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Tip Tuesday #58

Today's tip was sent in by Anne M. Leone who blogs at Critically Yours. Please read her fabulous tip for finding plot holes and then check out her blog!

I've found most plot holes in my manuscript involve minor characters. Because I'm so focused on my main character, I often forget things such as if a minor character has access to a car, is on a diet, or is angry with someone. One easy way to check for holes: in Word I can go to Edit--> Find, type in a character's name, and click in the box "Highlight all items found". Unfortunately, if I then click elsewhere in the document, this highlighting will disappear. To make it permanent I can highlight the text in a specific color using my toolbar. This makes it easy to skim through my text and focus only on a specific character and make sure her voice and actions are consistent. You could do this for all your characters and make each name a different color. When you are finished with your character revisions you can go to Edit--> Select All and change the highlighting to "None".

The highlight feature in Word is turning out to be a rather handy feature for writers! I think we've seen two or three other tips on how to use it in different ways. Thanks so much for this one, Anne! Very helpful.


  1. Great idea. I've used search & find, but not highlight. I'll have to check it out.

  2. Great idea. I'll try it next time.

  3. Thanks, everyone! And hanks so much for posting this, Casey! Hope it's useful to others.

  4. dude I LOOOOOOVE the highlighting tip!! It's SO money!

    Did you have a fabulous birthday???

  5. Gosh! I never even heard of it. What a fantastic tip. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Oh, great idea! Thanks, Anne and Casey! :-)

  7. Great idea! Thanks for this tip.


  8. Oo never thought about using highlighting for that before. Great idea!

  9. This is a great tip for finding holes - I'll have to remember this one for later, when I have more of my WIP written! Thanks!

  10. I've used this feature to search for repetitions of words, but never thought to use it to track characters. Great tip! Thanks. Very useful...

  11. Thanks for presenting another use of the "find" feature! I love that tool.

  12. Simple and effective and something I hadn't thought of trying. Brilliant idea. Thanks!

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