From the blog

What is a Cliché? And Why Should You Avoid Them?

by ProWritingAid Jan 10, 2016

What is a Cliché?  And Why Should You Avoid Them?

A cliché is a tired, stale phrase or idiom that, because of overuse, has lost its impact. What was once a fresh way of looking at something has become a weak prop for writing that feels unimaginative and dull. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of a new way to express an idea.

George Orwell in his Rules of Writing said: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” Be creative and come up with something fresh. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché.

Read More »

Readability Report

by ProWritingAid Dec 29, 2015

Flesch Kincaid Reading EaseBased on a 0-100 scale. A higher score means the text is easier to read. Low scores suggest the text is difficult to understand.206.835 - 1.015 x (words/sentences) - 84.6 x (syllables/words)A value between 60 and 80 should be easy for a 12 to 15 year old to understand. Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGrade Level indicatorsThese equate the readability of the text to the US schools grade level system.Flesch Kincaid Grade Level0.39 x (words/sentences) + 11.8 x (syllables/words) - 15.59 Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaSpache Readability formaulaSimilar to the Dale-Chall Formula, as it used a list of familiar words, but used for third grade and below. Spache Readability Formula - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGunning Fog Score0.4 x ( (words/sentences) + 100 x (complexWords/words) )SMOG Index1.0430 x sqrt( 30 x complexWords/sentences ) + 3.1291Coleman Liau Index5.89 x (characters/words) - 0.3 x (sentences/words) - 15.8Automated Readability Index (ARI)4.71 x (characters/words) + 0.5 x (words/sentences) - 21.43

Read More »

3 Common Pitfalls that can Ruin Your Writing Momentum

by Robby Macdonell Dec 28, 2015

3 Common Pitfalls that can Ruin Your Writing Momentum Like most creative work, a big factor in the success of your writing projects is the amount of time you’re able to put into them. But simply finding the time is only half the equation. It’s also important that you use the time well. At RescueTime, we’ve spent years helping people figure out how to get the most out of their time, and along the way we’ve seen a few things trip people up over and over again. I wanted to share some of the more common pitfalls, along with a few solutions.Pitfall #1 - The myth of productive multitasking

Read More »

Why You Need Great Transitions in Your Writing

by ProWritingAid Dec 23, 2015

Why You Need Great Transitions in Your Writing Imagine a road with no street signs to point the way. How would you follow the right route if you didn’t have a sign showing you which way to go?

Read More »

What is POV? And How Do You Choose the Best POV for Your Story

by ProWritingAid Dec 11, 2015

What is POV? And How Do You Choose the Best POV for Your Story What is POV? It stands for Point of View, and it’s one of the most important aspects of your story that must be decided before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

Read More »

Planning Your Writing for 2016

by Kathy Edens Dec 08, 2015

Planning Your Writing for 2016 December is here already. That means it’s time to start planning for 2016. Whether you write novels, non-fiction books, articles, blog posts, or other content, the more you produce, the more money you’ll make. This makes planning a necessity if you want to maximize your time and your bottom line.

Read More »

Why You Should Start Writing Morally Grey Characters

by Coby Stephens Dec 08, 2015

Why You Should Start Writing Morally Grey Characters Spoiler Alert: If you haven't yet watched/read Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, or Breaking Bad, please proceed with caution as key plot points are discussed.

Read More »

The Debate: How Prolific Should You Be in 2016?

by Kathy Edens Dec 08, 2015

The Debate: How Prolific Should You Be in 2016? Back in the good old days of publishing, a prolific writer was expected to put out a new title each year. This gave fans something to anticipate, and publishers could plan accordingly.

Read More »

What are Dangling Modifiers and Why You Shouldn’t Let Them Dangle

by ProWritingAid Dec 04, 2015

What are Dangling Modifiers and Why You Shouldn’t Let Them Dangle What is a dangling modifier, you ask?

Read More »

6 Best Editorial Tools for Writers & Editors

by Edward Warner Dec 01, 2015

6 Best Editorial Tools for Writers & Editors Whether you are a content marketer, author or blogger, it’s important to carefully plan out the content on your website. There’s a whole range of apps and tools out there to help us collect ideas, outline our work, collaborate with a team, and publish blog posts. Editorial tools have made the content management process much easier.

