Playing with bits of software…
All jolly good fun! Except when it isn’t.
Grammarly – paid version.
Pro Writing Aid -paid version.
Auto Crit – paid version ( Ouch!)
Hemingway App – paid version.
Initially, they produced panic as I fumbled around and then they produced versions like toads under a tarp.
Then I tried to please them till I decided that to do that till the coloured lights went out meant just having a blank page.
Yes learn and stick to one punctuation style – British English in my case. Yes find the repeats and long sentences…. but then INTERPRETATION is your game OR your manuscript goes from verbose to signage a two year old can read…
I worked out that I needed comparison before I re wrote the MS so I typed in chunks of random novels and got reports on them till I could see the ‘proportions’ of their manuscripts (finished, edited many times and published…)
No software will check out description, character or plot and it will only use words like ‘then’ to indicate ‘telling not showing’ – it will use sentence length to indicate pace and it won’t know what exposition is…. So based on its interpretation of the words you mostly use it will give you an indication of their effect. Unless you have access to a lot of stats of many other books in your genre and age group this will not mean that much.
These bits of kit are useful but will not replace an edit and are most use when they work out of the word processor you use is in my case MS Word – so Grammarly and Pro Writing aid. As extra steps are time wasters and printing out these reports is uneconomic on a novel of 130K! Not to mention impossible to then use… having all of them on screen at once is like using a stack of iPhones and I like some distance in editing ie I like to see more text rather than less as then you can correlate the data with the pattern on the page you see…
My experiences of the Tech Help at ProWriting Aid were appalling as I was told that it was ‘obvious what the colours related to…’ when I asked about a key for the colour code. That is a shame as that one was economical of time and money – but only if I understand the colours… Auto Crit guy, on the other hand, was amazingly helpful and sent me a screen film of him sorting out the issue – so I was sorted out in no time at all. ( If using Google Chrome screen size for this laptop is 67%)
Hemingway App is OK but without interpreting the four points it highlights with comparison to similar texts will reduce prose to signage promptly.
I have however, learnt a great deal these last two weeks and with Beth Hill’s Magic Of Fiction to hand as well it is engrossing me enough to continue.
I have also started actively thinking about and talking to Editors about the work so I am incentivised to get on with it:)
Not making time to Blog much as the broadband here is awful and I do like to include a photo – but not to the extent of waiting all day for it to load…
Happy Writing Days then 🙂