Grammarly: The Backseat Writer I’ve Been Looking For


If you are a writer, you’ve been there. You finish up a marvelous, long chapter and sit back with a sigh of relief. You never dreamed so much creativity could be hidden inside just aching for the opportunity to burst out. Unfortunately, that is the easy part of writing a story. It’s the editing that will almost suck the life entirely out of you. At least, that’s how it is for me. I would prefer to take a fork and shove it into both eyes than edit my writing. I can go over a passage a hundred times and still miss the slightest of errors. Time and time again, I will email my mom a chapter with the feeling that I had nailed it perfectly, and she will send it back with fifteen different corrections.

I love to write, but utterly despise the editing process.

Enter Grammarly. (http://www.grammarly.com/) This is a grammar checking, punctuation fixing, synonym offering machine. I’ve been using it for a few months now and absolutely love it. You can download a free 7 day trial to check it out and see what all it has to offer. The software is integrated right into Microsoft Office, so it is readily available to check Word documents and emails with the click of a button. Grammarly offers six different styles you can chose from when you decide to check your writing. This program is suitable for students, fiction and non fiction writers alike, business, and all written projects in general. It will check grammar and spelling (Providing a detailed description of the problems it detects and instructions on how to fix them), suggest word enhancements, and also check for plagiarism.

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In a previous post, I mentioned how much I enjoy using Scrivener for my writing. (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php) Unfortunately at this time, Grammarly does not integrate with Scrivener, but I’m still hoping one day that will happen. What I’ve found is that I can use both programs together. I write in Scrivener, compile to a Word document, and then run the Grammarly check. I have dual monitors, so I keep my original on one screen, and the edited version on the other. I just scroll through the list of mistakes until each one has been corrected.

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There are three different pricing plans to choose from. The first one, which I have elected to go with, is $11.66 per month (Billed as one payment of $139.95). That covers one full year before I have to renew my subscription.

Another option is a straight monthly fee of $29.95.

And finally, there is an option to pay $19.98 per month (Billed as one payment of $59.95, a savings of $9.97/month) for a three month period.

I decided on the annual option because I know I will be writing for a long time, and the need for Grammarly will never go away. I would recommend downloading the 7 day free trial to see everything the software has to offer.

If you are searching for a self-editing program that is easy to use and extremely helpful, Grammarly is for you.

Next week: Critique Groups. Constructive or Destructive?

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Have a blessed day,

Chris

Why I Like Scrivener


I remember writing half of my first novel on a typewriter. That was only twelve years ago, but at the time, I could not afford a computer. It makes me laugh to think about it now. It was an electric typewriter, so I wasn’t entirely buried in the Stone Age where I was forced to chisel my letters out by hand, but it is still hilarious when I imagine that in my mind. You should have seen my face the first time I sat down at our new computer and started to use Microsoft Word. I felt as if I had found a long-lost family member. Oh my, I was happier than a turkey who woke up on Black Friday.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I discovered Scrivener. ($40 on their website: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php)

When I found Scrivener, Word became that old toy which gets shoved into a box and stored in a dark corner of the attic. The one that Grandma finds several years later covered in cobwebs and dust, and then adds to the family yard sale. There are so many reasons why I prefer to use Scrivener, but I will only list the top three in this post.

1) Corkboard.

This amazing feature allows me to view a brief description of each chapter with a single glance. If I forget what a chapter was about, I can refer to the Corkboard with one click.

2) Compile into any format.

With Scrivener, you can compile one or more chapters, specific sections, or the entire story into various formats which include: .DOC, .PDF, .EPUB, .MOBI, etc.

3) Organization.

On the left hand side, there is a marvelous panel that shows me the entire story. With one click, I can effortlessly jump to any chapter I need. Also, if I decided to change things around, I can move chapters up and down as I chose with the click and drag method.

With its ease of use and many advanced features I did not even get into, Scrivener has become the word processing option I turn to first. At $40, I believe it is well worth the price. There are so many features I didn’t mention in this post, and I’m sure there are things that I have not even used or am aware of that are possible with this program. You can also use the product for 30 days before you decide whether or not you would like to make a purchase.

Thanks for reading,

Chris