stacking  them and changing  background shapes is easy! (Yikes, I sound like a cheesy late night TV advertisement.) Move notes from Scapple directly in Scrivener’s binder or freeform corkboard!  Print the document to a single pages or across multiple pages!

This simple and elegant software  is available for under $20.00 MAC version.

I’m using the free (until Sept. 30th) beta version for PC.

I’m excited about this because I could not see my story line in my head. I’m not sure why. Maybe my surly muse is messing with me again. But, I found a way around him. With Scapple, ideas poured out.

Try it. Maybe you just need a change of view.

How do you brainstorm? Any tips or warnings for the rest of us?

Writing under the Super Moon

Finally, I thought of something. My next novel? I hope so.super-moon-2012-mount-hamilton-california_l At this point, I’ll take any idea I can get.

My surly muse touched me briefly and ran like hell. In the last two days, I’ve named my two main players and character sketched them using Scrivener. No mean accomplishment for an Insecure Writer and Scrivener fumbler.

The happiest person in this scenario is my patient husband who listens to my endless rants and wails about the wax and wane of creativity. Our literary strength ebbs and flows, whether we like it or not. I’m coming to grips with that now – sort of.

fly-me-to-the-supermoon-500th-photo_lSo, in the light of the Super Moon, I tentatively begin the insane dance of writing a novel again. I’ve posted my What I Learned Writing my First Novel paragraph near the monitor,  and I’m armed with the Mistakes I Won’t Make Again list.

What’s on your second novel list?

photos from http://foter.com/

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