As I shared recently on my personal blog, grammar is the bane of my existence. I’m so excited to tell the story or express my idea, that I never push pause and wonder if I’m structuring well. Then, I have comb through everything looking for missing letters, forgotten articles, passive voice, adverbs, missing commas, and the list goes on.
This is NOT a post about the weakest element of my writing (though my rambling could transform it to that in an instant). Instead, I would like to present writers with some tools to combat the grammar demon. After all Microsoft Word and Open Office’s tools, don’t catch most mistakes writers fear.
ProWritingAid: Is hands down my favorite editing tool. I use the “style” and “grammar/spelling” report the most and it helps me find all my major pitfalls. There are over 20 reports a writer can comb through. It allows me to hunt down overused words, pacing problems, and repetitive sentence structure. When I’m “into” my story, I can spend days pouring through the reporting procedures making every element perfect. And I walk away with the sense I improved my writing
Beyond the different reports, there are different evaluations for different writing. I set my editor to ‘Creative’ on default, but you may prefer, “business”, “casual”, “web” or one of the other seven styles.
I use ProWritingAid in the web editor mode, but it has add ons that connect it to Mac, Scrivener, Word, and more. I’ve been working with the software for a little over the year and there are major quality of life improvements with this software. For example it doesn’t get rid of my bold, italic, or underlined text anymore when I copy and paste from one document t to another.
ProWritingAid allows you to use their editor for 500 words or fewer for free. To use the editor on longer works you must purchase. They have many pricing options and it’s affordable (less so than when I bought in but still WORTH IT).
Grammarly: This was the hottest grammar software on the market three years ago when I first poked around in the blogging world. I was convinced this thing would 100% make all the right corrections, and I was disappointed. A fellow writers’ group member, Ashley Saunders, (who is an expert on all syntax and structure) pointed out how much the software missed in my writing. She complained my “edited” draft still read like a rough draft.
Because I was so disappointed with the free services of Grammarly, I never investigated if the paid version provided better corrections. The pricing is more reasonable now than it was then. It may be worth consideration. Still, ProWritingAid offers more evaluation tools. For a writer looking to make their work the best and not just grammatically sound, ProWritingAid exceeds Grammarly.
Hemingway App: An excellent free web app that offers writers insight into readability, adverbs, and passive voice. I used to run everything through here. Since I’ve worked with ProWritingAid a year, I’m convinced the software finds everything Hemmingway App does and makes more helpful suggestions on how to correct issues I’ve encountered. Still, this a wonderful free app and perfect for an aspiring writer not ready to invest any money in a new editor.
Word Counter: I haven’t played a lot with this online tool, but it’s an interesting cross between Grammarly, Hemmingway App and a word production app. Their evaluations look interesting and the service is free. They send me emails about twice a week and the topics are interesting.
Do you have a grammar editor of preference? Am I missing the BEST one? Have I over hyped one editor while downplaying another? Talk to me, tell me more about the tools you use to make your writing everything it can be.