I was writing a novel twenty-something years ago. I gave it up because it was too autobiographical, too much of me feeling sorry for myself. I’ve decided to share random parts of it and use Grammarly to find out just how bad, or good my writing was back then. By the way, I’m now a Grammarly affiliate. I hope I can earn a little money promoting this service that I use all the time.
Going to a bar
My stomach hurts, my heart is pounding. Joyce, the therapist, advised me to overcome my fears by facing them. Does that mean I go to a bar alone tonight? I’m paying good money for therapy and, well, if I don’t go out tonight I’ll have to sit at the computer and write, and if I don’t write I’ll feel guilty about that and the stomach ache will not go away.
There’s a tavern a block and a half away from my apartment. I decide to start my bar-going experiment with/ there. Wearing black rayon pants and a red rayon tank top I walk down the street feeling a bit too pretty. Would I have put on lipstick if I really didn’t want to be picked up? I approach the door, steel myself and enter. Trying hard to hide my nervousness I adopt the attitude of a television lady-cop. She belongs here, she knows that she’s being stared at but that doesn’t matter. She’s here for a stiff drink that will numb the effects of the grisly murder case she’s working. What would she order? Maybe a scotch and soda? I hate scotch so I ask for a rum and coke. On TV, you never see anyone pay for a drink at a bar, that always confused me. In real life they make you pay right away. I tip the bartender and I’m now faced with the decision of where to sit. The place isn’t too crowded but I’m not too optimistic about ﬁnding an empty table. I see one in the corner at the far end of the room. Getting to it would mean walking by about 5 tables for a total of about 15 men. I can’t do it, so I hop up onto a bar stool and sip my drink.
This passage scored a 72. That means I was 72% better than all text checked by Grammarly where comparable goals were set. My goals were what I believe are the defaults for intent, audience, style, emotion, and domain.
There were 17 alerts:
- Spelling 1
- Grammar 1 (decide should have been decided)
- Punctuation 10 (many missing commas and a comma splice)
- Conventions 1 (5 to five)
- Conciseness 1 (unnecessary use of really)
- Clarity 2 (passive voice)
- Variety 1 (repeat of the word tables)
That’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve always had problems with comma placement, but I’m getting better at it. I scored an 84 with the rest of the text in this post. I only missed one comma!