SHOULD REAL WRITERS USE SOFTWARE TO IMPROVE THEIR WORK (or is it cheating?)
As far as I am concerned, writing is the most wonderful thing in the world—and an endless joy—but I would be first to admit that to write entertainingly, and with clarity, is incredibly difficult. Making it look effortless is the hard part—as is so often the way. Nothing done really well is ever easy.
Accordingly, it seems a great pity to spoil your brilliant prose with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
In a nutshell, I regard correction software as a tool—much as my computer is a tool—and have no compunction about using it. However, the day it starts reworking my prose on its own initiative—and I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft to introduce such a tendency in the years ahead—then I will drown such software in acid (unless I can think of a worse fate).
I hold to the notion that it is my job to write—and correction software should know its place. Where style is involved, I don’t mind having individual passages drawn to my attention, but I follow my inner voice.
What correction software do I use? Well, I use Word’s built-in package, and also PerfectIt 2.2. Are there better packages? I look forward to finding out in the months ahead—and I’ll pass on my findings.
Grammarly have asked me to write about their product. I’ll be delighted to when I have put it through the ringer first. If it proves to be as good as it claims—and few products are—then I’ll welcome it to my writing tool-box. Then I’ll tell it—politely, of course—to shut up while I write.