A wise woman once told me any job is made infinitely easier with the correct tools. Since the release of Realms of Terswood back in November 2020, I’ve started using a whole host of programs to improve my writing. Now while I do the first edit, Seeds of Farsil is getting deep, cleansing grammar scrub. Adding and subtracting commas, unsplitting infinitives, cutting down on adjective usage, reducing passing verbs, rearranging sentences for clarity.

I didn’t think I should stop there, so REALMS is getting the same treatment. No events will be altered, but as a product, I want to improve the book. I need to. I flip through and see minor errors that add up and grate at me. I’m not a trained author, so should be using the tools available to patch the gaps in my education and experience. I have already made over 1,800 grammar and spelling fixes and reworked a few dozen sentences for clarity.

As a programmer, I’m well aware of a very cyclical trap. You write some code, then later have a better way to do it. So you go back and redo that older code. Then another six months later, you’ve improved your method and want to go back again. I don’t see that happening here. English is a silly language, but the grammar is pretty much set.

That woman is my mother, by the way.

Writing tools, in case you’re interested:

  • Scrivener – I’ve used this for years, but version 3 is finally out for Windows.
  • Grammarly – Does some great grammaring and plugs into Chrome and Word. There’s no reason to not have this free plugin installed. I think this is the best app for grammar fixes, but I wish it integrated directly to Scrivener.
  • ProWritingAid – Can read my Scrivener projects directly, so I can keep the book’s text in that as long as possible before inevitably having to move to Word. It has grammar plus a great thesaurus and a host of reports on your writing.
  • Hemingway Editor – It does what the others do in terms of pointing out sticky writing, but also assigns a “reading grade level”.
  • BookBrush – Mock up book covers and 3D ads.
  • FaceBook writing groups – Lots of great discussions to join in on or start. I wish I’d joined them years ago.
  • Local writer’s group – I’ve only just joined the group from my local library, but I think it will be useful to see and talk to local writers, to support each other.

Published by jsamland

Author Jamie M. Samland is an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy. He lives in Michigan with his husband and their cats.

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