About a week ago I wrote a blog on tools I use to help with writing. I included the usual suspects-dictionary and thesaurus, but also included a few that I thought many of my readers probably did not know existed. These included the ’emotion thesaurus’ -yes there is such a thing and it is great to help you get the creative juices flowing when describing your character’s reaction to what is going on in a particular scene.
After I posted the blog, I thought of a few more that have been instrumental in helping me to become a better writer and wanted to add those to the list. So, I decided to write What’s in you toolbox II.
Autocrit-is an online editing site that offers invaluable information about your prose. Being a beginner, I never thought about my word use or over word use is probably more accurate. I never thought about clichés, or passive writing, or the length of my sentences and how it affected the pacing. One of my catch phrases is “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
So you can subscribe to Autocrit for free and it will review a segment of your writing(about 250 words at a time). After doing an analysis, it will provide you with the most used words in the segment and approximately how many you should have used, clichés, passive verbs, sentence length, and so much more.
The way Autocrit makes it’s money is you discover how great a tool it is and you pay for the upgrade. I purchased the upgrade for one year and used it frequently to help me become more aware of my writing and the common mistakes I was guilty of making. I am now more aware of my shortcomings and hopefully avoiding many of the mistakes I made in the past.
Grammarly – I’ve never used this site, but it’s my understanding that it is similar to Autocrit. I know many of my critique partners like it, so I thought I would throw it in the mix as a site to check out.
Scribophile- Who doesn’t need a critique partner who knows what they are looking for while reviewing your work and will offer an objective critique on what they are reading. If you are like me, you didn’t want to approach family and friends. They’re not writers and don’t understand the mechanics, plus they don’t want to hurt your feelings so they sugarcoat their critiques of your book. Besides that, what if they don’t like it. Nobody wants to be rejected especially by people they care about.
Scribophile is an online critique group that will critique up to about 3000 words of your novel at a time. It is free. Once again you can upgrade, but this is totally unnecessary, unless you are using it like Facebook to communicate with other aspiring authors. The way it works is you critique other peoples work and earn points. Once you have accumulated enough you can post your work. I had an 82,000 word novel critiqued in about 3 months.
You will find some of your critiques are performed by novices but many others by very good writers. The recommendations and assistance I got to correct grammar, POV issues and plot holes was invaluable.
They also have a book swap group if you would like to have someone read your work through completely without going the critique route. Before I had anyone look at my work, I wanted to go the critique route, so I could iron out as many mistakes as possible.
There are other online critique groups, but I haven’t used any of them, so I can’t comment on their effectiveness in helping with your writing. I know Scribophile and give them 5 stars 🙂
So many resources available at little to no cost. You just need to know where to look.
So what’s in your toolbox? Would love to hear from you.