Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).
Today’s Tool: ProWritingAid
Platform: Browser, Windows, Mac, pretty much everything
Cost: Free web version; Premium version available ($50/yr, price breaks available for multiple years; $175/lifetime; discounts for edu folks & bulk purchasing)
What it does: Wow. When I found this a couple years ago, I was astounded and fell in love all at the same time! While it can’t tell you whether your story is a good story, it can tell you how to improve your actual craft.
This is what Word’s Grammar check aspires to be! I use this on all my work before it goes to a professional editor (or acquisitions editor/agent if I’m submitting). I cannot accurately convey the depth of my love for this little program!
Okay, Venessa, enough praise. Show me!
So you can choose to use the free web version and do a section of your work at a time. If you can’t afford the premium version, this is a perfectly good way to do it. It will take longer, because you’ll be doing a lot of copying and pasting, but you’ll get the full functionality of the program, just a piece at a time.
If you upgrade, you can download the software to your computer (there’s even a 2-week free trial!). But here’s the brilliant part: you can use the software with the program you write in, whether it’s Word, Google Docs, Open Office. I use Scrivener for Windows. Here’s what ProWritingAid looks like when I open my novel, Soul Cavern, in it:
As you can see, it shows me all of my writing, in the Scrivener structure, and lets me work on it piece by piece. I use this for every story I write.
Check out all the features across the top. Style, Grammar, Overused words (it’s worth the price for just these three things alone!), Readability, Cliches, Sticky sentences (these are unnecessary words/sentences that slow your reader down), Diction, Repeats, Echoes, and Sentence lengths. The More tab has a dozen other tools like Thesaurus, Pacing, Pronouns, and, of course, more.This month's #ToolTimeTuesday, featuring @ProWritingAid: It shows me all of my writing, in the Scrivener structure, and lets me work on it piece by piece. I use this for every story I write. Click To Tweet
You can also choose, on the Tools option at the menu on the top, what sort of writing you’re doing: academic, creative, business, etc, so that the suggestions are geared toward your particular work.
I wouldn’t recommend solely relying on any digital tool for final editing, but I 100% recommend using ProWritingAid before sending any work to an editor. If you’re working with a professional freelance editor (like me!), running your manuscript through ProWritingAid will likely cut down on the cost of your edits, as it can help you make your manuscript much cleaner for your human editor. This will allow her or him more time and effort to focus on the story itself and less on the mechanics of the writing.
Also, a program like this is a great learning tool as well. ProWritingAid not only suggests corrections, but will often explain why the thing needs to be corrected. This is a fantastic way for newer writers to learn.
Where to get it:
I really do strongly recommend this software. I probably put it as #2 right after Scrivener out of all the Tool Time Tuesdays I’ve done.
Have you tried ProWritingAid? How has it helped with your writing?
Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!
Let’s keep writing! 🙂
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