on the grind

On the hunt for errors? #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #amediting #amwriting #blog

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!

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24 thoughts on “On the hunt for errors? #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #amediting #amwriting #blog”

  1. Great post! I’d like to find one that does a good job of pointing out everything that isn’t American English, or one that adheres to American novel publishing standards. All my Canadianisms keep getting in the way. 😉

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  2. P.S., and I can’t believe I haven’t asked you for this yet, but do you have a Facebook page? I just looked and couldn’t find one, but maybe I’m not looking hard enough? I like to tag people when I share their stuff on Facebook. Email me if you do. 🙂

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  3. I use Grammarly and ProWriting Aid and I enjoy both! My ONE complaint about ProWritingAid is that I’m never able to run my whole doc at once and always have to break it into smaller pieces. It’s small in the scheme of things, but especially for the analysis piece it offers I’d love a ‘whole’ overview instead of several smaller ones.

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  4. Thank you for this! I use the Hemmingway free version to hunt down adverbs and passive voice, but I hadn’t heard of Pro Writing Aid! That’s great to know about, since I’m terrible at grammar 🙂

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  5. I haven’t tried any of these yet (and as a grammar nerd, I have a stubborn resistance to them, which I should probably just get over). I certainly get frustrated with MS Word’s grammar checks, which are very frequently wrong. I assume these programs do better?

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    1. They do, do better than Word, I think. Word can be so inconsistent with when it catches errors and then how it corrects them. *Siiigh* I’d recommend giving them each a try.

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    1. Thank you for following! I definitely recommend auditioning these tools. There might be a better fit for you out there, but at least you’ll have a solid sampling here. Thanks for connecting, Victoria!

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  6. I use both ProWritingAid and Grammarly, but it’s important to know your grammar rules so you can decide if you want to take the advice or not. I use for not only novels, but for emails and blogs. They tend to find different errors.

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  7. I also use ProWrtingAid, but it produces toooo much information. I usually pick out those suggestions I see as gross errors and obvious improvements and ignore the others.

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  8. I hadn’t heard of ProWritingAid but I’ve seen Grammarly, not ready to take that leap into paying for an editing tool yet! Still, I wonder if there are tools out there to help writers structure paragraphs better, too?

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