Creative Writing Tip Ctrl + F

According to a Google study 90% of people don’t know how to use CTRL+F to locate a word in a document or on a web page.

Being one of the 10% that DOES use CTRL+F will make a world of difference in your writing and editing.

ctrl f
CTRL+F is to the creative writer what a spade is a gardener: it lets you whisk out the pesky weeds that pop up unbidden in your beautiful prose lawn.

In any piece of writing, fiction or non, it is easy to unconsciously repeat words or phrases. Our brains like repetition. If you’ve used a word once it will lurk in your head looking for a chance to get on the page again.

This is true of ideas, too. While editing my Oregon wine country book ‘Vine Lives’ I caught myself using similar descriptions in different chapters. A quick CTRL+F keyword search showed where the repetitions were and gave me a chance to find a more graceful, original way to make my point.

Next time you’re fine-tuning a piece of writing, read through once and jot down notable adjectives, ideas and phrases. Then do a CTRL+F search to make sure you aren’t accidentally overusing them. Your writing will be smoother and livelier for it.


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