#32 Check grammar

Are you sitting down? Yes? Good. You may want to have a stiff drink or some smelling salts at hand too. You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting to this blog lately and the reason that I haven’t had many tips on how to avoid writing is that I’ve actually been doing some writing.

I know. It’s shocking, isn’t it? I’ve actually done so much writing that I’ve finished a rough draft of my second novel which I have given the working title of The Story of James and David Part 1 The Anniversaries. Not very catchy I know but it’ll do for now. It’s written and I am following the advice of Stephen King and not looking at it for seven weeks before I start re-writing.

Next week I’ll start novel number three which I feel is going to be a post-apocalyptical diary type affair, let’s see.

In the meantime, the first novel, Living with Saci, has been sitting in the slush pile of the fourth agent to whom I sent it.

I haven’t only been working on the second novel the last few months. Following the advice of a friend, I re-initiated my association with youwriteon.com a website where writers can submit their work for review at the price of reviewing the work of other authors. So far, I have submitted the first fifteen chapters of Living with Saci and read a great deal of work of other authors which has varied from very good to very poor.

One of the things I was shocked to discover once reviews of my own work started to arrive was how many simple grammatical mistakes the reviewers were discovering. I think that, as an author, you get so close to the text that you lose the ability to spot even the most obvious of mistakes.

In an attempt to deal with this I have installed the Grammarly app to the browser on my desktop and, although it doesn’t work on Google Docs, I am able to correct the text using the app when I paste it into youwriteon.com. In the first fifteen chapters, there were roughly 200 of what the app described as critical errors, let alone the hundreds of more advanced errors which are revealed if you buy the premium edition.

At least I’ve discovered another good excuse for avoiding writing. And I used it to check the grammar in this post too.

About M J Dees

M J Dees lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife, daughter and two cats. He has written three novels, Living with Saci, The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David, Part One, and When The Well Runs Dry. He is currently editing the fourth and writing the fifth. You can sign up for more information on his book launches at http://eepurl.com/cTnAD5 and receive a free copy of Living With Saci.
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