Pro Writing Aid is more than just an editing app for writing. It is a free online site that will refine your writing technique and help you to gain a more intimate understanding of your own writing, including what’s great about it and what’s not-so-great about it. The fact that you’re able to use this for free, even though it’s functionality is limited in the free version, is pretty amazing – it’s basically like having an editor at your fingertips.
When I first opened the site, I was waiting to be bombarded with a plethora of editing options and buttons with nonsense images on them that scare me a little. Instead I was met with a really straight forward user interface and design that directs the eye to exactly where it needs to pay attention. So I pasted my work into the site and waited for the report. Now, there are two things that I really love about this program:
- It checks all the things! It doesn’t just see if there are spelling or grammatical errors, it checks for things like: overused words; fluff words (words that are often used as filler but can usually be cut out); clichés and redundancies; repeated phrases; sentence length; paragraph length; dialogue tags; vague or abstract words; consistency in punctuation or capitalisation and so on; transition; eloquence; complexity; and that maybe covers half of what this mean machine can do! It’s all the things a good editor would check your work for, but without running the risk of off-putting editorial manners or being personally offended by their “subjectivity”. Your own report may look something this:
- It lets you check the errors and change them as you go through the Summary Report, so you can see exactly where and how often these errors are occurring, then fix them straight away. I loved being able to see the errors in my work within the context of the work itself. It puts the ball back into your own court and allows you to assess whether the errors it’s picked up are in fact errors (it is a computer after all and it doesn’t get everything; i.e. Bustle vs. bustle.com is seen as a capitalisation inconsistency, which is true but totally okay to do in this case).
What I found most valuable in using Pro Writing Aid was discovering aspects of my own writing that were sweet and other aspects that really need some work. For example, I use certain colloquialisms when I’m writing because it’s how I talk, and while they are technically still correct, it’s not good writing. I also found that there were particular fluff words I used a lot and other words or phrases I repeat. So where you will really find value in this writing app is by using it to take an objective look at your writing and see how the suggestions improve it from a technical perspective, as well as gaining a unique insight into your writing habits.
Overall, I highly rate the Pro Writing Aid site and am currently looking into buying one of the upgraded packages to remove some of limited functionality of the free version. My only complaint about the site is that there is something weird happening with titles and tabs overlaying each other, which is confusing and makes it hard to see some of the options. Weird layout aside, this is definitely worth a try of the free version and from there it’s up to you to decide.
PS. Pro Writing Aid totally has a free ebook download at the moment (available for a limited time only), titled The Novel Writing Training Plan – 17 Steps To Get Your Ideas In Shape For The Marathon Of Writing – Check it out: https://prowritingaid.com/en/Landing/Ebook2