Over the last eleven years, I’ve used nearly every tool out there for writing, editing, and formatting that I could get my hands on. Grammarly, Hemingway, PerfectIt, Scrivener, Word, and more. But there’s one tool I took a leap of faith on without trying it first, and I’m so glad I did.
In 2018, I bought a lifetime license for ProWritingAid. It is the most useful tool for me as a writer once I hit the self-editing stage. It’s helped me tighten up my writing, and I swear it’s helped me become a better author.
It integrates with Scrivener, so I don’t have to go back and forth between programs, which is a bonus. But just last week, I received news that ProWritingAid is now an Add-In in Microsoft Word. I tested it out, and the integration makes it so much easier to keep all my changes in one document rather than ending up with eleventy billion docs playing hide-and-seek on my hard drive.
I draft and do as much revising in Scrivener as I possible. The ease of clicking to a scene and weaving threads through several other scenes without having to scroll for hours saves me from carpel tunnel pain. But once I get serious about sending my story off to my editor, I always move over to Word because their Track Changes beats no other. So now I have the best of both worlds.
Run your ProWritingAid checks right in your doc, either in Scrivener or Word, and then save. There are a million more checks ProWritingAid can do, so then open the program or go to their Web Editor to do your work. I’ve dabbled with their Safari integration and used it to check this blog post. It is available for Chrome and Outlook and severals others as well.
November 25th through November 30th, they are having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale where you can get access to the lifetime license for 50% off. You can also get an annual license for 25% off. I think it’s worth it. It’s a great time to try it out, at least.
So, what does ProWritingAid do that other grammar apps don’t do? First, it offers a lifetime license. That was a huge plus to me because I have enough subscriptions to keep track of.
Second, It’s a really hearty tool, and I don’t use everything it offers. But it gives you the option to run personalized checks for the issues you want rather than checking for everything but the kitchen sink. This is what I have the ProWritingAid checking for when running what they call a Combo, and you can see everything else it does beyond that.
Third, it identifies sentences that are overly complex, looks at the pacing throughout your story, checks dialogue distribution, and points out repeated words, echoes, and even sentence length variations. All that is so important to the reader experience. Oh, and the thesaurus is a great tool because it suggests rich words that take your writing to the next level.
If you’re looking to improve your flow of writing, it’s amazing. It does all the spelling, grammar, style, and consistency things you expect out of writing software. If you don’t need PWA to check for adverbs, for example, just turn that check off. It’s customizable! My major frustration with Grammarly (though I adore Grammarly for other editing ventures) is that I don’t have the option to customize. PWA seems to work for the creative writer a bit better.
It’s truly one of the best tools out there for me as an author because it helps me look at my work objectively before I send it to my editor. So if you’ve checked it out and then backed away because of the price, now might be the time to take the plunge.
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