As a writer of romance novels I create people, characters, that I hope jump off the page for my readers. That can only happen if I make them believable and lovable. How do you think a reader, or yourself would feel if a thirty year old educated businessman spoke like a nineteen year old surfer using poor grammar? I’m not saying surfers have bad grammar, so no offense anyone. Or if a teacher didn’t know where to put a comma or misspelled a word? My characters would get annoying really fast and the last thing I want is for my readers to get annoyed and put down my book before finishing it.
So, how can a writer avoid all these costly grammar and punctuation errors? Edit, edit, edit. How many writers out there enjoy editing? I sure don’t. That is the one part of publishing my work that I absolutely despise. But to become a published author it is a necessary evil.
One day, while I was procrastinating – I was supposed to be editing my current novel, because it won’t get published until all edits are done – I checked my email, because hey, something important may have come in during the last two minutes, I saw an email about a company called Grammarly. I’d never heard of it so I decided to do some research, isn’t that what all good writers do? Lots of research. After reading a bunch of reviews I decided to give it a try, but I didn’t want to try my own novel on it first so I told my writer husband all about, he’ll try anything. Just as I thought, the very next day he told me he had tried it. He sent me some of his work to run through the program and I was pretty amazed.
It caught quite a few grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Also phrases and sentences that didn’t make sense. As well as a few other things I didn’t quite understand, something about modifiers, articles and faulty parallelisms. Obviously, I’m not a grammar girl. The only thing I wasn’t entirely fond of was the plagiarism checker. How many books do you think have the same phrases? Well, Grammarly picks up on it so well, I got a bit annoyed and turned it off. That is the beauty of the program, you can check what you want. After running a piece of his manuscript through and making the corrections suggested, I read through it again. There were still a few stray errors but nothing I couldn’t handle.
To all the writers out there, while this is a great program that I will use again, we will still have to edit our manuscripts. However, Grammerly takes some of the pain out of editing.
p.s. I ran this post through Grammarly and it found 15 errors. Can you find all 15?