Spelling + Proofreading

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So, this chapter was requested specifically by someone who wanted advice on how to catch spelling errors throughout their story! I might do a whole chapter about proofreading and editing processes in general, but for this requester particularly, I'm going to focus on spelling and proofreading tips.

Now, spelling is one of those core things in stories. I think I speak for most readers when I say that if I see lots and lots of spelling errors in stories, I find it really hard to continue reading. Heck, when I was a kid, I would read through restaurant menus to spot those pesky little errors, and you bet your donkeys that I wouldn't order any meals that were spelt incorrectly.

But also. I make spelling errors all the time by accident. I always write "every" instead of "ever" for some reason. Help me. I will never have a happily every after.

Now, sometimes, spelling can be subjective -- be careful of that! Realise and realize, colour and color, theatre and theater, Eminem and M&M. The list goes on. It's important that, if you come across a 'spelling error', you make sure it is actually a spelling error before you yell at the author.

Before we launch into the advice, let's go through some examples!

Find the incorrectly spelt word in the following sentences (that are purposely bad):

1. On the morning after it rained, it was rainy outside and I frowned at it being so rainy all the time. I chuckled to myself. Darn whether!

2. I tripped over a large pocket of hydrogen atoms on my kitchen floor and bashed my jaw into the corner of my bookcase, which had three shelfs of books and was made of faux wood veneer. After I applied cold compresses and stanched all the bleeding and bruising, I drove to school, but they must have moved the school building across the city. I chuckled to myself. Darn school moving people!

3. At the end of the day, Harry Styles came to walk me to my car. His chest was no where to be seen. Probably at Banana Republic or out hunting mountain lions again. I chuckled to myself. Darn chest!

How'd you go?

Anyways, whether you are a spelling bee whiz or you are struggling to work out there vs their vs they're, here are some tips that will hopefully help you!

Please note: some tips will not help you. As people, we all have different learning styles. We all do things differently, and it's important to recognise that some of these tips just won't work for you!


1. Play some word-related games!

Find a friend (or make some imaginary ones up in your head if you're desperate like me), and force them to play some games with you! Instead of sudoku, snakes and ladders, or strip-your-clothes-off-truth-or-dare-that-only-really-appears-in-wattpad-novels, focus on some good ol' word games.

I suggest Scrabble (there's even a similar one on messenger that you can play virtually), crosswords (which also help with vocabulary), and the new but insanely popular Wordle. It exposes you to more words in a fun way!

2. Movies/Shows with some subtitles!

Watch your favourite film or some addictive shows, but turn on some subtitles! It'll help you see the spellings of some words that you may never have heard of before, or it'll consolidate knowledge you already have. Trust me. Pretty Little Liars didn't just make me think that teacher x student relationships could work; they also taught me how to spell 'mechanism'.

3. Read!

Duh. You see more words. You are forced to look up words you're unfamiliar with.

I think I've yelled at my readers to read more books in every single chapter of this story. I am so sorry. But also, I'm not.

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