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Posted (edited)

Because of my dyslexia,  I use a proofing/grammar tool when I write. I put work that is posted through it - believe it or not.

 

In an attempt to try to get it as clean as possible I will use the aid to check spelling, grammar, awkward or long sentences and filler words. (would/it/like/she/he - the aim is to reduce the amount I use them in a piece).  It will also highlight adverbs/Adjectives. which it tells me I should dump.

 

The thing that I am finding is that in some places it seems to strip the life out of the work particularly in relation to the descriptive narrative where I may describe a character's thoughts or reaction and when describing the surroundings.

I am interested to know if anyone else has experienced this and how best to get the balance between getting the work clean but keeping the work engaging?  

The knock on affect is that I am feeling like I am writing rubbish at the moment which is not conductive to writing. 😏

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shamrock
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Posted (edited)

Just because we writers seem to love metaphors...

 

Government agencies commission X-aircraft, just to learn how to do things in the future. The now-ancient X-15 let them learn how to go faster than sound. The current X-37B (Google it!! It's fascinating!!!) is a mysterious mini-space-shuttle-like spacecraft that the public still knows little about, after years and years of service. Auto companies produce "concept cars": special cars we'll never see on the road, with all kinds of amazing features.

 

Thing is, these will never go into mass-production; they're produced solely to learn all the things that can't be figured out ahead of time.

 

We writers have our own analogy: we call them early drafts.

 

There's no reason in the world to expect that our initial writing should look beautiful, any more than a rough-cut piece of wood, hewn out by a carpenter, should look like the piece of fine furniture that may or may not be extracted from it, someday.

 

We start out with rough, rough, rough wads of words, which are our own concept cars. They show us what might be possible, and teach us how to create new and better things. Even if a story is finished but doesn't seem wonderful, it was a valuable experiment: a feasibility study that helped us learn how the next work can be made better. It is never, never, never rubbish; it is always, always, always a valuable learning experience, if we see it and use it for what it is.

 

Any earlier work can probably be taken, like that rough-cut piece of wood, and finished and polished into something nice.Yet skilled artisans of all kinds know that each piece of craftsmanship requires more effort and patience than any non-artisan can imagine. 

 

In his own field, Woody Allen said it best: "Thank God the public only sees the final product!" While it may sometimes be frustrating to deal with all the intermediate steps, in some ways it's an amazing privilege to experience the long, detailed process that the public will never see.

Edited by Wes B
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Wes, those are beautiful analogies. Thank you

1 hour ago, Wes B said:

In his own field, Woody Allen said it best: "Thank God the public only sees the final product!"

Amen, brother. 

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Yes, Grammerly, Ginger and ProWritingAid are among some of them that I use for the same purpose, but the short answer is the suggestions they make are sometimes for the birds!  They do tend to, as you put it, strip the life out of things.

 

I just ignore those suggestions, though, and keep writing around them.

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Agreeing with SW.

 

The catch is to know when it is a valid correction and when to ignore it. Do you have someone you can consult on some of those matters?

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Why not post the portion you have written in the critique forum along the program's suggestions and have everyone comment?

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5 hours ago, Shamrock said:

Because of my dyslexia, 

Same here! 

 

I use Grammarly for everything. Here on the posts and in my writing. When I want extra help, I use Prowritingaid. I usually let it place or take out commas, and do spell checks without worrying too much. 

 

Everything else I read to make sure. Sometimes you have to read the sentence how it would read if you except the suggestion. If it works, use it; if not, don't. It's an amazing help, but it's also not human. 

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19 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

Why not post the portion you have written in the critique forum along the program's suggestions and have everyone comment?

 

That is an excellent suggestion Lynn but I think it may confuse people.  

 

Thank you all for your sound advice over this.  I am feeling better having done more writing. I think I may have just done too much PWA over the past week and got overwrought about it. 

 

Like most writers I get the odd attack of lack of confidence - together with the PWA and the excellent writing that is shared on this site, I just lost it.  Please don't take that the wrong way. I try to critique at least two pieces per week regardless of my own posting and I have learnt a huge amount as well as enjoyed reading people's work.

 

Again, many thanks for the advice and support.

 

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