First Thoughts

I’ve been working with ProWritingAid Premium for the past couple of days. So far, I’m thrilled with it. As I was able to apply a discount code of 25% off, my total cost for this year is $60. That works out to $5 a month.

Unlike some programs, ProWritingAid doesn’t have an app. It has free app extensions for a multitude of programs, including internet browsers. This gives you a quick and dirty grammar check while you are typing.

For the full effect, you open a web-based site and log in. They store your work in the cloud and you can write a story there and then export it to wherever you need it.

At first, I used the free version to check my memoir. It found about 100 areas for improvement. After I had corrected all of them, I then ran it again with the Premium version. It identified an additional 200 areas that had some type of problem.

It’s not perfect. There are some suggestions that I ignored, otherwise, my document wouldn’t make sense. Once you ignore the suggestion, it does not bring it back up. One feature I really like is when it identifies that you have started multiple sentences with the same word. I had one section where I deliberately started each sentence with “I’m” for dramatic effect. Pretty easy to tell the program to ignore that section.

The one feature that I’m looking forward to using is the pacing check. It identifies where your story will bog down. As I despise stories that bog down repeatedly, this will be a significant feature.

I’ve only scratched the surface of ProWritingAid, but I’m duly impressed. If you are like me and have limited editing experience, this is the way to improve your skills and your writing.

On Editing

Editing to me is tedious. I figure there has to be a better way to edit. Off I went into the rabbit hole of editing software and online sites. So many choices presented themselves. First, I looked at the free online editing sites. Most had a word limit which really restricts the editing process.

I stumbled across the Hemingway Editor. No word limit and easy-to-use interface. It is great for finding all those pesky passive voice usage. For grammar, it doesn’t check at all. Plus, it doesn’t look at tense changes in your document.

Then I looked at the paid editors. Grammarly looks impressive, but at $144 a year, that is pricey for my budget. ProWritingAid is cheaper at $79 a year and can integrate with quite a few apps. I’ve installed it on my browser and I find it’s a bit distracting while I type. Lines appearing and disappearing. I may see if I can disable the app while I’m typing and then turn it on afterword.

Takes a couple of clicks to disable it and then to re-enable it. That’s not a good option. I did sign up for an account and it seems to have calmed down. Either that, or I’ve magically become a better writer.

One way I’ve been testing all these sites is to copy and paste my memoir that I’m currently editing. Some found problems in an area that none of the others found. Quite a few had word limits, and I am unable to fully test them.

Both Grammarly and ProWritingAid have additional features when you purchase the paid version. I can see where that would help my writing.

Grammarly may be the best option. I’m leaning toward ProWritingAid because it is easier on the wallet. I’m going to sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow.

Of course, I’m sure that someone will suggest one that I didn’t look at today and I’ll be back down the rabbit hole again tomorrow.