Microsoft Word and Quotation Marks

I’m dealing with a seventy thousand word manuscript right now and I was having some trouble with quotation marks. For some reason I decided to change all my smart quotes to normal straight quotes. The document stayed that way for a while, and then I was editing it and realized that I hated the straight quotes. So I did a find and replace, looking for ” and replacing with “. (Those should both be straight quotes.) It looked good at first, but then I noticed that the quotes at the end of my sentences were all going the wrong direction.

Then I spent a couple hours trying every way imaginable to fix them without having to fix every sentence by hand.

I failed.

In the end, I copied my text into a fresh document, did a find and replace of ” and ” and it magically worked. My hypothesis is that a combination of the auto-correct settings, my large (ish) manuscript and track changes caused the issue where find and replace wouldn’t fix them like it always has in the past. The downside is that it completely blew up my track changes history, but I have various copies saved with older versions, so it’s not a big deal.

In related news, I’m working on The Ghoul Hunter’s Apprentice this weekend. Just when I thought it was done, I received some AMAZING feedback from a member of my writing group, and it’s inspired me to take a big machete to a number of the opening chapters. My darlings, they are a dying.