I use two.

After completing just about any written thing, I upload it to Grammarly and see if I get the same feeling I used to get from Mrs. Green. I’m getting better at details but trip over clauses and commas. I play a game to see how little I can leave for the robot to discover. It’s an end-around to make the mechanics of writing fun.

I use the free version. Ads and emails tell me that I have more – deeper – issues that will be revealed with a paid account. If it were a buck-ninety-nine a month, I would pony up just to thank them and support the program. But it runs ten or twelve bucks (with frequent offers at about six dollars), and that’s too much. For me, anyway.

I did pay for Scrivener. And smiled when I did. Don’t only think of Scrivener as a word processor. If you write letters or quick notes, MSWord is fine. If you wonder, I use LibreOffice for all my note/letter/spreadsheet stuff. But with Scrivener, you can manage your writing in a way that is difficult or impossible with other writing programs. My only wish is that a web-based version was available. The question comes up frequently in forums, and the answer is always the same: nope. No plans to do so. No thank you. Never.

If you buy it or are new to it, watch a couple of YouTube videos to see how experts have set it up. It’s one of those programs that is easy to use straight from the box but has depths to plumb for those so inclined.

I’ve also used the Writer’s Database to track submissions when I used to submit. It has an easy and comfortable feel, and if you are prolific or do multiple submissions, it can be a real help.

For the record, neither program pays me anything. Just sayin’.

Cheers, and please let me know of any other tools you use and love.

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