Writing Tips and Tools: ProWritingAid.com
I stumbled across this writing tool when they started following me on Twitter. I checked out the website and gave it a try. There’s a blank field on the main page of the website where you can paste your written copy and then click the ‘analyze,’ button. The pro writing aid software analyzes your writing and gives you suggestions for revisions in categories such as:
- Overused words
- Sentence variation
- Clichés & Redundancies
- Repeated words & phrases
The pro writing aid tool also analyses sentence length, clichés and the pacing of your writing. If you are going to hand your writing over to a human editor, you might want to first pop it into this free tool and make the suggested corrections that you agree with and then see what your editor has to say.
I tried it with an article I wrote this morning, and I found the edits useful. It pointed out to me how much I overuse certain words, it revealed my penchant for beginning sentences with conjunctions and prepositions, and it showed how I could improve the pacing or my work. I also tend to write long, rambling sentences. Long sentences are fine as long as you vary the length of all the sentences in that piece of writing. Every single word should carry its own weight.
I often coach beginning writers about the importance of separating the creative process of writing from the mechanical process of editing and revising. After you have written something, set it aside for awhile and then run it through prowritingaid.com to help improve the finished product.
While it’s never going to replace a human editor, prowritingaid.com is a handy, free tool that you can use to run your writing through to clean it up and catch common errors.
- In Books: Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark (reflectionsinapuddle.wordpress.com)