1. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Word frequency as a spell checking tool

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Brindy, Jul 4, 2016.

    I have read and re-read my manuscript several times, and maybe a few more. Chapter by chapter, out loud. It has been through 6 alpha readers and 4 beta readers. It should be getting pretty close to being right.

    Tonight, I decided to run it through a word frequency program, to see whether there were any words I should focus on, (this is after looking at the thread on using Very, and a few more words after that.

    Looking through the words I have only used once I found two occasions where I have incorrect spellings of one of my main characters. How can so many people have missed this?

    I would never have expected this to be a side-issue of checking word frequency, but because the words are not in sentences, I see the words for what they are rather than reading them as they should be. It's going to take a while, but I am going to work through the list to see what else I can find. Seems I'm not quite there yet!
     
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  2. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    Good information. I'll have to remember this.

    The short story I had self-published on kindle proved I can't totally trust my or anyone else's eyes. I had read it dozens of times, at least 5 other people had read it for me, and I even had my son read it out loud to me. Thought it was perfect. I published it, downloaded it to my kindle, and then listened to it. I was amazed at the number of typos I heard; though instead of through, tow instead of two, etc.

    I think as we're reading, our minds know what the word should be and replaces the wrong word with the right one without us always catching it. "She walked through the door." You know it's supposed to be thRough, not though and that's what you see.

    However, the robot voice on the kindle can't be fooled like that. I've decided this will be a check I use on myself from here on out as well.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  3. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    This is a great tip... thanks.
     
  4. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    My English teacher in college told me to print papers out to read aloud. Seems that somehow your brain reacts differently to paper than to words on the screen, and it's worked for me. The key thing is, of course, you have to be very close to perfect or you're going to kill a lot of trees and make the people at Epson very happy....
     
  5. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I have already done that, and still managed to miss them. Oh, my brain hurts so much at the moment. My next step is to send it away and get a single copy of the book printed, cover included. This way I can check I am happy with the layout, how it looks, weight of paper etc. I will also be able to read it as a book and maybe anything else that may still be in there will jump off the page at me. I will still be able to make changes at this stage before I have a large print run done.

    At this rate it might, just might be available as a stocking filler this Christmas!
     

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