There is much talk about editing and editing software in author circles. What editing services do you need? Which program should you use?
I use both the free version of Grammarly for grammar check, the paid versions of Prowritingaid and Autocrit. Each does things a bit differently, so a writer ends up capturing a wider range of problems than if they simply used one program.
I’m happy with my set-up, but it’s hardly perfect. What do I mean by that? Take a look at the sentence below, from my WIP The Glass Volcano.
“Shiobe kept swiping at her forehead to clear it of sweat but still blinked it into her eyes.”
Here’s the suggestion of Grammarly.
Here’s the suggestion of Prowritingaid.
Truthfully, this emphasizes to me something I’ve believed for a long time; grammar rules are not immutable and can be manipulated at will. There is a variety of ways to say different things with clarity and flair, and each author has their unique perspective. That’s a feature, because if everyone wrote exactly the same, reading would be a boring slog.
I’ve read blog posts where writers and editors insist that this way is best, that way is best, and woe be to any author who writes how it best looks/sounds to them. It’s true, some writers need strict structure, but others don’t. And that’s OK. It adds variety.
I mean, if various experts don’t agree, why should we writers? English is malleable, and if we strictly follow rules, we’re going to end up with stilted stories that are technically flawless, and ultimately vapid and forgettable.
Who wants to read, “She walked into a room”, when they could have, “A fog carrying the stench of rotting plants engulfed her as she peeked around the door jamb. Slapping a hand over her nose, she gingerly stepped onto creaking floorboards.” (I say this, because have you ever watched a Grammarly commercial where they pare everything down to a cold and calculated sentence and claim that’s best?)
If you like what you write, your readers will, too. If you spend too much time tweaking it to the point it looses that special something, you’ll hate it, and so will your readers. Yes, spelling and grammar are important, but if the point gets across despite the absence of a comma, why complain?
Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy/science fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, the Wellspring Dragons book site and the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi.