Anyone Using Grammarly?
I must say the online writer's forums that let you post your stories have changed since I used them a decade ago. Now the moderators who used to just check to see that you hadn't broken one of the taboos of the forum rules, are now full-on editors checking punctuation, grammar, compound sentence structure. The whole works. The things that you typically expect from paid publishers, the volunteer staff on these forums are doing.
Now I have a love/hate relationship with people who offer suggestions on my stories. On the one hand, I recognize that my grammatical skills are not of the highest quality. Because of that, I haven't worried too much about the rules of commas and periods. And I have developed a personal style in the way I tell stories. The language that I speak with. I've had enough people read a sample or a short story of mine at my request, who proceed to tell me exactly how I've gone wrong and how THEY would do it.
(Note: I know most of the volunteers are saying "We're not editors, we just want your story to be the best it can be!" They are making all of the suggestions that editors I've dealt with did. And since they are the gatekeepers to allowing your story onto their site, you have to address the issues they raise.
On the other hand, I recognize that I definitely have a deficiency in the basics. What I might consider style (I am very bad on too many compound sentences) is sometimes just sloppiness. So getting off my high horse and re-learning those basic rules, and applying them correctly is in my best interest. I can't speak of the business of publishing now, but at the beginning of my writing, publishers bought my short stories outright, then had their editors change them to suit their needs without my input. For me, the important thing is the idea behind the story and not the minor issues.
This brings me back to my question. Has anyone used, or is using the writing software "Grammarly"?
My first observations are the software does save you a lot of time and headache trying to look up things the editor highlights. Especially hyphens and errors where the word is correctly spelled but the wrong word. I know sometimes it seems like no matter how many times I review a story, there's one thing I miss.
My second observation is that it's pricey. It's $144 a year as a monthly service. Not a purchased program. I know that's the way things are headed, but I don't like it.
My third observation is they hook you in with all the bells for your first story edit, then remove their suggestions for one of the biggest problems writers have, commas and compound sentences.
My fourth observation is that the free version, once downloaded is always on in the background, correcting your every comment or post by default. I'm not sure I like a program to be that much of a nanny or to be accessing every keystroke I do. I'm naturally paranoid about the unforeseen problems associated with software and this just screams, "Hack me!"
So, writers, have you tried this software and what are your thoughts?