Hello, I'm Chris Banks.

I'm a writer, geek, Italian beverage lover, and founder of ProWritingAid. I just wanted to welcome you as a member of our community and tell you a bit about who we are and why we exist.

Chris Banks ProWritingAid Founder

I'm not a natural storyteller

In 2012, I returned from traveling around South America to a cold and rainy London. I decided I wanted to write a magical realism novel about my adventures—to keep the memory alive. Even though I was a proficient business writer, I struggled immensely. Although storytelling is the most important part of business writing, the stories are different—they're more minimalist and lack the texture and descriptive detail of creative writing. This meant I had to learn a whole new set of skills.

I wasn't born a great storyteller—I don't believe anyone is—but I learned with the help of my colleagues. They would sit with me, going over what I wrote, pointing out areas I could work on and teaching me how to craft a narrative. I don't consider myself a natural storyteller, but with their guidance, I'm proud to say I've become an effective one.

When I started writing my novel, I didn't have anyone to help me. I read lots of books on fiction writing, but I struggled to understand how to apply that to my own writing. I spent hours writing and editing my work but feeling like I was getting nowhere. I couldn't translate the ideas in my head to something good on paper. In the past, I'd had someone sit with me and help me. This time, I wasn't so lucky.

ProWritingAid Founder in South America
Early version of ProWritingAid

A surprising solution

After several fruitless and frustrating months, it suddenly occurred to me that I had the skills to help myself. I was proficient in data analysis from my job, I'd learned how to code in school, and I understood the mechanics of writing. My problem was just applying it to my own writing. I decided I could create software that would act as my storytelling partner—a role my colleagues had previously filled.

I created a prototype program (embarrassing picture on the left) that highlighted when I was doing certain things, like showing, not telling. This helped me immensely. I put it on a website and shared it with a few other people, and I soon realized that other people found it useful too. That's when I realized how much I love helping other people achieve their ambitions.

Sharing my discovery with the world

Since I launched ProWritingAid in 2013, my ambition to write a novel has been replaced with an ambition to help other people tell better business and creative stories. The product and what is technologically possible has changed beyond recognition. The company has grown from just me to over 40 people, but I feel like we're only getting started.

ProWritingAid Team in Italy
Chris Banks's Grandfather and Grandmother

Why am I so passionate about our mission?

I'm so passionate about this product because of my grandfather (picture on the left). He was an amazing man. He was an engineer—a man of numbers, not of words. He once crashed a fighter plane into a Scottish Loch, and another into the Mediterranean. He lived in remote parts of India, bringing electricity to rural populations and riding elephants. But he never had the confidence to share those stories with me or the world. It was only after he passed away that we found all the stories he'd written but never had the confidence to share.

What fuels that passion?

I've seen how ProWritingAid can help people to grow the skills and confidence to share their knowledge, stories, and ideas. Every positive review we receive fuels that passion. But we're only at the beginning of what we can do. Technology is making things possible today that we could only have dreamed of a year ago. I wish my grandfather were still alive so the product could help him share his stories with the world.

If ProWritingAid has helped you, I'd love for you to share your story with me; you can connect with me on LinkedIn or join our community, or if you're ever in Palma de Mallorca (where I now live), then let me buy you a coffee.

ProWritingAid Testimonial