Last month I was excited to share that I signed with Wolfpack Publishing, an online publisher. I never thought I would do that (check September to see why I did). This month, I’m having another never-say-never moment. I purchased an Artificial Intelligence editing program called Hemingway.
A friend recommended the program. It was inexpensive. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing.
It is an intelligent assistant for the writer who wants to improve their style. Hemingway cannot replace an excellent editor. In the early stages, guidance on foundational work is essential. No computer program can analyze characterization, plotting, inconsistencies, theme etc. the way a human can. It will not check for grammar or spelling.
Hemingway made me think. The app ‘believes’ that simple is better. The program color codes perceived style problems in the manuscript. Purple indicates hard to read sentences, yellow very hard to read, blue is adverbs, and green is passive voice. The app also highlights phrases that have simpler alternatives.
More often than not, I heeded Hemingway’s advice. Yes, some of my sentences were convoluted. Yes, there were other ways describe action without a word that ended in LY. There were also times I didn’t change a sentence. Yes, that passive voice was necessary. Thank you, Hemingway.
Blogs, articles, and short pieces might find Hemingway more helpful than the novelist. I uploaded chapter by chapter so I wasn’t overwhelmed. It was tedious, but I’m glad I did it.
It is difficult to figure out how to transfer the edited work. I finally used the export as a word doc function. I did have to reformat each chapter. Not a problem, just an extra step.
Hemingway does not check spelling and grammatical errors. It would be a nice addition to the program.
Yes. It is well worth $20. This program made me stop, think, revise, and it gives me reasons why I should pay attention. Because I will have a cleaner manuscript, it will save my real life editor time and therefore save me money on the back end. For traditionally published authors, your editor will be very pleased with the smooth submission.
I recommend that all writers add Hemingway to their tool box. It is a small investment for a big return on how you look at your writing.
P.S. Yes, I did edit this piece in Hemingway. Here is the link.
Want to know a secret? Volunteering can be your ticket to building a creative career platform.
Other professions have embraced the nonprofit strategy as personally fulfilling and professionally strategic. Lawyers work pro-bono, doctors cross borders to help those less fortunate, retired business people and teachers mentor those who need help starting their businesses or getting over a hump.
But nonprofits need more than counsel, they need the kind of exposure writers, filmmakers and artists can provide. Whether you’re looking for that first portfolio piece or expanding an already established career, aligning yourself with a nonprofit offers you a wealth of creative opportunities. Since you might know others in creative careers, here are some suggestions for writers, filmmakers, artists and even chefs and gardeners because creativity is never limited.
WRITERS AND/ OR FILMMAKERS
Profile a volunteer
Interview the administrator
Chronicle the history of the nonprofit
Write the newsletter
Write content for their website/blog
Spotlight the success stories of clients
Paint a mural
Design a fundraising invitation
Photograph the clients
Hold art/photography classes
Design a nonprofit’s newsletter
Design a non-profit’s logo
Cook for a fundraiser
Landscape the building
Provide floral arrangements for benefits
There is no limit to the benefits you will receive by volunteering your creative services. You will build your portfolio, be introduced to businesses and clients that are ready to pay for your talent, and, above all, you will have made a difference with your words, your images and your creativity. There is no lack of drama at a nonprofit, all you have to do is seek it out.
Eric, my son and Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Albania, writes plays about his experiences. They are produced in Hollywood and the proceeds benefit the village in which he lives.
Sam, a well-known musician, teaches children stricken with cancer how to play the guitar. Because of his volunteer work, the local newspaper did a front-page article on his efforts.
Cheryl, an aspiring filmmaker interviews people in an assisted living facility and runs those interviews on her website calling attention not only to rich histories but also to her talent behind the camera.
Jackie painted a mural on the wall of a local library. She was credited for her work by the library and her work is seen every day of the year not only by those who visit the library but people who walk and drive by.
The next time you’re looking for a way to showcase your talent, look no further than your community. Your portfolio – and your heart – will benefit from your generosity.
By MM Pollard, the MM in Workshops with MM,
Certified copy editor,
I think I can safely assume that all writers want to be more productive. If you happen to be one who doesnâ€™t, then feel free to click close now.
Okay, so most of you stayed. How did I know that most of you would stay here? Would you believe Iâ€™m clairvoyant? No?
Writers produce writing, coherent words on a screen (paper). If you are happy averaging one hundred words a day, then I suggest you stop reading here. If you want to write more, lots more, then continue, please.
Becoming a more productive writer involves many actions and a few attitudes. Here are a few of both.
If you were on a deserted island with only your computer with a fully charged battery, would you write or would you play Solitaire until the battery discharged? (Solitaire players may stop reading and get back to their games. I apologize for the interruption.)
Do those close to you know you write?
Do you write every day?
Do you keep track of your time and words every time your write?
Do you play Solitaire when you are writing blocked, or do you still write something, anything?
Is writing fun or a chore?
Do you think you deserve to take time out of your day and from your other responsibilities to write?
Whatâ€™s more important to you? The huge advance youâ€™ll receive with the sale of your book? Finishing that book your family didnâ€™t believe you would ever complete? Releasing your characters from the purgatory of your mind to see the light of a computer screen?
That salve I said I would share with you? This is it â€“ my workshop titled Speed Writing â€“ What Plan Works Best for You? Youâ€™ll learn how to form a habit of writing, learn to keep track of your productivity for accountability, learn to deal with issuesâ€”those inside you and outside of you. Thatâ€™s just for starters.
It seems that hundreds of people have written books on increasing speed and word count. Iâ€™ll share information from many authors who have increased their word count to several thousand a day or even an hour. Iâ€™ll give you another authorâ€™s plan to write a novella in twenty-four hours and another authorâ€™s plan to write a book in nine days.
The beauty of this workshop is that I have done all the research for you. All you have to do to take the information and see which system works best for you.
I hope you will join me.
About MM Pollard
As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently as editor for Black Velvet Seductions and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing. Check out Testimonials on her blog, MMâ€™s Fundamentals of English. While you are there, sign up for her monthly newsletter and even look at previous newsletters.
MM began presenting workshops four years ago and has presented on many sites, including her own. Many RWA chapters, including From the Heart RWA, RWA Online, OCC/RWA, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. In February, 2015, she presented at FRWâ€™s Fun in the Sun Conference, and her dream come true!
Through her fun workshopsâ€”English class can be fun!â€”MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.
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