Free Editing

Here’s a neat editing tool which I recently discovered while paying a visit to Jo Robinson’s blog. Jo is an eclectic blogger and also one who takes helping fellow Indie writers to heart. Her post linked to Nina Soden’s blog where I discovered the Pro Writing Aid.

I was (and still am) in the midst of preparing to enter 3,000 words of my crime novel into a competition. I entered last year (same manuscript) and although I didn’t even get long listed, I was in the top 25 out of over 500 entries. Things like this are encouraging and so here I am, one year later, re-working my manuscript. During the year I had the 3,000 words edited by two different editors.

 

I don’t like editing my work because most of the time I know there’s something wrong but either I don’t know what exactly it is and/or how to fix it, or even if something needs editing.

Then I read this on Nina Soden’s post:

  • PRO WRITING AID – This is an online writing editor and personal writing coach. It checks grammar and spelling; helps to improve overall readability; finds overused words; improves dull paragraph structure; locates repeat words and phrases; checks for consistency of spelling; hyphenation and capitalization; warns you about clichés and redundancies; and so much more. I learned about this tool through a friend that does line editing as a freelancer. She told me that it was an inexpensive way to help improve writing as you go and that it was extremely user friendly – SHE WAS RIGHT! I highly suggest trying it out. What is the worst that could happen?

  

I gave the Aid a try with my 3,000 words. For the freebie, you can only feed the software 1,000 words at a time but, believe me, you wouldn’t want to work with more.

The Pro Writing tool instantly analysed my writing and provided me with an analysis summary similar to the one below.

 

Summary analysis screen

 

The analysis of my text showed that I had a total of 53 issues! 53 issues that paid editors missed!

Okay some (few) errors reported had to do with names. Still, that only brought my total down by a hair.

Besides a free version, there’s also a premium version (of course).  The free version reports all the issues that the premium version does. Also, both show you exactly where the issues with your text are and at times provides suggestions.The difference, as far as I saw,was that the premium version allows you to edit as you go along. Nice time saver!

Even after using the free version I found my text to be tighter and cleaner. It also made editing more enjoyable.

 For more information on this tool just click here.

Have you tried this aid? 

 

 

41 thoughts on “Free Editing

  1. I haven’t heard of this tool. Thanks so much for posting about it. I’ve bookmarked it and will definitely give it a try in the future. It looks like an excellent resource.

  2. I tried the free version a couple of years ago. A most helpful tool. At first I cried because of the overwhelming ‘corrections’, but it taught me more than any writing workshop has. Fabulous post. Wonderful tool. I haven’t used it since and have never tried the purchased version.

  3. Yes, I’ve tried this editing aid, and it is just that – an aid. It’s very useful for cleaning up a lot of mistakes in your writing, but if you’re thinking of publishing, it doesn’t come close to replacing what a copy-editor would do for you. But for a first cleanup of the writing, it’s an excellent aid.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Anneli. I think this aid is really useful before sending your writing out to a content and copy editor but it doesn’t replace them. .

  4. Thanks for sharing, Carol. Sounds very helpful and I definitely could use the extra eyes to catch those little errors that can be easily missed when one is too close to the work.

  5. I recently looked at a similar one called autocrit. It was too late for Shallow Waters but I will run my drafts through before sending to editors. It good for things like overused words that you just become blind to.

  6. Interesting software. I gave it a try. A lot of suggestions, however, didn’t really take into account “creative” style/phrasing so important in fiction. Apparently this is a Premium option, which is a good deal at $35/year, but is not compatible with Word for Mac (which I use). So, interesting, but not a great fit for me, personally.
    Good luck with the Debut Dagger (I’m assuming that’s what you are entering). I recently read Rosemary McCracken’s Safe Harbor. Her first attempt didn’t make it, but her second attempt, she was short listed. And now she’s published! My blog with her interview will be posted on Sat, Jan. 24th.

    • Hi Judy-
      The software does have limitations, especially when it applies to creativity. I’m looking forward to your blog post on Rosemary McCracken.
      I’m not certain I’m eligible to enter the CWA debut dagger because I already have some books published (although not crime and not traditionally published). I’m waiting for their response.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Carol. I’ll have to try it out. Like others have said, it sounds like a great tool to use before sending to an editor. You’ll save $$ on the editor not having to do so much editing 😉

  8. Interesting. I had a little go with this, putting in the first 900 words of my non-fiction book. The problem is that it is a computer, so even if something is in quotes, it doesn’t treat is as dialogue and corrects the style and grammar. Capitalisation confuses it, so it doesn’t like War Office or Prisoner of War… perhaps it wasn’t fair to give it non-fiction. It did find one bad error and showed me a couple of elements I will attend to, but I’d worry about taking too much advice from a programme that can count brilliantly, but cannot think.

  9. Wow, thanks a lot Carol. What a great idea. This would be like pre editing before sending to editor, I suspect? Can’t wait to check it out! 🙂

  10. Great tool. Thank you, Carol. I’ve used a similar software, but can’t remember the name. Will certainly give this one a try. Any help is appreciated, and I absolutely agree with you: we are too close to our own work to be editors.

  11. English is not my native tongue, so editing is a must. I find it really tiring to do, reading back and forth just to check if I used proper formatting, punctuations, passive/active voice etc. I don’t even understand how to identify some of the grammar issues LOL. But I have to keep trying to make at least small improvements.

    • I hope the pro-writing aid helps you. If you try it, do so just in short sections at a time. Otherwise you might find it too overwhelming! Good luck! 🙂 Let me know what you think if you try it.

I'd love to hear your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s