June 13, 2013

A Macro for Line-Editing in Microsoft Word

Today at Gem State Writers, I'm talking about the What, Why, and How of Line Edits.

But here, I wanted to share (with permission) the excellent tool my husband programmed to assist with line edits.  He watched me spending hour after hour using CTRL+F to go through my list of potentially problematic line edit word list...and then programmed a button into Word that instantly highlights every one of these.

Line edits went much, much faster.  Here's the technical bits:

The list of words is easily customized.  It is a Visual Basic Applications script so it should work with all versions of Word, though how to set it up will be different for newer versions of Word. On the new version the Visual Basic Editor is in Developer tab.

June 6, 2013

K-Drama for the Epic Fantasy Reader

At least once a week, I read something on Twitter about TV that makes me want to respond "you really should be watching historical Korean dramas."  Frustrated with episodic stories that go nowhere? Historical k-drama. Longing for wide-sweeping, big-scope stories?  K-drama.  Want interesting female characters?  K-drama.  Lamenting there's no chance for tragedy?  K-drama.

I'm fairly new to watching this genre, but it explodes my epic-loving brain.  Sweeping stakes.  Politics that really...well, make sense as politics.  Often, novels and movies talk vaugely about "political power" or "influence," but the dramas show how people are power.

Really, the historical k-dramas utilize a whole series of tropes I'd never seen before.  The first historical k-drama I watched, I felt like I'd just discovered Robin Hood and King Arthur for the first time.  It's changed the way I think about fiction and storytelling.

And so, if you love epic fantasy...big, rolling stories that are worth every second...I've got a pair of reccomendations.

Faith.  A warrior travels forward in time, looking for a legendary doctor to save the Queen's life, and brings back a plastic surgeon instead.  This story is half-historical, set in the mid-14th century reign of King Gongmin of Goryeo -- a turbulent time where the king tries to assert Goryeo's independence from Yuan (China).  But there's also some fantasy elements -- a bit of time travel, and some combat magic.

This is an easy show to drop into.  Having someone from the modern world kidnapped into 1300's politics allows for a gentler learning curve.  For all the sweeping drama -- coups, military maneuvers, betrayals and manipulations -- I loved the occasional funny character moments that sneak in.  The king and queen's relationship here also gave me the epiphany that I don't hate romance...I just like a specific kind of romance, which this had in spades.  Literally, I jumped up and down and squealed like a broken saxophone when this married couple held hands.  One day, I hope I write a romantic plot line half as emotional.  Overall, this series is twenty-four episodes of goodness.