The Writer’s Chronicles – Episode 3

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What Your Spell Checker Misses but Doesn’t Tell

Yes, I know that the standard, default spell checker on your word processors is the only good thing about those word processors other than their existence – relax, we won’t talk about the formatting glitches and dependencies in this post. But, we all will agree that none of the automatic or system-driven spell check processes is a 100% accurate.

Here’s a list of the mistakes that my or your, spell checker doesn’t catch:

  • Dangling truth: I start the list with my favorite, “Siya walked her dog in a short skirt.” Wait, what? Who did you say was wearing a short skirt?
  • All spellings correct: Yes, it is possible that what you might have written is correct yet incorrect. Consider the following fragment from an email I accidentally sent the last week. I swear that as soon as I had hit the Send button, I had seen that mistake. But, alas! Only if I could trigger a recall for that email:
    “We would appreciation frequent communication regarding…” The word should have been “appreciate”.
  • Missed words: I will ask, “Could you catch the change of tense in the previous point?” Some of you might say, “Well, No. We were busy reading a of” Now did you catch it? But, did the spell checker catch it? Let that remain a question for now.
  • Your preferences: It is true that the spell checker does check for the grammar, but it doesn’t consider some of my writing standards. Here is my logic: “Whether” by itself is a question, so there isn’t any sense in writing “or not” after it to list all possibilities. So, “Just tell me whether it is possible” should be enough.
  • A tensed situation: There is this concept of parallel construction. But, before we talk about that, let us talk about the concept of tenses. How about keeping only one sense of time all along your write-up. People used to follow this principle a long time ago. They still do. But, who cares! Even if I changed the tense, would the spell checker check it? Did the spell checker check it? It didn’t, right? See!
  • Glaring inconsistencies: Did you notice that I used both “here is” and “here’s” in this post? If you did, probably I should hire you instead of my default spell checker. The point is, the spell checker cannot catch such inconsistencies in your write-up. So, if you use different (but acceptable) spellings of words or their acceptable shortened forms, the spell checker will not catch that. This isn’t exactly a mistake but a miss is a miss

The good news is, there is always a solution to your problems. In this case, the solution is to use either a good spell checker, like Grammarly (it is sad that they didn’t pay me for their advertisement) or another pair of human eyes to run a quick check for you.

May the spellings be with you. Happy writing.

The Writer’s Chronicles – Episode 2

[Almost] Lunch

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The Writer’s Chronicles – Episode 1

The Writer’s Chronicles comics are out now!

The Writer’s Chronicles is about the everyday life of the protagonist, Knight Writer. The writer is a reflection of you and me, the everyday heroes. Here is the life of a writer who chuckles away to the writing glory… much like us. The stories are indicative and do not intend to harm the sentiments of any one of any religion.

The Interview

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That One Fear Every Writer Has

When I look back at the design of how I grew up, I realize I was destined to be a writer. When I was young, I read a lot. I would play my favorite character by tying my bath towel around my neck. I would jump from one chair to another playing that character. I would punch pillows sending them from one corner to another of my tiny yet seemingly limitless room. I would envision a LASER beam emitting from my eyes and when I thought no one was looking at me, I would nudge off action figures, who played the villains, and tiny cars off the shelf.

When I grew up into my adolescence, I began writing fiction; stories that were about how the hero within me, or the fictional characters I sketched, would go around the town helping those in need. When I grew a bit more, I began writing poetry. Though I knew that I was [really] bad at it – my poems, like someone would say, “sucked” – I continued attempting to write. In fact, some of those came up to be rather good. Two of those poems, out of my occasional attempts, are on this blog. But, down the age bracket, I realized that at heart I was more a writer than a poet. And, that impression has stayed. Until the end of the first half of my twenties, I had experienced a lot – got my masters, earned a job, and lost a job – but I was still firm that I would make a career in writing. That phase, now I realize, meant a lot.

When I look back at this little journey of my graduation from my liking for writing to becoming a published author, I realize that there is one thing that I have been doing, consistently, over the years. This post is about that thing. Back in the days when I was still figuring out my survival in this industry, I was busy reading. Writing, I knew, was like every other industry where the research leads to information, which leads to insights, which in turn leads to wisdom. And, my reading kept me with the “competition”, so to say. I kept reading so that I could continue to understand how the English language evolved over time, and how and what people wished to read (and hopefully know). While this all appeared to be good, I gradually realized that the more I read, the more I ended up losing who I was as a writer. That’s dangerous because the readers wish to read the writer within me. After all, how many of us know that we can write until the day we sit to write? Of the ones who sit to write, how many realize what’s their writing style? Of the ones who know what their writing style is, how many get to write what they wish to? That proportion drops ever so disproportionately.

Readers wish to know you by your writing style. Readers wish to read you by reading what you wrote. This one thing is imperative to the writing industry. But, the trouble with research – like I said in the previous paragraph – and reading is that gradually you begin to write like the ones who you often read. This is that one thing every writer fears: either of not finding their own writing style or of losing it in favor of those styles they think their writing resembles. I am happy that I have a style of my own; a style that only I can have. This writing style is unique to me – much like most of the good writers who I know in person. Each of those writers who I admire has a style of their own. Amongst the things that you should keep in mind if you wish to step into this industry, or are enjoying your stay in here, is – without a doubt – this one that I feel I would fear to lose.

I hope that this post helps you find the writer and their style within yourself. Happy writing.