18/06/2015 um 14:56

writer’s little helpers

Abgelegt unter: Author's Notes
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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:

  • Clichés
  • 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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 13.32.40

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.

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