Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun New Software for Zip #amwriting

Pro Writing Aid
I've been enjoying a new piece of software called Pro Writing Aid. It's my favorite price: Free. You need at least 200 words for the program to work, but since I'm working on a novel, that isn't a problem for me.

Click the title under the logo to try it out. It opens in a new window. No worries about your material ending up anywhere else. You can clear the page when you leave, but it doesn't keep any information if you don't.

Below is its analysis summary of this article. Click the image to see it full sized.

Click to view in larger size.
Once you paste in your material, click Analyze, and watch the magic happen. This program gives you words that are homynyms, shows you alliteration, sentence length variations, diction issues, sticky sentences (cumbersome or full of phrases), and much more. Each section is shown in its own neat window. Click the tab sections on the left to open the page and see the text.

I keep my document open and make changes to it while referring to the website. When I'm satisfied, I copy, clear the old data, paste the new, and analyze again. Sometimes I find things that it notes are not really "issues." For example, it tags the word "said" as a dialog tag, even if I'm not using it that way in context. I might have written, "She said you were wrong." That's not a tag, but the software only catches the word said. It also picks up growled, whispered, and other such words. These can be helpful catches. Just be aware that now and then, it may be taking them out of context.

Nothing beats a good critique partner or beta reader. Mine are worth far more than gold. But in a pinch, this little program is a great help.

4 comments:

  1. This is really cool. I've got a short story I'm currently editing and this a great tool. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Cara! The software is very easy to use, isn't it? I get a kick out of seeing the various things it picks up.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. This looks very cool. I've seen other similar websites but this looks like it goes a little bit farther than the others.

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    1. Cindy, you're welcome! It has some nice features, and I've been using it before I send it to my beta readers. It gives me different feedback entirely. Theirs is character-centric, whereas this is purely technical and grammar. Both are helpful. I hope you enjoy using it.

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