When I was in high school, I was the student that always had her hand up – not in an incessant way, but whenever there was a grammar question, I usually knew the answer. I LOVED grammar (writer alert!) because it made so much sense to me – like parentheticals around every phrase or predicate, illuminating the intention of the author. Nerdy, right?
Well, it was all fun and games until I started writing long-form creative fiction. Commas didn’t seem so natural to me anymore, and semi-colons seemed like alien hieroglyphics. Enter, Stage right: ProWritingAid. This free tool hunts down all the run-on sentences, repeat words, and grammar mistakes. LOVE THIS. If you’re like me, and approach editing with friends like a pre-query, it’s great to know you’re presenting your best work to beta readers.
Grammarly offers the same service for a price. There’s a low-frills version for free but otherwise it costs $29.95 per month, $59.95 per quarter or $139.95 per year for premium service. I know many writer friends who swear by this platform, but its explanations for why errors were made can be difficult to understand.
Finally, and one of my favorites for the name alone, the Hemingway App. Ernest Hemingway is one of the kings of short, powerful sentences, right? It’s only fitting that an app (and desktop version) be created to edit lengthy prose down to his style. Pricing ranges from free to $9.99 for the desktop version.
This is a very succinct (Hemingway-version?) list of editing tools, and the Internet is full of dozens more. A matrix of resources can also be found at the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop main page, and I encourage you to do a deep dive among the many writer blogs found there.
While the platforms I mention here are my personal faves, I’m always on the hunt for more. What writing tool do you use? What are its pros and cons? Comment in the space below and share your own writing hacks. Happy hunting!