I’ve been working on my story for a while and it takes me through a lot of dialogue along the way. I’m trying to write a modern story with slang and lingo that people today understand. However my spellcheck picks it up and gives me the ‘correct’ recommendations. I don’t want my writing to sound unprofessional, but I don’t want my characters to sound like robots either. What should I do?
Annoying isn’t it? My best advice is to turn off the auto correct and spelling underlines while writing or they will drive you nuts. Turn them on when you’re done. They’re there to help, but they can be a major distraction and source of frustration. Honestly if you were to copy/paste a novel by anyone from Stephen King to Mark Twain, to Homer into your spellcheck, you’ll be amazed what comes up. I would place correct grammar on the back burner when it comes to dialogue. Keep an eye on it only when you need to. If you have characters that talk with accents, characters that use broken English, or even characters that just talk the way people do today, it’s going to set off a bunch of red (or in Word’s case, green) flags.
It may be an unfortunate truth, but people do not speak in grammatically correct ways. Often it’s a requirement that you do not write with proper grammar if you want to establish a character’s personality and differentiate it from other characters. If you don’t… you’re left with something that would resemble Star Trek The Next Generation if the entire cast were restricted to 6 or 7 Datas (Trust me, it would not be entertaining).
Hope this helps!
Readers, do you have additional advice for MandyMinx? What would you tell her to do in this case?
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There is actually a two-issue story in the comics where Q turns the crew into androids like Data. It explores how far Data’s come and how poorly the crew functions without their emotions. It’s not something you could do on a regular basis though. That’s why the Transformers have personalities.