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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Searching for the Wild Card

Do you know what a wild card is? That's okay, neither did I. But Gary Corby does! And he has an excellent post on wild cards, searching for wild cards, and using wild card searching to edit your manuscript. It's okay, you can thank him later.

The intro to Gary's fabulous post. Go read the rest of it on his blog:
Let's say - to pick a random example, not that this would ever happen to me - that your dear agent thinks you have too many verbs of the form was ---ing. Was walking, was looking, was defenestrating, and so on. How to find them?

You can read through the whole ms. Which will take forever. Or you can search for was. This will cut the search time and you won't miss any, but you'll have to check 100 times more was words than you want. You might think to search for "ing ". Because you can have spaces in searches. But like searching for was, there'll be a lot of wasted time...


  1. Ah, wildcards! I use a database at work where we often have to search using wildcards. Thanks for the link!

  2. I'd never even heard about them until this post. But it's good to know.

  3. Okay that's just Dang Cool!

    (Haha, my word verification is a 'ing' word!)

  4. I'd heard of wildcards, but wasn't sure how to search for them. Thanks for the link.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Liana. I'm glad you found it helpful!