Well colour me silly

So recently, I had a brain wave. Yes in the shower were all good ideas are born it seems. When I revise and search filter words etc, I have to go through using hte find feature and search one at a time. The reason is I’m not a professional editor and step by step is the only way I can keep focused. Sure I spot other issues and other words as I go, but not enough. I skip over and am blind to others.  After more than a year of writing, editing and revising, I asked myself. “What if I could just change the colours of the filter words etc. in the entire manuscript instead of finding and searching one at a time?” Huh. What a great idea. Then all the words I need to look at would stand out all at once.

I mosey over to my computer, once dried and dressed, and I employ my best friend google and low and behold… yes. Yes, I can.

What? How is it I never thought of this sooner? Why have I struggled and toiled so long? Duh *forehead slap.  I am certain there are a few or many out there laughing their asses off at me, how on earth did I not know this was possible? That’s okay I know I’m not the only one and thus I’m sharing this newly discovered tidbit.

I’ve talked about filter words, ing’ing, the over use of –ly so I wont dwell on what words need to be addressed, but how to find and change them? Thus far, I’ve been using the “find” feature to seek out and destroy each filter word or –ing one at a time. Now I can (and I’m stoked to try this on my second manuscript that is waiting ever so patiently for some TLC) highlight all the troubles and in one or two read-through’s address them all at once. Squeeee.

This instruction is from PCmag.com

Yes, you can. Here are the steps:

1. Press Ctrl-H, and click the More button in the Find and Replace dialog.
2. Click the Format button, and select Font.
3. Select the color to be changed—leaving all else blank—and click OK.
4. Click the Replace with box, and repeat steps 2 and 3 to select the new color.

5. Click Replace All.

The default color for text is Automatic, which shows as black on a white background. If you want to change some colored text to black, select Black rather than Automatic in the list. Then if you need to change it back, you can still distinguish it from the rest of the text. If you were to change it to Automatic, there would be no way to change it back.

**My only caution is after each one changed ACTUALLY click back to the text or page to start again otherwise things might not go as planned.

So, there are now more options. (Aside from colour you can underline, italic or even change font. This wouldn’t work for me since changing it all back later might cause formatting issues)

  1. Make all things you’re searching for one stand out colour
  2. Make all filter words the same colour, make all ‘ing’ the same colour, make all ‘ly’ the same colour etc. etc.
  3. Make each word etc. a different colour in order of priority. I red top down to blue least important.

For this final edit, I didn’t pick a strategy and just went with random bright colours since I don’t have a lot left. On the next book I will definitely use strategy #3 and plan it out.

Now this doesn’t mean I have to get rid of all of the filter words or -ings or -ly’s or whatever it is I need to fix, but it will allow me to find the areas that need to be repaired. My wordy sentences or the ones that are in the wrong POV.

Once I’m done I simply “select all” and make the text black again. The uber nerd in me is stupidly excited about this treasure of a discovery. After a little time, it is easy to see that this newly discovered (To me) method is the way to go.

My advice about using colour to find filter words etc.
Why the hell wouldn’t you? I will from now on and forever more, use this. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am about this. (And I’m a tad embarrassed it took so long to figure out.)

-Sheryl

Other related posts worth checking out

No “Filter Word” Parking Here

Tag! You’re it.

Are you inging too?

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 Treasure

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Something stinks!

The human body is a complicated contraption. Writing about it can be just as complicated… or not. I find people tend to avoid the bits and pieces that make us uncomfortable in real life. But why? I don’t always think of it at the time, but when I’m revising/rewriting scenes I try to remind myself to make people more human, more relatable and therefore interesting.

There are some things our bodies do that may or may not be received well by anyone.  One in particular can be raunchy and unpleasant. I’m talking specifically about tooting, farting or flatulence. Whatever you want to call it or refer to it as. The expelled stinky gasses from the body are a common occurrence and everyone knows it.

Flatulence is necessary to the wellbeing of the body. It can be involuntary or manipulated to be voluntary.

