I just received my weekly Grammarly update, and I thought that I would share this great program with my readers. During the days I am an IT instructor at a local private college, and one of the courses I teach is technical writing and grammar. Interestingly enough, I found that I had many questions about the correct format for many things, especially the dreaded semi-colon. Technical writing and writing for a novel use completely a completely different ruleset from each other; what works for IT jargon doesn't work well in a fantasy novel. (That was an example of a dependent clause, hence a semi-colon)
Grammarly has been an excellent tool for me in my writing. It reminds me when I am using too many passive sentences. If you want to know what is a passive sentence, basically if you can add 'by zombies' to the end of your sentence, it is passive. A book flows much better with the characters doing the actions instead of the surroundings acting upon the characters. It also allows you to choose the style of writing you are doing, from academic to short story and everything in-between and then changes the rules to match the document you are creating. (Funny story, I used Grammarly for this post, and it told me that 'passive' was an overused word and suggested inactive instead)
You can use it for online for free, and it will catch the more glaring issues. We chose to purchase the program, and now have it installed along with Word, making editing that much easier. They also send you a weekly report card, and honestly who doesn’t like scoring in the 95th percentile and higher! Do remember, it only suggests changes. We still have to go through and double check everything, as rearranging the structure of a sentence can change the intended meaning, but overall, it is a very worthwhile tool.
In this week's update, you can see that we have used it to review the complete second book, Sword of the Crown, which means that it is almost ready for you to read. Keep checking back to the website for our cover reveal and the official release date!