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Writing Aids

11 Apr 2020 01:53 #67574 by anonxyzus
Writing Aids was created by anonxyzus
Do any of the authors here use Grammerly, ProwritingAid, or any other writing aids to look for spelling, grammer, etc. in your work? If so, I'd like to hear about it and what you think.

I use Micro$oft Office 365 Word and I just added ProwWritingAid. It picks up more errors than Word and so far I am happy with it. Which is a good thing, because it is pricey.

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11 Apr 2020 02:02 #67575 by Woody
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I dont use anything, i know it shows: i know my grammer are good ain't it!

My main reason though is my working computer isnt connected to the net.  I have heard good things about grammerly

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11 Apr 2020 02:29 #67576 by YAGS
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I sometimes use the default spelling/grammar check that comes with MS Word. But I also over-edit my own work, because I'm so critical that I read, edit, re-read, edit my own writing a dozen times before I share anything with anyone. Luckily, I type very fast, but this is part of the reason that I'm so slow at writing in general.

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11 Apr 2020 02:37 #67577 by shadar
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Ah... I use a spell checker.... 

My editor is Ulysses given it doesn't have any whistles, bells or anything else. Except said spell checker.

Simplicity lets me focus on the story and not the machinery. Using Word, for me, is like driving an 18 wheel  semi two blocks down the street to buy a quart of milk. 

Shadar

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11 Apr 2020 03:38 #67579 by MisterK
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I really just use Word, and the spellcheck that goes with it. I'm also a teacher, so I have the skills to do my own proofreading. (I'm about to post with some really bad typos though.) When it's your own writing though, that does take a lot of discipline, I find I have to go through it with a fine tooth comb about a million times.

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11 Apr 2020 04:25 #67580 by erikphandel
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Why the hell was my first thought "why are people talking about HIV in this forum"?

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11 Apr 2020 05:08 #67581 by lfan
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I use google docs and the spellchecker embedded there.  Also use PowerThesaurus for looking up stuff. 

elf

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11 Apr 2020 07:10 #67582 by mechjok
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Scrivner and Open Office.

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11 Apr 2020 12:16 #67583 by RevTekkX
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Does anyone use:

plotfactory.com/

or other items of its ilk?

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11 Apr 2020 14:59 #67586 by Woodclaw
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I write most of my stuff with OpenOffice, then I run it through GoogleDocs to smooth out most of the errors, before a final passage via Grammarly.

After that I give it to someone to read and, I put all their fixes through the same process.

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11 Apr 2020 17:10 #67588 by shadar
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Is it appropriate to think of Grammerly and its ilk as the literary equivalent to a singer's use of Autotune software?  

Autotune, in a simplistic sense, fixes the pitch of individual notes in the recording process so they are properly in tune. But it can also take some of the art away from a singer's craft and create a technically perfect but sometimes more sterile performance. My enjoyment of live music is that it's never the same from performance to performance. It's alive and organic. Sometimes technically poor, but with great emotion and fun. (But also sometimes terrible.)

Is there an analogy to heavy use of writing tools that file the rough edges off our prose, but may also muffle an author's distinctive voice? Or does the Autotune controversy have no analog in the writing world?

Shadar

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11 Apr 2020 18:47 #67599 by Idylls
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I have trouble constructing concise sentences.. I installed Grammarly. I still have trouble constructing concise sentences. I uninstalled Grammarly.

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11 Apr 2020 18:56 #67600 by shadar
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Idylls wrote: I have trouble constructing concise sentences.. I installed Grammarly. I still have trouble constructing concise sentences. I uninstalled Grammarly.


That's sounds like me... I tried a few things before uninstalling them. My writer's voice is often a bit scratchy with the occasional cough or honking sneeze. But sometimes it's clear. Trying to Autotune my writer's voice to make it smooth and perfect might take away more than it adds.

Not to mention taking precious time that might be better spent dreaming up new ideas or characters. 

Shadar

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11 Apr 2020 19:21 #67603 by Idylls
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Wasn't there an AI or algorithm that can make stories? 

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11 Apr 2020 19:59 #67604 by shadar
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Idylls wrote: Wasn't there an AI or algorithm that can make stories? 


I recall some AI that was taught the Hero's Journey style of storytelling, and cranked out some humorous prose that wasn't really any good. 

Of course, the Hero's Journey is still the dominant (some would say only) story form for action-like movies.

The Wonder Woman movie was a classic example which proves this very old style still works. Some say that the Hero's Journey storytelling is hardwired into our DNA given it started with the earliest recorded style of casual storytelling. 

As bad as life was back in ancient times, the one job that I would have loved would have been Traveling Storyteller. Going from town to town telling tales of heroes and villains and magical beings that lived just beyond the edges of their lands. 

Shadar.

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11 Apr 2020 21:35 #67606 by ace191
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I use MS WORD.  I am a terrible speller, so bad that at times Word cannot figure out what word I am trying to spell, so I use the built in thesaurus and use a word with a similar meaning that I can spell ( with or without MS word’s help) to find the correct spelling of the word I want.  

