Editing your book can be a pretty tense process for some authors. And when it comes to the editing process, there’s no substitute for the eyes of a professional editor. However, new programs are now available online that can seriously cut down on editing time, cost, and (let’s be honest) hassle. Apps are now capable of handling almost every editing task, from assisting with grammar mistakes to identifying overused words to even helping avoid passive voice. While there isn’t a program out there as perfect as the actual eyes of an editor, these apps are certainly a start:
This tool is a combination online editor, writing coach, and style guide. It helps to identify potential problems in your writing that a grammar checker may miss such as overused words, transitions, vague and abstract words, etc. You simply upload your document to the program and you’ll have access to more than 20 in-depth writing reports on various areas of writing strength and clarity. The program is able to be integrated with GoogleDocs, Microsoft Word, Open Office, Scrivener, or Chrome.
Likely the most well-known among the apps, Grammarly allows you to customize what errors you’d like to catch. This includes everything from tense, spelling, repetition, and even tone. You can set it to make sure your tone is consistent with a certain tone- business memo, personal blog, academic- and the software will suggest changes so you stay consistent.
Grammarly is an especially helpful tool for writers who want to actually improve their grammar instead of having a quick fix. Not only does it tell you what you’ve done wrong, it tells you why it’s wrong. The tool is integrated with Microsoft Word so all you need to do is enable the app from the menu and you’re good to go. It also provides assistance through your internet browser.
They have a free version of the software which is able to catch 150 types of mistakes, but the more advanced version (able to catch 250 types of mistakes) is $29.95 per month (or $139.95 per year).
This app was named after the master of clear and concise writing himself, Ernest Hemingway…and that’s precisely what the app allows you to do. Rather than check your grammar, this app goes through and analyzes your writing quality. It highlights any filler words, sentences that are hard to read, sentences that are too long…basically any sentences that should be rephrased. It also catches passive voice, (which is a big no-no in terms of quality writing) and gives you suggestions on words that will improve the impact of the sentence.
The program is also easy to use: you simply place the text in the web-based program and then suggestions appear on the right side of the page. It also provides you with a readability score so that you’re able to see how well the entirety of your book or story is currently flowing (the lower the score, the better). The web-based version is free, and the desktop app is a one-off payment of $19.99.
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