Back in Hemingway’s days, the only tools he had was a typewriter, typewriter oil and fingers. Fortunately for us, we have the internetz and a plethora of tools at our disposal. There are four that I use for writing and a brief description of each. They are:
- Hemingway Editor, http://hemingwayapp.com
- Grammarly, https://app.grammarly.com
- Scribens, https://www.scribens.com/
- Microsoft Word macros, http://www.archivepub.co.uk/macros.html
This one I like the best because of its ease of use, and lack of restrictions. You can paste and analyze entire novels here. It highlights adverbs, passive voice, simpler alternatives to words and sentence reading difficulty. It also provides you with a handy guide of how many adverbs is too many, as well as passive voice. If you chose to use any of these, this one is highly recommended, and on top of the list for a reason.
I use the free version. Some of the corrections here are wrong, but it is still a strong competitor for number one. This corrects more than the Hemmingway Editor, more focus on English usage, spelling and comma usage, which will get everyone no matter who you are. A cool tool, if a little irritating to use sometimes.
This is the final check I use and my favorite. This tool checks for word repetition that can take your reader out of the story, sentence structure and clichés. It also checks for subjectivity, whatever that is. It has a word limit of 5,000 words, but you can work around this. If you only had to use one tool, use this one.
I have modified some macros to use with word to find showing vs telling words, unnecessary words, passive voice, prepositions, and a few other minor things. You have to be good with macros, or know how to write them for this to work. I am unsure of how well this works, as I have found multiple errors with these macros on professionally published work. It is irritating to remove every preposition from fiction, not to mention quite tedious. Those reasons are why this is listed last.
That’s it for the introduction. Let me know if you want more detail on any of those in the list. Next week, I will post a progress update. Good luck with your writing!