I'm busily editing and revising the draft of book #7 in the Nathan Hale Parker series. In the process, I often find sentences that raise the question, "Who wrote THAT?!!"
The sentences are grammatically correct, every word is spelled correctly, and they fit with the story line. But I couldn't possibly have written THAT! And certainly not THAT way!
Did autocorrect do it? Or some virus? Probably. I'm sure that as soon as I close the document for the day, something invades my manuscript, randomly rewriting entire sections.
Well......perhaps not. Perhaps I am actually guilty of creating that awkward phrase, or choosing that questionable wording. So, I dutifully re-write the phrase, the sentence, the paragraph, the page, or maybe even the entire chapter. When that still doesn't feel right, start over.
For me, this is the YUCKY part of writing.
But eventually, it begins to feel better. Yet I know that once this "heavy" editing phase is done, there's still another round (and another, and....). When it's over, hopefully, all of the THATs infesting the flow of the story will be gone. I can dream, can't I?
It would certainly help if there were radar or sonar or "wordar" that went BZZZZZT! and boldly pointed to each and every one of the THATs. And let's add yellow highlights with bold pop-up windows that scream FIX THAT!!!!
To the best of my knowledge, the current state of the art in computer word-processing technology does not encompass an application that can automatically discover, or recommend corrections to, the phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters of a manuscript that might, in the opinion of the reader of the manuscript, be considered inappropriate, politically incorrect, awkward, or similarly deficient in quality.
Wait a minute!! Who wrote THAT?!!