Well, here’s an update on those Gremlins. I was using the free versions of Grammarly and Ginger, both good grammar editing/correcting programs. With the free version of Ginger, you get a limited number of free corrections. I hit that. It was then that I realized that the purchase of one of these programs had become a necessity for me, at least, if I plan to keep writing and publishing. After reading several reviews and articles, I decided to go with Grammarly. I’ve already corrected two manuscripts and am working through a third. I will correct, again, all my work, and likely many of the items on this webpage. Writers make mistakes when they write. Grammar was never my strong suit. I’m an idea person, a concept person, a big-picture type, but, I am also a perfectionist. Your idea of perfection and my idea of perfection my vary. I’ve temporarily unpublished the vampire novel until I can get to run that through a check with Grammarly. It’s a big book, fourteen dollars asking price, and it ought to be readable in a smooth and enjoyable manner.
However, a lot of the mistakes are easy punctuation and not the kind of mistakes that I used to make when I wrote everything longhand. It’s a good program. It’s helping me re-teach myself some basics that apparently got lost in all this creative flow. The program tells me that there should be a comma in a sentence, and I see it and think, “Of course there should be a comma there, I know that.” But, the fact remains that I missed it.
The other thing at play in this is that I made a huge leap from writing poetry, prose, and what I now know to be flash fiction, to writing long fiction. Writing long fiction is vastly different from writing poetry, and it’s also vastly different from writing non-fiction, or journalising. Telling a story, an anecdote, in the first person is different from crafting a scene or setting the mood or describing the Gothic architecture, or writing dialogue, and so on. The point in that is, give yourself room to grow and to make those mistakes while you’re learning to write new things, learning new skill sets. Be kind to yourself about it and be forgiving of those errors in punctuation, fix them, but don’t beat yourself up about it.
I realized this as well; because I was so uncertain of myself when I was beginning to write longer and longer stories, that somehow seemed to translate, for me, into a lot of these punctuation errors. I doubted my ability creatively, and for some reason, that made me unsure of where to put the comma or the period, inside or outside the quotations, and so on. Sometimes trying to do something new can make you feel like a complete idiot with two left feet. I’m looking at some of these corrections wondering why I made so many simple mistakes that upon seeing, I recognize as things I know how to do correctly, and all I can figure is that I remember feeling so out of my element with it all, writing longer fiction, that it was a wonder I could tie my shoes some days. Well, that fear of looking dumb, keeps a lot of people from ever even trying. I went fearlessly toward my dreams.
I’m glad I didn’t quit. I’m also grateful for these software programs that are so helpful. Both the free versions of Grammarly, and Ginger, have a lot of great features and are worth checking out if you’re doing any kind of writing online, with a computer. As for me, I’ll be forgoing my lotto habit for a while.
Also noteworthy in my world, tomorrow is supposed to be the last day over eighty-one degrees until spring. Yea.