3 4 5 S.R. Johannes

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Comment for a chance to win a six-month Grammarly Premium account.

What is the one grammar/spelling thing you struggle with most??

What’s a GrammoWriMo?

Every November, thousands of writers hammer out words in an epic event called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Writers “win” by completing a 50,000 word novel draft in just 30 days. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? No. To date, over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published including Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

But not everyone can manage 50,000 words in a month. That’s one reason why Grammarly, the company behind the popular automated proofreader, created GrammoWriMo in 2013. People around the world use Grammarly software to refine their writing, so the company leveraged their status as a global resource to unite hundreds of writers from dozens of countries and cultures to craft a novel together.

In the first ever GrammoWriMo, about 300 writers collaborated on a group novel they submitted as a part of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Not only did they have to weave the voices of hundreds of different writers into one story, but they had just one month to complete the draft. The GrammoWriMo contributors embraced the challenge. The results? A well-written, cohesive novel, The Lonely Wish-Giver, follows the journey of a girl with the unique job of fulfilling wishes. In 2014, 500 new GrammoWriMo participants submitted their contributions. The resulting novel, Frozen by Fire, weaves the perspectives of multiple characters living in the Italian town of Pompeii in 79 C.E. during the time of the disastrous Mount Vesuvius eruption. Both are available as ebooks on Amazon.com, with proceeds benefitting charities.

Putting Grammarly’s Automated Proofreader to the Test

Each year, Grammarly puts their software to the test proofreading the GrammoWriMo draft. In 2014, they analyzed the results, uncovered the most common errors writers made, and summarized them in this infographic.

Grammowrimo five writing mistakes

Grammarly found that writers of all levels tended to misuse commas, which was the number one error. Incorrect capitalization came in a close second, followed by wordiness, and missing determiners such as “a,” “an,” and “the.” 

Why do talented wordsmiths make these pesky gaffes? Fiction writers often set grammar rules aside when they’re trying to stay in the creative flow. Add deadlines and you’ve got a writer who may not have time for the meticulous editing a manuscript requires. Grammarly provides writers with a “second set of eyes” to guide them through the proofreading process after all that fast-and-furious drafting is complete.

You’re the Writer

No program can replace a human editor making artistic and stylistic choices. Grammarly shines when helping the writer sort out the finer details—where to place that comma or how to tighten up a wordy sentence, for example. Whenever it detects an error, it provides an explanation card to guide the writer toward a conscious decision about what to edit and what to leave alone. Removing some of the obstacles to good writing frees the writer to move beyond nit-picking errors to focusing on the bigger picture of style and content. Give it a whirl on your next draft and see for yourself!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Epic Earth Day Reads! Environmental Themes in Books

Happy Earth Day! 
Environmental themes in YA can help young readers to feel a better connection to nature and inspire them to get involved with the environment. This is extremely important in today’s world, where nature is always competing for shelf-space with futuristic themes and a constantly updated stream of technology.
Nature is a part of everything around us and helps to make us who we are, and having that relationship reflected in YA books is a wonderful way to promote environmental awareness.
So what are a few environmental themes that we see in teen books?
Find out more at Hypable!

Comment or RT using @srjohannes and be entered in drawing for this Earth day prize ;)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Secondary Characters and Why They Matter

         So any author knows how hard it is to incorporate secondary characters into your plot. It's easy to get lost in your main character's personality and development and completely overlook your "side characters' " depth. But secondary characters are way more than pawns used to move a plot forward- in fact, secondary characters can add to your protagonist and the overall feel of your story as well. Here are a few reasons secondary characters are so important: 

1.  They can Foil your Protag

     If you have a really developed secondary character, he or she can help by being a foil to your protagonist. This is a simple way to move plot forward and keep your reader engaged- a foil (aka: opposite personality) to your lead is something that keeps a story well rounded. 

2.  They Move Plot Forward

    Well developed secondary characters can help move plot forward creatively. If you have a good team of side characters fully integrated into your protagonist's story, the plot will move smoothly to a solid finish. 

3. They Add Depth

    Of course, secondary characters add a lot of depth to the story. If it was only your protag and a few villains it wouldn't be interesting! Not only that, but with a variety of characters comes a variety of themes and deeply felt emotions. 

4. They Mix it Up

    Secondary characters help to add variety and fun to your story. If you only have two types of characters it would get very boring very fast! In order to keep your reader engaged and interested, you need a wide range of characters and each one needs to be somewhat relatable/easy to empathize with. This will progress your story and keep your audience on its toes! 

So those are a few reasons to really get cracking on your secondary character base! Hope they were helpful! If you have any further tips leave them in the comments below!