Read More »

How your personal blog can generate income through the ProWritingAid affiliate program

by ProWritingAid Nov 28, 2015

How your personal blog can generate income through the ProWritingAid affiliate program This post is “Affiliates 101”. Many of our users are already part of our affiliate program. They're earning passive income by promoting us on their websites and social media. Our top affiliates earned over $1000 in 2015. However, there are a lot of you out there who have great websites and blogs but haven’t linked up the program yet. This post is for you. Here is what you need to know. What is an affiliate program?

Read More »

Life After NaNoWriMo: Time to Punch Up Your Narrative Arc and Character Development

by Kathy Edens Nov 27, 2015

Life After NaNoWriMo:  Time to Punch Up Your Narrative Arc and Character Development You’ve survived yet another NaNoWriMo. Congratulations! You’ve just written a book in 30 days. Now what?

Read More »

How to Finally Finish Your Novel

by Anita Evensen Nov 27, 2015

How to Finally Finish Your Novel So many people – people that you might not even expect – have the beginning of a novel hidden somewhere in a drawer or closet. They sat down and started writing because they had something to say and a story to tell. The vast majority started out strong, writing pages and pages each week, and then slowly lost momentum as they encountered difficult passages or become distracted by another aspect of their lives. Their untold story remains untold, languishing for years in a forgotten file folder.

Read More »

Life After NaNoWriMo: Facing the Technical Edit Like a Pro

by Lisa Lepki Nov 27, 2015

Life After NaNoWriMo: Facing the Technical Edit Like a Pro You wrote a novel! Well done. Reaching the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in a month is an impressive feat. So, now you can just sit back, put up your feet and wait for the publishers to come knocking.

Read More »

5 Tricks for Using Dialogue to Write Truly Captivating Characters

by Lisa Lepki Nov 27, 2015

5 Tricks for Using Dialogue to Write Truly Captivating Characters Dialogue can be about much more than just the words on the page. Good authors use it to build tension and subtly set the tone of each interaction. The words their characters choose say so much more than just their lexical meaning. So how you can use dialogue to create captivating characters and move your story forward? Here are 5 tricks: 1) Create power dynamics

Read More »

5 Ways to Come Up With the Great Essay Ideas

by Daniela McVicker Nov 17, 2015

5 Ways to Come Up With the Great Essay Ideas Writing an essay is a challenging undertaking. You have to research, take notes, write an outline, and then turn that outline into a rough draft. Finally, you have to repeatedly edit and refine your rough draft until it becomes a suitable final draft. It can take hours, even days, to complete an essay. Of course, before any of this can happen, you need to come up with a great topic. It may seem like a simple task, but if you cannot think of an essay idea, you can’t even get off the starting blocks. So, what do you do when you are stuck and can’t think of anything to write about? Here are 5 ways in which you can help yourself come up with a great essay idea. 1. Brainstorming

Read More »

7 Essential Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

by Cathi King Nov 01, 2015

October 31. A day of celebration and bags full of candy.

Read More »

Our Blunders, Your Gain. What the team at Our Write Side wish they had known about blogging before they began.

by Our Write Side Oct 15, 2015

Our Blunders, Your Gain. What the team at Our Write Side wish they had known about blogging before they began. When we heard that three of our favourite writing bloggers – Stephanie Ayers, Wendy Strain and A.L. Mabry – were joining forces and starting up a new writing website called OurWriteSide.com, we were excited! We reached out and asked them if they would share what they have learned during their years in the blogosphere that might help bloggers who are just starting out. Here is what they had to say.

Read More »

Why and How Writers Should Protect Themselves Online

by Caroline Black Oct 15, 2015

Why and How Writers Should Protect Themselves Online Unless you are one of those rare technophobic writers staunchly refusing to give up their typewriter, you and technology are necessarily brought together by the very nature of your work. You write on a computer, save your work on a hard drive and market it online, with the world of social media offering exciting opportunities to promote yourself and your writing. Yet there are inherent dangers that come with the internet. Hackers and other cybercriminals can take advantage of users who are not sufficiently tech savvy. Here’s what you need to know.

Read More »

5 Tricks for Writing Fast Without Losing Quality

by Janice Kersh Oct 15, 2015

5 Tricks for Writing Fast Without Losing Quality Ever see another writer crank out a great essay or compelling post in record time while you're there slaving over your desk for hours with only a few sentences to show for it? The secret to fast writing is preparation. It’s like training for a sport. When you see a sprinter break a record, you're only there for the few seconds of glory, but the runner has spent years in preparation for that moment. The same is true with fast writing. You can write fast too, but you’ll have to be disciplined and do the preparation necessary to finish quality work in record time.

Read More »