I’ve been posting a lot about editing lately, and there’s reason for it. I’m overbooked with editing projects–a novel and two children’s books constantly calling for my attention. As such, I’ve been looking for ways to make my editing experience easier, more fun and more efficient. I knew I was doing something right two days ago when I discovered that my NaNo novel, The Automaton of Miss Ada Stirling, was accepted by JukePop Serials (that’s right, one of my books actually got published!). How did I manage to fix it up so well in just a couple weeks? A lot of it had to do with these sites:
1. I Write Like…: All right, maybe this doesn’t help with writing or editing. But it’s fun. It’s a good distraction. And it might help you figure out what direction to take your writing in. Basically, with I Write Like, you paste a sample of your writing into a box and it tells you what famous author you sound like. It also recommends tips and ideas that can help enhance and develop your natural writing style. Even though I’d never heard of the writer I resemble, I had a good time messing around with this tool and finding out that I’m not completely alone in the literary world.
2. Hemingway App: I’m not the biggest fan of Ernest Hemingway. Most people who do like him seem to like him more for his status as a famous early twentieth century author instead of as someone who wrote stories, and nothing he’s written has stayed in met head for long. Hemingway is known for having a minimalistic and simple writing style. He never included information that wasn’t necessary, and his sentences were always plain and direct. Hemingway App helps you to simplify your own writing by highlighting everything that isn’t necessary and telling you how to otherwise simplify it. This is perfect for anyone who has issues with flowery or overly descriptive writing. It can be hard to tell what’s needed and what needs to go, but this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
3. Writer’s Diet. There are several websites like choosemyplate.gov that can help you evaluate your own diet and exercise to see how healthy your lifestyle is. You type in what you’re doing and what you’re eating and they give you a personalized report. Writer’s Diet is the same thing for your novel. Paste in a sample, and this site will scan it and give you a report on the different aspects of your writing and what areas are flabby, fit or need toning. It’s a fun and fresh take on editing that can give you a new perspective on what parts of your novel need work.
4. ProWritingAid.com: Wow. Just, wow. I’ve never had such easy and productive editing sessions in my life. Just copy and paste a chapter (or a few pages) of your novel onto this editing tool and it will evaluate everything about it–word choice, cliches, spelling and grammar, overused words, sentence length, everything! I was shocked when I first saw how many errors it found in what I had considered to be my flawless first chapter. But when I looked it over, I found out that in most cases, it was absolutely right. I made the suggested changes, and the chapter was so much better that I was shocked. I had no idea that there was an online editor that could do that.
5. Scribophile: Maybe you already have a group of dedicated writers that you exchange manuscripts with and critique, and if so, good for you. I’ve always been afraid of that option–afraid of people hating what I write and afraid that their comments won’t make my writing any better but only more generic. Lately, Scribophile has been giving me all the support I need in that area. It’s basically an online critique group. You critique the writing of other people, and they critique your writing. There are a lot of published authors in the group, and people who write in every format and genre imaginable. That means that someone out there is probably going to love your story and that most of the critiques you get will be helpful, constructive and encouraging. That’s a good thing for socially awkward writers who are afraid of big groups of critics!
I never knew any of these sites existed until a few weeks ago, and I would love to learn about others! Please share in the comments section what your online edition experiences have been like and where you go to power up your novel. I look forward to hearing all about it!