Articles about ProWritingAid reports

How to use... The Clichés and Redundancies Check

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Clichés and Redundancies Check

Whenever you use a cliché, you are knowingly writing something unoriginal. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of something new to say.

Writers often use clichés when they are working on their first draft because thinking up original wording takes time and can interrupt creative flow. That’s fine. But, when you go back to edit, be creative and brainstorm for fresh ideas. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché. A good writer may create and reject over a dozen images before finding the right one, so don’t worry if it takes you a while.

Read More »

How to use... The Dialogue Tags Check

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use...  The Dialogue Tags Check

Dialogue tags are the words that refer dialogue to a specific character. The two most common examples are “said” and “asked”.

  • “I’m not going!” said Charlie.

They are essential in writing, particularly in scenes that include several characters, because they help the reader follow the conversation. Novice writers, however, have an annoying tendency to use more flowery dialogue tags and pepper them with adverbs.

  • “I’m not going!” said Charlie angrily.
  • “I’m not going!” shouted Charlie.
  • “I’m not going!” roared Charlie furiously.

Read More »

How to use... The Overused Words Check

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Overused Words Check

There are some words and sentence constructions that are fine to use occasionally, but become problematic when they are overused. They fall into five main categories:

1) Too Wishy-Washy

Words like “could”, “might” and “maybe” are indefinite in their meaning. “I could bring a salad to dinner” feels hesitant and unsure, whereas “I will bring a salad to dinner” feels resolute. If your writing is peppered with these non-specific words, it will feel unconvincing. Try to limit your use of these undefined words to times when they are really necessary and replace them with definite words when you are able.

Read More »

How to use... The Pacing Check

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Pacing Check

Pacing refers to the speed at which a story is told and how quickly the reader is moved through events. Good writing contains faster-paced sections, such as dialogue and character action, as well as slower-paced sections, such as introspection and backstory.

A book that is entirely composed of car chases without taking the time to make you care about the character being chased just won’t be effective at bringing readers into the story. Likewise, a story that has four chapters in a row dedicated to your main character’s Zen contemplation may need a bit of action to keep readers interested. Differently paced sections should complement each other, allowing the reader to move with you through the narrative.

Read More »

How to use... The Repeats Check

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Repeats Check

Repeating a word or phrase happens to the best of us, especially if you’re writing an article and using a specific vocabulary for your topic. You won’t even notice you’ve used the same word several times in the span of one paragraph because it’s foremost in your mind. But those repeats can set off an echo in the reader’s mind – that subconscious feeling of “Didn’t he just say that?” It can be irritating to read and, worse, it can detract from what you are trying to say. The more uncommon a word or phrase, the more likely it is to echo, even pages apart.

Read More »

How to use... The Sentence Length Report

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Sentence Length Report

Varied sentence length is an important feature of good writing. To maintain your readers’ interest, use a variety of sentence lengths: some short and punchy, others long and flowing.

The late Gary Provost illustrated it best. Click through to see how.

Read More »

How to use... The Sticky Sentence Report

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016

How to use... The Sticky Sentence Report

A sticky sentence is one that is full of glue words.

Glue words are the empty space that readers need to get through before they can get to your ideas. Generally, your sentences should contain less than 45% glue words. If they contain more, they should probably be re-written to increase clarity.

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 »

The 6 Best Manuscript Editing Software Packages

by ProWritingAid Apr 15, 2015

Picking the right manuscript editing software can be daunting. Several packages exist, and they all have different features. Here we list the best 6 manuscript editing software packages on the market. We give you an overview of their features to help you choose the best.AutoCrit

Read More »