NVDT #70 – To Ing or not to Ing

Is your modifier dangling?

It’s no secret I dislike a sentence that starts with an -ing verb, or writing a sentence that ‘feels’ inside out, or backwards. “While” and words of that sort can ruin you, too. “While eating lunch a bird pooped on the hotdog I was holding” Yes, that’s a bad sentence, but I see them all the time. And that’s exactly why I hate them because your brain can reform that into making sense. Which is way too much work and once you get in the groove of accepting them they are almost impossible to self edit. A forest for the trees issue.

I have been told it’s not illegal to start with an -ing phrase as they mix up your sentence structure. No thanks. Unless it’s a tone setter or dialogue. Otherwise I’d rather write smash-mouth direct because -ing, like adverbs and mold, go from a little green spot to an entire fuzzy piece of cheese in an instant.

But for those of you so inclined – Searching my hard drive, I found a grammar exercise yesterday . Or, Yesterday I discovered a grammar exercise on my hard drive. (yes!) Or, While exploring my hard drive yesterday, I discovered a grammar exercise. See why I’m sentence retentive? See why I didn’t use “came across” in the first or third examples? Here ya go, modifier fans. A Dangling Mod worksheet.

1.

  1. While walking in the yard yesterday evening, we were thrilled to see a pair of Canada geese on the lake behind the house.
  1. While walking in the yard yesterday evening, a pair of Canada geese on the lake behind the house gave us a thrill.

2.

  1. Being late in the afternoon, that class does not always get my full attention as I am usually quite drowsy.
  1. Being late in the afternoon, I do not always give that class my full attention as I am usually quite drowsy.

3.

  1. Heavily damaged in the fall on the mountain, Mark’s bike was taken directly to the repair shop.
  1. Heavily damaged in the fall on the mountain, Mark sent his bike to the repair shop.

4.

  1. Standing on the fifteenth floor balcony, I thought that the whole ocean seemed to spread out before me.
  1. Standing on the fifteenth floor balcony, the whole ocean seemed to spread out before me.

5. 

  1. To find the file, the entire file cabinet will probably need to be searched.
  1. To find the file, I will need to search the entire file cabinet.

6. 

  1. Seeing it from a distance, that towering thunderhead was a beautiful sight.
  1. Seen from a distance that towering thunderhead was a beautiful sight.

7. 

  1. Seeing Pat Ryan at the reunion, for an embarrassing moment I could not remember her name.
  1. Seeing Pat Ryan at the reunion, I could not remember her name for an embarrassing moment.

NVDT #69 – Whoa! Inter-app Functionality!

ProWritingAid and Scrivener talk to one another!

The other day I pulled the plug for good on Grammarly. Because I final line edit and compile in Scrivener. Since Rev 1. As far I can tell there is no easier way to deal with a multi scene/chapter document. Regardless of how you work. You can be visual, or a retentive outliner, researcher, academic – it doesn’t matter. Scrivener works the way you do. Watch a couple of YouTube videos and you can even stop paying people for your epub formats.

Alas, with Grammarly and ProWritingAid it was always a two-or-three-step process to use them with Scrivener. Copy out, paste into Word or their desktop apps, copy back. After losing all formatting, italics etc. PWA finally got to where it would open Scrivener projects natively. But when reopened in Scrivener? All the formatting, gone again.

After cutting the cord on one overpriced and marginally useful spell checker on steroids I Googled Scrivener and PWA. Lo. Integration. Probably the same ol’ same ol’. Software companies rarely fix what really needs fixing. It should be noted here I was not alone in my complaints and requests for proper integration. Writers’ Productivity Matters, you know?

Today I downloaded, via prompt, the latest PWA. No word about fixes or anything. I opened it, opened a Scriv project I really really really want finished, did some work, saved and closed. Reopened the project in Scriv fully expecting to fix the formatting and re-find all my italics –

Hell No! It Worked!

I had a couple of sync issues that were Windows/One Drive and Scrivener’s problem, tidied that up and BAM.

Working on a Scrivener project in the desktop app of ProWritingAid is like working in a form of Scrivener Lite.

I’m not sure if the world cares or not, but to me this event is a flash of collaborative brilliance.

I am not an actor portraying a Scrivener user, nor am I paid or swagged by Literature and Latte in any way. Scrivener is $49. Jeez, PWA is $79 a year ($59 first year) for arguably the best glorified spell checker. $49 as a one-off to make composition easier than anything you’ve ever used? I’d pay three times that just because

It Fucking Works!