Filmmaking is a visual medium yet the root of a film lies in the writing of the story. Writing is the textual form of expression which then a filmmaker brings to life. So it is imperative that our writing is immaculate. One tool that I have been using for a long time and found to be an asset in my writing workflow is Grammarly. It is a San Francisco-based company which claims to be #1 Writing tool and I agree with the claim having used multiple other apps without the same level of satisfaction.
Grammarly is a comprehensive tool that can take care of proofreading your writing as well check for plagiarism. The service cross checks the writing with over 8 billion documents online.
Grammarly offers a free version of the service which is not bad but with limited functionality. For advanced features, one needs to subscribe to the premium version where it rocks. The service not just excels at finding grammatical errors but also gives suggestions which improve your writing.
Grammarly is an asset in the writing workflow.
To showcase Grammarly we took the opening page from Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway and checked for errors, which you can see below.
According to Grammarly, the score is 89 as you can see Grammarly shows the suggestions on the side with easy drop down flash cards that explain the error marked in the text. This gives you complete control over your writing and making an informed decision as to whether accept or reject the suggests. However, it did cause laughter to see the service giving suggestions on text written by a great author I must say they were valid suggestions.
At the bottom, you can see that it shows vital information apart from the score, it lists number of critical and advanced issues. Another interesting information it provides is the total words, characters, reading time and speaking time which can be handy. Speaking time can provide with an approximate gauge especially when checking for the dialogues.
Grammarly will scan the document for more than 250 different grammar rules as well as check for contextual spelling mistakes.
Microsoft Word is the most used word processor but it’s own grammar checker tool is not that good, Grammarly also provides and easy to use add-on for MS Word and Outlook, which takes care of our needs. However, not being able to use undo while Grammarly plugin was active irked me.
Additionally, Grammarly offers a Chrome browser extension which is great while working on online writing programs like Adobe Story, Celtx and the likes.
While I am happy with the service, I do feel there is room for improvement, as a writer it is precisely what I would want it is the functionality that can be improved. More browsers need to be supported and the MS word integration is not available on Apple devices.
I often find myself writing on my handheld devices so Android/Apple mobile apps would be a great addition to an already robust service. Few text errors can go unnoticed so it is advised to proofread after Grammarly has completed the analysis. Also, one needs to be connected to the internet to avail the service, so offline accessibility would be great addition.
However, despite these few missing features as previously mentioned Grammarly is without a doubt a robust service and must have in any writer’s toolbox. Only better writing will make you a better filmmaker.