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Beware of Grammarly… (sort of).

Posted by Charles Gray on June 1, 2016

 

…And your spellcheck on word and any other automated software you have that claims to check your spelling and writing, especially if you are a fiction writer.  While these systems are good—and yes, I use them, they are not infallible. They are not based on a sapient being reading your work, but a computer program that is simply comparing your words and grammar to a list of rules, with no understanding of what you’re actually writing. Using them slavishly can result in letting inconstancies slip into your writing, losing the specific ‘tone’ you’re looking for in a characters dialogue or just leaching out any “jazz” from your writing.  Do not rely on them.

That being said? They can actually help you so long as you understand that they are not a tool to slavishly follow, but can be a way to alert you to possible problems in your writing. If Grammarly throws up a million blotches of red on your manuscript, it’s likely that you have a problem. If it throws only one or two, look at them and decide for yourself if they need to be changed.

But never just hit the button to accept the computers suggestion without making certain that it is the right suggestion.  Grammarly and applications like it can be an excellent tool—but never forget that they are only a tool, not a substitute for an author’s skill.

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