Editing Your Fantasy Novel for Homophones

‘He’ll heal your injured heel’ or ‘Those two are going to the store too.’

As someone fairly proficient in the English language, I still have problems with getting the spellings of words mixed up. Homophones are a great example. Homophones are words which are pronounced the same but have a different meaning. Even though I know the difference, my problem is when I write so fast that I don’t catch my error. So even though you may already know the difference between these common homophones, it is still a good idea to use your find and replace feature on Word to make sure you used them right. And also get your book edited.

There are some common ones which I found I may have misused:

* Their / There / They’re – Possessive as is ‘their book’ / Location as in ‘over there’ / Contraction of they are as in ‘they’re going to the store’ – They’re over there with their horses.

* Two/ Too / To – Number as in ‘two eyes’ / Also as in ‘he is going there too’ / Express a direction, motion, application, point in time, etc. as in ‘to the west’ or ‘he is going to saddle his horse’ – Those two are going to the store too.

* Week / Weak – Period of seven days as in ‘next week’ / Lacking strength as in ‘he is too weak to pick up the box’ – He has been really weak this week.

* Steel / Steal – Metal as in ‘a sword made of steel’ / To take as in ‘steal some jewelry’ – He was going to steal my steel knife.

* He’ll / Heal / Heel – Contraction of he will as in ‘he’ll do that again’ / To make better as in ‘I am going to heal your wounds’ / Part of the foot as in ‘he got a blister on his heel’ – He’ll heal your injured heel.

* Peak / Peek – Top of a mountain as in ‘the peak of the mountain rose above the clouds’ / To look furtively as in ‘he took a quick peek’ / With a quick peek over the top of the ridge, he could see the peak of the mountain.

* Meat / Meet – Food as in ‘I like to eat meat’ / To encounter as in ‘I’m glad to meet you’ – We should meet sometime and have some meat on the barbeque.

* Air / Heir – The substance we breath as in ‘he jumped into the air’ / Descendant as in ‘he is the heir to my throne’ – My heir took a breath of air.

* Allowed / Aloud – Give permission as in ‘he is allowed to do that’ / To speak loudly as in ‘he said that aloud’ / He said aloud, “You’re not allowed to do that!”.

* Baron / Barren – Title as in ‘Baron McCleod’ / Unproductive as in ‘the barren land’ or ‘she is too old and so is barren’ / Baron Snide’s wife is barren.

* Peer / Pier – An equal as in ‘he is my peer’ or to look as in ‘to peer at the sky’ / A wooden structure as in ‘he stepped off the pier and onto dry land’ – He was too short to peer the body upon the pier.

* Here / Hear – Location as in ‘I am here’ / Act of listening as in ‘I can hear you’ – I can hear you even though I am all the way over here.

* Throne / Thrown – A royal chair as in ‘King Rupert’s throne’ / To toss as in ‘he was thrown out of the bar’ – The jester was thrown off the king’s throne.

* Your / You’re – Ones own as in ‘this is your book’ / Contraction of you are as in ‘you’re doing it wrong’ – You’re the one who broke your watch.

* Wares / Where’s / Wears – Items for sale as in ‘he hawked his wares’ / Contraction of where is as in ‘where’s you’re mother?’ / Something on the body as in ‘the shoes he wears’ or to deteriorate as in ‘he wears out his gloves’ – He’s asking the merchant who wears a red hat, “Where’s the wares you were selling?”

* Solder / Soldier – This is not a homophone but it is one I found I often misspelled. The problem is I typed so fast I often forgot the letter i. Since solder is also a word, the spell check did not get it and I found I had armies of solders rather than soldiers. Keep these typos in mind along with your homophones. Not every misspelled word is going to be caught by the spell checker.

The perfect website you can use to find hundreds of homophones is http://www.homophone.com/. There is a box on the left which lets you look up homophones by letter. I strongly recommend that you go through each one and find homophones which you think you may have mixed up in your fantasy novel.


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