Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Try The Hemingway App To Clean Up Your Writing

First things first, I wanted to share a spooky little side project I've been working on for a bit. I've recently put together 50 Two-Sentence Horror Stories over on Horror.Media, and I wanted to make that my Halloween season gift to all my regular readers.

Now, for your regularly-schedule post!

An Editor That Works For You

As technology grows more sophisticated, it becomes an ever-more-useful tool in allowing artists to do more with less. While it's still a good idea to employ an editor with experience, a keen eye, and a pulse, you may not have the need or budget for that every time you write a blog post, or turn in a paper for your psychology class.

However, what you can do is get your hands on Hemingway, and let it show you some of your problem areas.

Take this out. And this. That's fine, lovely actually. This, though, this is garbage...

What Is The Hemingway App?

Short version, Hemingway is an app that lets you check and modify your work. A digital editor, it can point out not just where you have misspelled words and grammar errors, but also show where you've slipped into the passive voice, and bring your attention to words and phrases that have simpler, more straightforward alternatives. In short, it reads between the lines about as much as a computer can... for now at least.

It can't read your thoughts, but baby steps, folks!
You can get the app for free, and it can be used either as a writing platform to check your work as you write it, or you can paste an already complete project into the app to give it a solid going over. You can even list certain goals, like a maximum number of adverbs (since they're a danger in large numbers, as I said back in Blithely Digging Your Grave With Adverbs), or a maximum number of passages in the passive voice.

In short, it's an editor that gives you some creative freedom on what rules you want to break, while still drawing your attention to things that might be problematic if you just let them all slide. A solid investment for writing in the digital age, and a big help for people who know that a man who is his own doctor has a fool for a patient.

There is one thing that Hemingway doesn't do, though, and that's light the fire under you to actually get to work. If you find that your problem is less about getting a finished product you like, and more about not staring at a blank page for hours on end, then you might want to take a look at Fighter's Block instead. I covered it a while back in Trouble Reaching Word Count? Try Fighter's Block! earlier this summer.

That's all for this week's Craft of Writing post. Hopefully some folks out there find that a new editing app is just what the doctor ordered! For more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and to stay on top of all my new releases follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. If you'd like to support me, you could Buy Me A Ko-Fi or go to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to give me a tip. Alternatively, check out my Amazon author page to Buy My Books!

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