Takes One To Know One

Yep, I do so love my inner grammar nerd. So when I saw this handy-dandy infographic from Grammarly, first, of course, I read it. Then I nodded whenever I fit the profile (I mean, the semi-colon? LOVE it.). And then I had to share it here for you, ’cause come on, y’all. You know you’re one of us.

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

(And P.S. I’d just like to say that I’m calling shenanigans on that age bracket business. 18-24 years old? I don’t think so. On the other hand, that would lend credence to the 50% who are single…)

Hurry! Get in on #GrammoWriMo

ImageSo Grammarly came up with a community-written novel to tie in with National Novel Writing Month and I thought, “What a brilliant idea!”

I think I might have even thought it with a British accent.

Anyway, then I zipped up to a writer’s retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains and was having such a wonderful time writing, and talking about writing, and researching and writing, and writing some more, that I completely forgot to spread the word about GrammoWriMo.

But not to worry! You still have one more day to sign up if you want to add your 800 words to the group effort. They’ll give you notes so your bit will make some sort of sense. Or maybe it won’t make any sense. We shall just have to see when Grammarly produces the book at the end of National Novel Writing Month.

Which begins November 1st for those of you who might have completely forgotten that as well. (Raises hand, slinks off to add a couple notes to her calendar.)

What Not To Do Wednesday on Proofreading

ImageI used Grammarly to grammar check this post because sometimes, even a grammar geek like me (or is it I?) could use a proofreading hand.

So, grasshopper, we meet again.

I really hoped we would not meet again. Hoped that I had, finally, exhausted all the What Not To Do’s which one writer could actually manage to do. But alas, such was not the case.

It began with an email, an email that was, in fact, a query to an agent. So you can see that right from the get-go, this was a terribly important email. Because when one is querying, what one is really doing is trying to convince an agent to say, “Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes! You are the one for me! Send me your manuscript immediately!”

One might even settle for, “Well, possibly you are the one for me. Send me a bit more of your manuscript and we shall see.”

But I think it goes without saying that one wants to send his or her absolute best query. Something bright and shiny and irresistible. At the very least, one wants to send a mistake-proof query. And that’s not difficult, grasshopper, is it? Not when one proofreads an email ten times before sending it.

Except that when one proofreads one’s work, over and over and over again, one might get so used to seeing the same mistake that one doesn’t actually “see” it at all. One might just hit “send” and whoosh! Out rockets the email with an egregious mistake.

Perhaps it’s a glaring grammatical error. Maybe it’s a misspelled word, or a misplaced modifier. Possibly (and I’m not admitting to anything here), it’s the name of two of the characters in your book but you have changed their names several times so that when you send the query the names might be A and B, but in the synopsis following the query, they are C and D.

Sometimes, grasshopper, you need another pair of eyes to proofread and find those egregious mistakes, especially when one is querying.

In writing a query, as in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Better make it a good one.

P.S. On this particular post, I scored a 91 out of 100 when I grammar checked on Grammarly. I also checked the afore-mentioned query/synopsis email, just to see if, say, a name snafu would be flagged (They were names with unusual spellings.). It was—along with a comma that didn’t belong in the OPENING sentence.

So, grasshopper, I suppose I can either write a blog post with my query and synopsis and hope that an agent reads it—or use Grammarly to proofread before I hit “send.”