There are cultural rules/taboos, social rules/taboos and even personal rules/taboos regarding letting one out of the gates.

Breaking wind can provide plenty of opportunity and fodder for storytelling. From the accidental squeaker to the purposefully silent and deadly, flatulence can and will always be a source for reaction/conversation/embarrassment. I’m not ever going to write this in every scene or even more than once maybe twice if it’s funny for character/relationship development or story advancement (Kudos to anyone that can make a fart plot development without being utterly silly).

I know this can easily fall under the ‘poo-poo humor’ category but if you think about it as I have, it happens in real life and the after effects can be dramatic.

Reasons for involuntary flatulence
Diet – long term and short term

Illness
Age – yes I went there, either the very young or very old don’t care, lack control it or don’t feel it.
Exercise 
Stress
Nervousness
Held in too long due to circumstance

Reasons for voluntary or forced flatulence
Being silly/joking around

Being gross
Being rude
Wanting to clear out an area
Wanting to annoy/gross out someone
Need to get it out before a big/long meeting 
Relief 

Now if I’m going to go to all this trouble to talk about why’s and how’s I suppose I should list a few types.

Types of flatulence
Trumpeter
– loud and proud

Squeaker – the pffft with a small itty-bitty noise
Silent and stealthy – nobody knows and nobody smells
Silent but deadly – I don’t think there is a human alive that hasn’t had this one happen to or around them
The forever – loud or not it is like a deflating balloon
The Popper – one or many, its little pop’s
The snap – uh… it sounds like a snap
The What?  The one that sounds like someone asking “What?”
The gust – sounds like the butt is just blowing air 
The what-the-hell-did-you-eat?  – Self explanatory
Sickly – When you know someone’s just not feeling up to snuff
Shart – when a little poo sneaks out with it. Yeah this is as gross as it sounds for everyone involved.

I’m sure there are more and other names for them, but I’ll move on. So how does one make this part of a story? Good question.

Dale and Amber snickered and whispered behind their hands.
“Go.” Amber nudged Dale off her desk. He sauntered over to Rachel’s desk. She frowned at Dale.
“Morning Rachel.”
“Oh good morning Dale. How are you?” She forced a smile and glanced down the isle of cubicles. Right on cue, Sharon was making her way toward her cubicle.
“Same as always.” He paused, the soft sound of air escaping his rear made her fist tighten on the scissors. 
“Must you? Every dammed time?” Rachel set the scissors down before they wound up in Dales offending cheek.
“Just a bit of payback for snitching to Sasha.”
“It was months ago and an accident you ass.”
He laughed as he walked away. Moments later Rachel’s crush stopped at her desk. 
“Good morning Rachel.” Sharon wrinkled her nose. “Are you feeling okay today?”
A cursory glance at Dale and Amber reminded her of her place. “Um sorry, I…” 
“I hope you feel better.” Sharon moved on quickly casting a giggling Amber and a tittering Dale a narrow eyed glance.

 Valery bit her bottom lip regretting the taco lunch with Anne earlier. Her gurgling stomach made her cringe as Jackson opened his door. He threw his arms around her and hugged tightly. Valery’s eyes flew open as she passed gas loudly.
“Oh my god.” She pushed away and covered her flushing face.
He laughed and pulled her hands away. “Now that you’ve popped the fart cherry and set the bar so high, I get a free pass or two when I rip one out.” He pulled her inside and closed the door.
Valery’s mouth fell open then she laughed. “Jackson you are one digit hotter for being so cool about that.”
He took her jacket and shrugged. “Meh, you’re one digit hotter for being so dammed cute and embarrassed about it.”

Flatulence doesn’t have to be immature poo-poo humor. Sometimes when a person is too perfect or seems to well put together like Valery a little embarrassment can go a long way to making her feel more human to the reader.

My advice about cutting the cheese.
I wouldn’t say to overdo it, but if you need something to break the ice or lessen the tension or even create some, there is nothing better than a little stink cloud to change things up.

-Sheryl

Other posts worth a toot

Did you smell that?

Eating emotions

Setting the mood

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