Your writing may at all times be higher.
It’s an unlucky actuality of this job: Regardless of how lengthy you do it or how a lot you study, every thing you write has room for tweaking to get slightly nearer to elusive perfection.
You might go cross-eyed re-reading a chunk earlier than submitting it. Ultimately most of us get used to biting the bullet and sending one thing that’s — ugh — ok.
Searching for a method to submit articles and manuscripts with slightly extra confidence than that, I enlisted a digital writing coach.
ProWritingAid is an internet editor and plugin for Google Docs, MS Phrase and different writing instruments (excluding Mac’s Pages) that can assist you to spot errors in grammar, spelling, type and phrase alternative in your writing. They let me check out the software for The Write Life.
You’ll be able to consider it like a preliminary writing coach or editor. The software received’t substitute a human editor (I can’t not say that, as an editor myself…), however it could assist you to polish your writing and strengthen your writing habits.
ProWritingAid will analyze your doc and level out grammar and spelling errors — nevertheless it goes approach past that. It’ll additionally root out passive verbs, prolonged sentences, hidden verbs, pointless adverbs, repeated phrases and phrases and extra frequent enemies of clear, concise writing.
Founder Chris Banks initially created ProWritingAid to assist his personal writing after making the transition from monetary analyst to fiction author. He taught himself to code and wrote a easy program to establish frequent pitfalls new writers face.
At first, the software targeted on fiction writing, however now it helps you to word whether or not you’re analyzing educational, enterprise, technical, artistic, informal or internet writing — as a result of what makes one type of writing good doesn’t at all times apply to a different!
The way it works
You’ll be able to join free to make use of ProWritingAid’s internet editor, which acts like a phrase processer in your browser.
For full integration together with your most popular writing software, together with Docs, Phrase and even Scrivener; and to eradicate word-count limits, purchase a Premium subscription. The annual charge goes down the longer you intend to make use of it:
One 12 months: $60
Two years: $90
Three years: $120
When you’re in, you may work in your personal phrase processer, or add or copy and paste your doc into the ProWritingAid internet editor. It’ll learn your writing and use color-coded underlining to name out ideas.
Right here’s how that appears on considered one of my latest posts for The Write Life:
Hover over a phrase to see the suggestion. For instance, for my passive phrase above, “writing may be edited,” ProWritingAid instructed I rewrite to make use of an lively verb, similar to “We will edit writing.”
It additionally catches potential filler or hedging phrases, together with “completely” and “truly” in my choice above.
You’ll in all probability get some ideas you don’t wish to comply with or that don’t match the type of the publication you’re writing for, so learn them rigorously earlier than clicking to just accept instructed modifications. You’ll be able to select to disable a “rule” when you don’t wish to see that type of suggestion — for instance, I disabled ideas to rewrite cut up infinitives, as a result of I’m a insurgent like that.
It’s also possible to pull up a abstract that takes a better degree view of your writing. This features a ton of details about your writing, from phrase rely to studying degree to number of sentence size.
Take note of this report back to find out about — and enhance — your writing habits. My studies persistently present I’m slightly beneficiant with adjectives…like “persistently” earlier on this sentence. I’ll have to work on that if I wish to write one thing to Stephen King–esque requirements.
Who’s ProWritingAid for?
All of us have entry to grammar and spelling checkers totally free with phrase processers. And our writing will usually undergo an editor earlier than publication. So why do you have to pay for enhancing software program?
ProWritingAid is finest for cleansing up a draft earlier than sending it to the following step. As an alternative of trusting your aunt or a beneficiant good friend to learn your writing and let you know “it’s wonderful,” use this software to offer it an x-ray look and spot clunky wording earlier than an editor does.
It’s well worth the funding for:
Authors: Polish your manuscript earlier than self-publishing or submitting to brokers.
Freelance writers: Tighten your copy earlier than submitting articles (editors will love you!).
College students: Get a digital second eye in your papers earlier than turning them in.
ESL writers: Use the software to enhance diction and uncover filler phrases and awkward wording.
New editors: Use it to coach your eye to hone writing.
In the event you usually work with an editor, for instance, as a workers author in a newsroom or different group, the software in all probability isn’t value your cash. It’ll largely do the job your editor is already being paid to do.
Issues it’s best to know
The free model of ProWritingAid is good when you simply wish to take a look at an occasional little bit of your writing.
If you wish to use it usually, although, I like to recommend getting the Premium model so you need to use the software together with your current phrase processer. ProWritingAid’s internet editor doesn’t provide the type of monitoring modifications or collaboration you’ll get with Google Docs or MS Phrase. With out the mixing, you’ll in all probability duplicate work.
Additionally word, you want to connect with the web for the software to work, so you may’t do any checks when you’re offline. Form of a bummer when you like these undisturbed writing hours on a flight or in your personal Walden Pond. You might need to go away revisions till you come back to civilization.
Backside line: ProWritingAid can’t substitute a human editor’s contact, nevertheless it’s an ideal software for sharpening your writing when you self edit. It’s a easy and inexpensive method to uncover your writing habits and make sure you make the very best impression on each editor or agent whenever you’re able to submit your work.
Editor’s word: We evaluation ebooks, programs and instruments for writers, so you can also make good selections about tips on how to spend money on your writing profession. As you realize, The Write Life solely promotes folks and merchandise we will stand behind 100%.
That’s why we’re excited to companion with ProWritingAid. In the event you’re on the lookout for an enhancing software, we extremely suggest giving ProWritingAid a attempt. As an added bonus, ProWritingAid is providing The Write Life neighborhood a 25% low cost on the ProWritingAid Premium software.
This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks. Which means if you are going to buy via our hyperlinks, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thanks for that!
Photograph through Zofot/ Shutterstock
In regards to the Writer: Dana Sitar
Dana Sitar has been writing and enhancing for on-line audiences and digital media since 2011. She shares sources for writers and entrepreneurs on tips on how to write effectively at danasitar.com.