If I have the experts at Grammarly correct any errors they find in my five hundred page novel, what is the most I would have to pay for that service?

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The American guards, who are under the orders of one Warden Whittaker, are told to break Alice, Lucy and the suffragettes spirits in an futile effort to make them stop protesting for a woman's right to vote.

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Patty TDec 10 '13 at 02:13

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I decided to elaborate on my comment, David. 


This forum is a community-driven discussion board.  The tags you see under user names (Contributor, Expert, and Grammarly Fellow) are a result of receiving up votes for answers and questions.  No one on this forum is paid to show up or give any sort of assistance.  There is no commitment or sense of urgency here.  If someone logs on and wants to answer a question, they do.  It is free and public.


As far as I know, Grammarly does not have a service in which an expert person edits written works.  It has software programs which finds errors and helps the writer learn how to correct or avoid those errors.  On this forum, we discuss grammar.  We also will offer guidance on the construction and word choice of a sentence or two, but not a lengthy passage.  Certainly, one wouldn’t want to post more than that of a novel on a public page anyway.


I’ll offer some thoughts on your example sentence.


Suffragettes should be made possessive – the suffragettes spirits.  Since Alice, Lucy, and each suffragette have their own spirit, you need to make each one possessive – Alice’s, Lucy’s, and the suffragette’s spirits.  This ends up a bit awkward.  An easy solution is to flip it around – the spirits of Alice, Lucy, and the suffragettes.


I prefer to use the serial comma when you list three or more things.  It is not a hard and fast rule, but there are times when the absence can change the meaning.  It is best to be consistent throughout a work, so I recommend using it always.


The guards were not told to make a futile effort, of course.  It turned out to be a futile effort, but the adjective is misplaced in this sentence.  They are told to break the spirits in an effort, which proved futile, to end the public demonstrations.


You don’t protest for something, you protest against something. 


Editing does involve some hard and fast grammar rules, but much of the task is subjective.  Since anyone and everyone can self-publish these days, it is always good to see someone who wants to use an editor.  Look for an editor that you can build a relationship with, one that understands what voice you want to speak from.  A software program doesn’t understand context any more than your toaster does, but it will certain cut down the time (and cost) that an editor will need.

link comment edited Dec 10 '13 at 12:08 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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