Much better at math and physics!

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12 Apr 2020 02:23 - 13 Apr 2020 02:44 #67613 by Idylls
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shadar wrote: I recall some AI that was taught the Hero's Journey style of storytelling, and cranked out some humorous prose that wasn't really any good. 

Of course, the Hero's Journey is still the dominant (some would say only) story form for action-like movies.

The Wonder Woman movie was a classic example which proves this very old style still works. Some say that the Hero's Journey storytelling is hardwired into our DNA given it started with the earliest recorded style of casual storytelling. 

As bad as life was back in ancient times, the one job that I would have loved would have been Traveling Storyteller. Going from town to town telling tales of heroes and villains and magical beings that lived just beyond the edges of their lands. 

Shadar.


Just like a Scribe.

To think I only learned about the Hero's Journey a couple of months ago. Really opened my eyes to what works and why. Most characters I make don't even aspire to become a hero but just doing the right thing. Simple nobodies no bard would write about.
Last edit: 13 Apr 2020 02:44 by Idylls. Reason: spelling

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12 Apr 2020 08:09 #67617 by anonxyzus
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The tools I use find misspellings and grammar errors. They also look out for passive voice, too many adverbs and it has a thesaurus. I always have the choice to reject or change a suggested edit.

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12 Apr 2020 22:47 #67646 by algae2k
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There also is a site proofreader!

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13 Apr 2020 17:43 #67668 by CJS
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I organize/write in Scrivener, and run chapters through Prowritingaid. But as Shadar pointed out, I try to be careful not to sterilize my writing too much in the process. I use Prowritingaid’s grammar check, overused word check, and readability check. I might use other tools it offers in the future.

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14 Apr 2020 14:29 #67697 by conceptfan
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I never use nuffink.  Still finding spelling mistakes in things I wrote 15 years ago and have corrected dozens of times in the interim.  It might be a generational thing... I just don't trust algorithms.  Humans make much more interesting mistakes.
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14 Apr 2020 19:03 #67702 by slim36
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14 Apr 2020 19:22 #67703 by shadar
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slim36 wrote: Nice diagram in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey


This is a classic definition and portrayal of the method, but many of the terms can be modified to suit the story. This diagram suggests mythology and transformations, but equivalent concepts will fit.

Transformation is often a change of state of mind, and goddess can be any kind of superhuman or supernatural force. Also, some characters can be combined. 

It's astoundingly easy to fit this to the Wonder Woman movie. Diana gets the call to adventure, she transforms (grows) with obvious gifts from the goddess, and she has to deal with a Threshold Guardian (her mother), Steve Trevor is obviously her helper/mentor (and lover), Abyss/Death/Rebirth, which makes up a large portion of every tale, is her learning the reality of the war, and the depths of horror and her despair and revulsion. Transformation in the last half of the circle is how she changes her focus and will to deal with the threat of Aries, etc. as she digs herself out of the horror and despair of the pit of war. She's not the same Princess who left Themoscyra. She's truly Wonder Woman now. 

With the requirement for dramatic action scenes and fights that extend nearly to nearly the end of such movies these days, the last stages are often shortened or compressed. That's a twist that CGI-loving audiences demand. But we still get some atonement and a promise of the goddess, so to speak. 

It just works. It'll be fun for me to watch WW84 and judge how Patty handles the Journey in that movie (whenever we get to see it). 

Shadar

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15 Apr 2020 07:18 #67708 by AuGoose
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I routinely use Grammarly at the free level as a final check before publishing. It picks up a fair number of false positives (especially if you are being deliberately poetic) that I just disregard but it's quite good for spotting the occasional missed comma, irregular plural, or shift in verb tense.

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15 Apr 2020 13:06 #67711 by Woodclaw
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I have some issues with the hero's journey. It's a very comprehensive and pervasive model, but way too many people use it as a "bible" rather than a guideline. One of the main problems, especially if you look at Campbell's original codification is that it's a very male-centric model, which includes the female figure only as either supporting cast (the Gift f the Goddess) or Temptresses that must be avoided or defeated to progress. Also, the model is based on a very confrontational mentality, most of the challenges must be faced weapons in hand.
In actual fact, two of the most archetypical examples of the hero's journey in modern fiction -- The Lord of the Rings and the original Star Wars Trilogy -- operates by actually subverting parts of it. The Lord of the Rings works by actually subverting the element of the magical aid, by making it a burden rather than a tool, which is actually the flipside of the classic quest model: instead of finding a magic item, the goal is to dispose of one, which is at the same time the Abyss part of the tale.
If we look at the final duel in Return of the Jedi, Luke doesn't complete the classic tropes of the hero's journey, refusing to kill both Vader and the Emperor, actually proving that the old status quo (i.e. you can't go back from the Dark Side) wasn't good at all.

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