In a perfect world, you would love to have your own writing editor to rely on.
If you are lucky enough to be an author with a contract for traditional publishing, editors work on your manuscript as part of your publishing agreement.
But in reality, we know that the cost of hiring a professional for editing services such as developmental editing, copy editing or line editing is beyond the financial reach of the majority of writers and self-published authors.
There are many self-help, short story and fiction writers using self-publishing today. It is unrealistic to think that all of them can afford to pay for a freelance editor to help in the writing and editing process.
What readers want
There is an expectation from readers that when they buy a book or even read a blog post or online news article, that the texts will be perfect.
If you read some of the major newspapers online, you will know that even with a professional editor, mistakes can still happen.
However, that is not an excuse. You should always be looking for ways to improve your writing, your grammar and your writing style.
If you write a book, an article or even if you’ve written a quick social media message, you need to be sure you are using good sentence structure and that your grammar and spelling are error-free.
For new writers, it can be daunting.
Mistakes get noticed very quickly. Readers are sometimes not shy at all about pointing out these errors by posting to public online forums such as social media, blog comments or book reviews.
So you really do need to learn how to write well, and accurately.
You would probably love to have a writing coach or take writing classes. But these are expensive options. You need to make money before you can spend money.
The writing process needs to be a learning experience.
So how can you learn to make your writing clear, focused, error-free and using grammar and style that will be enjoyable for readers?
Using quick online grammar checking
Experienced writers very often do a quick grammar check, reduce passive voice and find spelling errors by using an online grammar tool.
For article and blog writers, who are usually in a hurry, the most popular choice for writing correction is Grammarly.
It is a favourite because it works in any browser and also with Microsoft Word documents. Above all, it is fast and accurate in finding basic spelling and grammar mistakes.
But for new writers looking for help and assistance, you need more than an efficient grammar and spelling checker.
You need writing editing software that can help you improve and craft your writing.
Yes, you need editing tools. But what you really need are explanations to help you understand where you might be going wrong.
A tool that highlights common errors and spell checking is practical. But you want to learn why something is an error and learn how you can fix it.
When you know why your sentence structure has a problem, you can then learn and improve your writing much faster.
Do you need a writing editor or coach?
A coach is someone (or something) that can help teach you how to do something. A standard grammar checker certainly can’t do this.
However, there is one program that can give you genuine writing guidance and help you to write much better.
If you are new, or even not so new to writing and you have never heard about ProWritingAid (PWA), you should investigate the possibilities it has to offer.
It really is a pro writing aid.
Of course, it has a spell checker and grammar suggestion functions. It also has a plagiarism checker.
But where it is different is that it provides you with extremely detailed reports that can help you learn and understand how to improve your writing by using a long list of key analysis points.
For example, how does your writing rate for stickiness sentence usage?
You need to start by knowing what a sticky sentence is first before you can improve. With ProWritingAid, click on “Sticky” in the menu bar, and you will get a report and a link to a detailed explanation.
Long sentences can distract, bore or even confuse readers.
To check your sentence length, click on “Sentences” and you will get an instant report for every sentence in your text. You can then work to simplify and shorten the very long sentences you have written.
You also get data about your average length and optimal variety for all your sentences.
Every writer suffers from overused words.
When you read your text, page by page, repeated words are extremely difficult to find and replace. With ProWritingAid, it is again only one click to list all your repeated words in even a very long book-length text.
In the left menu bar, click on each item in the list to see a flyout menu and you can jump to the next location of a repeated word in your text.
You can then use the synonym suggestions to make better word choices.
In all, there are more than twenty reports like this available for you to analyse and improve your manuscript or online writing.
Okay, it is not a human writing editor or coach. But when you have the choice of an online coach for free or for a very low price, it is a very good alternative for you to consider.
If you need to edit books, and can’t afford professional book editing services, it is a fantastic tool because it can do an in-depth analysis of very long documents.
Take a quick look at what ProWritingAid has to offer and how it will help you become a better writer.
What are your buying options?
I am sure the first buying option will appeal to you.
There is a free version. It is not a free trial version. It is a free writing editor. It allows you to use many of the features of ProWritingAid.
As with all free writing tools, there are some limitations such as the maximum word count you can check and how many features you can access. However, it works perfectly if you want a quick editing tool and writing check.
However, the high-quality premium version of ProWritingAid is extremely affordable. Paid versions start at only US$70.00 and even cheaper for longer subscriptions.
This is much, much cheaper than many of the other popular grammar and writing programs. So you will get a lot of value for your money.
With the premium desktop app, you can integrate with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener and Open Office. There is also an extension for the Chrome browser to work online with WordPress or any other online application or site.
If you really want to improve your writing and learn how to write well, ProWritingAid is a very good choice to consider. It is the closest you will get to having your own personal writing coach, right at your side.
I use the premium version of Prowritingaid for all my long-form writing and sometimes I wonder how I ever managed without it.
ProWritingAid doesn’t replace a proofreader at the end of the writing process. But as a writing style editor, and for suggestions to continually improve my writing, it is a real winner.
You can read our extended review of Prowritingaid for more details.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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