Editing Software

Editing with Hemmingway App.

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 🙂



Riding Month…

Farrier put shoes back on Rufus in case I manage to get out and about – on foot – with him. Flax and Bud are still barefoot.

The weather and ground conditions supported plenty of moving and handling skill practice, and when the weather changed I practised with the latest iteration of the Parelli site and found some old iterations of Level 1 and Level 2 that I have immersed myself in, to great affect.

The horses are still in the middle field but come up each day – they can’t all come in the shed easily now as – due to anti-Bird Flu strategy- our geese are in the shed for large amounts of time as that is where their food and water is, and I cannot take down the anti-fox barricades easily.

Pleased with the non-riding riding month, though 🙂 Learnt lots and laughed lots – what’s not to like?


Great Start :)

Peddle Power.

Trying not to multitask unless…

I am listening to PodCasts, watching demos, reading blogs. Even then I get distracted and stop peddling – the ‘keep fitter’ plan is struggling to compete with stuff I am really interested in. I should probably not multitask but what are you supposed to do when riding a stationary bike and it is too dark to see outside?

Otherwise the writing month?

Went very well. I had some firm goals set and several calendars to organise me – this meant I had scheduled a ‘five-day’ edit of the manuscript I’d finished second drafting before Christmas. This was to take place in the first five-day week of the new year, and I had planned to do a continuity sheet and edit my dialogue punctuation – however, I checked out Grammarly, and some pennies started dropping on the Grammar and Punctuation front and I invested some time and money in some supporting textbooks and also Hemingway App which complements it nicely – and today I added Pro Writing Aid which is similar and complementary, but different.

No, I haven’t gone mad – I have just started to ‘see’ my mistakes and be able to apply the explanations to my work on a practical level – something that up until now I couldn’t do and I could only hope that this day would come!

The difference I find is that I can learn by doing and it instantly tells me I have a solution. It isn’t quick, and using separate systems is awkward and heavy on the print outs, etc.

The support books elaborate and assist, and I can see  I am making real progress in my levels of understanding, and I think adding value to the manuscript at this point – so that when I write on with the first draft, I can start to practice writing this way from the beginning.

I’m not sure how long this process will take – maybe a few weeks – but I think it is worth seeing through, so though I have rescheduled the calendars to allow for the extra work.

I have actually done a fair bit of brainstorming for the next two books in the series so all in all I am pleased with my progress in January 2017 🙂