Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Don't Bug Your Critique Partners...

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because mistakes really bug me!
(This post was sponsored by

I did something I swore I would never do... I sent one of my critique partners an unformatted piece of my WIP (work in progress). Thankfully, she is a good friend and didn't hold my lack of proofreading against me. Normally, I would only send a manuscript for a critique after I had done a spell check, a grammar check, and read the manuscript out loud.

Why is it so important to me that my manuscripts be polished before I send them to a critique partner?

My critique partners are offering their time, energy, and skills to help improve my writing. So sending them my very best is what I should do every time. (Sorry, Theresa!) Even in the WIP phase of your work, you should check your work. I found a great site that helps you do this: Grammarly.

This is what Grammarly said about the piece I sent Theresa:

Grammarly found 45 critical writing issues in your text.
Score: 65 of 100(weak, needs revision)
  • The text in this document is original
Contextual Spelling Check9issues
  • Spelling (4)
  • Commonly confused words (5)
  • Ignored words
  • Use of articles (1)
  • Incorrect use of prepositions (1)
  • Pronoun agreement (2)
  • Punctuation within a sentence (4)
  • Closing punctuation
  • Formal punctuation
Style and Word Choice16issues
  • Writing style (15)
  • Vocabulary use (1)


I found out all of this information for free. I copied and pasted my writing into the box and discovered I sent Theresa a really rough draft of my first chapter.

I should have checked it before I hit send. This really seems like a super tool. I won't be sending messy WIPs to critique partners again. I value their time. By sending something that's not polished it looks like I don't value their time.

Have you heard of Grammarly? They also post interesting and sometimes funny things on Facebook. Please check them out if you have a moment.


  1. This looks like a wonderful tool. Thanks.

  2. No need to apologize! You sent such a short piece. I was focusing on the emotion and other elements. Since you were just putting down first thoughts, I didn't expect polish.

    You're the second person to point out Grammarly. I may have to check them out. Thanks!

  3. I love Grammarly on FB. I will try using it next time I put together a piece. I'm sure it will be interesting!

  4. I declare myself the worst speller and grammar person in the world. I'm hopeless. LOL!
    xo Catherine

  5. I've not heard of this so I am so bookmarking it!! I need all the help I can get with my grammar!! Awwww - yay for lovely Theresa too! Take care

  6. I have read Grammarly comments on Facebook, didn't realise it was a programme you could use though.

  7. I hadn't heard of that site. Sounds super useful. Thanks for spreading the word!

  8. I've heard of different ones and use RightWriter (which was 30-40$) but want to check this out! Thank you for sharing, S!!

  9. Thanks, Sharon! Always good to know another resource!!

  10. I agree with sending your best work to crit partners. If you don't, they end up telling you stuff you already know. To get the most useful crit, we have to send them our very best.

  11. Thanks Sharon....

    This is awesome! I know I'll be using it when I can type normally again!

  12. LOL! Sharon, with as much critiquing as you do, you're allowed a few blips. You rock, woman!

  13. Theresa loves you anyway! You are the critique queen of the world! Hugs and squeezes.

  14. Hi Sharon .. I've seen Grammarly around - but have not checked it out .. I expect it'll hate English English!

    Just to make matters worse I've no idea what half the 'errors' you're supposed to have made refer to - I'd need a translator standing over me!!

    Theresa and you both sound very good critiquers ...

    But it's always better to check everything and get one's work as correct as possible before sending out ..

    Cheers Hilary

  15. I've not heard of Grammarly.

    I will give this a go.

    Although I suspect it will take an hour to print out all the corrections.

    Thank you so much for this tip!

    I'm excited to try it because I'm good at spelling but tense issues are problematic on more than one occasion.

  16. I've been thinking of trying out Grammerly (there's such a buzz about it on the blogosphere). I hope my manuscript wasn't too horrific, Sharon. I'd hate to tick off such a phenomenal editor.

  17. Thank you,
    The given information is very effective.
    I’ll keep update with the same.

  18. You just hit on the head the reason it's taking me forever to get my latest MG to my CPs, you included. Ugh... For some reason, other than holes and inconsistencies that I can't see because I'm too close to the story, I feel as though I must correct all grammar, sentence structure...before sending to said CPs. Slap me now.

  19. I haven;t heard of it before! This sounds like a fantastic tool. Thanks for the heads up Sharon. I'm off to explore it and bookmark it now. :)

  20. Oh! I hadn't heard of that tool - it sounds so handy.
    And I agree, critiquers should be able to focus on the most important aspects, not get bogged down in misplaced commas and apostrophes! :-)