18/06/2015 um 14:56
writer’s little helpers
Writing is a tedious thing. Not only have you come up with adequate words to describe vivid pictures in your mind, no – after that, you’ll have to go over these words countless times to make them better. As a non-native speaker, I have my own special set of pitfalls to deal with on top of that. Instead of torturing my beloved alpha reader with weird grammar and sentences that don’t make sense, I recently employed the help of Grammarly, an online grammar checker. To my surprise, my grammar isn’t half as bad as I thought it would be, besides missing commas. Good grammar is one thing, but there’s a whole set of other issues a writer has to deal with:
- Repetition of words and phrases
- Too. Many. Adverbs.
- Too much flourish
- Passive instead of active voice
- Pacing issues
- Unvaried sentence length and structure
And that is something hard to catch when you edit your own writing – unless you’re willing to put it into a drawer and not look at it for a year, to read it again with fresh eyes. If you have money to spare, you hire a professional copy editor to hunt down this stuff for you. I decided to let a robot (1) do this menial task for now, and save the truck of money for other writing related things.
Of course, there are issues. Surprisingly though, I don’t use the word “could” as much as I thought I do. My hunch that I’m very much overusing “felt” was correct – ouch. I’m going to have a ton of fun come July, that’s for sure. And even if it hurts a bit to see what stupid rookie mistakes I sometimes make, in the end I’ll be a better writer. Nothing will be gained from pretending to be a special flawless snowflake.
(1) That magical creature listens to the name AutoCrit.