Monday and Tools

First, let me mention Mondays. Starting next week Monday will be “Word of the Day Mondays.” I will take a word of the day and create a short article or story around it.

My second announcement. Book one is almost completed. I finished my second edits, and I am now going through grammar checking and one more walk through. After that, this book will be reviewed by Ted Dekker’s story editor. After she gets done, I will be looking for 3 people who can commit to reading through the story in ten days and answer some question via the telephone. More information on that coming at the end of the month.

Now I want to talk about a particular tool I have been trying it. “Grammarly” is mentioned all over the interwebs. There is a free version and a pay version. I had tried out the free version and liked what it did. For the paid version you can pay monthly or yearly. Of course with the annual option, you get a substantial discount on the monthly rate. I thought I would give a quick review on what I have found with the paid version.

First of all, you cannot assume it will simply fix your mistakes. Grammarly is not always aware of your context, especially with dialog. It will find phraseology and grammar errors that Microsoft Word will miss. It is also terrific at finding correct words that are typos. It also helps you focus in on your possible grammar problems. Some of my errors were glaring. However, they had been missed in two edits. Why? Because they were hidden in my story. Not being context aware does create more false positives, but it helps you zero in on many errors you would likely miss unless you hired a third party who only did grammar.

Now the bad. Grammarly appears to be a single threaded application. What does this mean? Most CPUs today have at least two cores, and if it is hyperthreaded will contain 4 cores at a minimum. My desktop, where I do most editing, has 8 cores and 8 hyper threads for a total of 16 cores. It is a beast. I was surprised when I heard all my fans cut on while using Grammarly. When I checked my monitoring software, I found Grammarly had one CPU pegged at 100% while the rest of the processor sat at nearly zero. Additionally, Grammarly lagged behind as I made my updates resulting in many unwanted breaks from work. My first book is only 38,400 words. It is not a huge story, and if the tool were properly written, it could keep up.

I will not recommend any software I talk about on my blog. I will say this tool does work better than Microsoft Word. I will say that the performance issue is minor and will hopefully be addressed in an update at some point. If you have an editor that checks grammar, it may not be worth the cost. However, if you are starting out, or write blogs, you may find this tool, or a similar tool handy.

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