Self Editing for Authors with ProWritingAid

Self Editing for Authors with ProWritingAid




Hey Everyone!

I recently bought a lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid and it was the best thing I've done for my author career in ages!

I have more time than money to invest into my author career, so I take great care when making purchases. This is the second time I've spent over $100 on something. The first time was to buy my microphone (my audiobook sales have since paid that off).

While I'm in the bootstrapping phase of my author career, I plan to manage my editing between beta readers, ARC readers, reading aloud while narrating and some awesome software.

I've been using the free version of Grammarly for ages and it's been great but I was looking for something with a bit more scope. I wanted something free or something I could pay for once then use forever. The premium version of Grammary looked awesome but the annual fee was a little daunting. They didn't offer a lifetime subscription option.

I played with the free online Hemingway Editor. It was a cool way to see an overview of your style but it messed with my formatting when I pasted the edited text back in my document.

I edit in Word so I tried out a couple of free plugins - Consistency Checker and Pro Cliche Finder. I loved them both, but they weren't quite enough. Consistency Checker is made by Intelligent Editing and they also have great editing software called Perfect It but again, a high subscription price and no lifetime option. $70 doesn't sound too bad but when you convert it to Aussie dollars and add up year after year after year, it stretched my budget.

I came across ProWritingAid and tried it out for free online. The free web editor was awesome but it could only process 500 words at a time. I considered chopping up my manuscript into 500-word blocks to save some money, but although I have more time than money, my time is still too valuable to waste like that.

I downloaded the Word plugin and signed up for a free trial. Wow! It did all the things the other programs offered, combined, plus more. My favourite extra was the House Style button. You can customise patterns for it to search for. I've added things like "t shirt" so I can replace it with "t-shirt" as that's what I've decided to use to keep my books consistent. It's great for tracking spelling of character names between books within a series, too. Please tell me I'm not the only writer who forgets how she decided to spell her characters' names.

The echoes check is handy for picking up close repeats.
I jumped in and bought the lifetime subscription before the trial even ended. I did consider signing up for a month at a time, then cancelling and re-subscribing every time I had a book to edit (my mind can find the cheapest way to do anything) but the convenience of checking anything at any time won out.

The software isn't perfect, you'll still need to check each of the suggestions, but it's a great way to work through a line edit and proofread step by step. Try the summary first to get an overall view of your strengths and weaknesses then run the individual checks to learn how to improve your writing. Once you've done that a few times, you'll get a good feel for which checks you need and which ones you can skip and you can set up a combination check to run all your favourites with one click (and you can set the language in case you have favorites instead of favourites).

It costs nothing to give it a try. If you write/edit in Word or Google Docs there's a plugin for you. If you use Scrivener, the Desktop Application will be your best choice. If you make typos all over the internet (like me) the Chrome Extension might help you out.

You can try out the basic functions in the text box below. The full version is available via monthly, annual or lifetime subscription. I've used affiliate links in this post.



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