I have recently started using a piece of software called Autocrit. This nifty program analyses your novel and highlights any areas of your manuscript which an editor would usually pick up as bad practice. Autocrit’s website states this –
AutoCrit is an online manuscript editing tool enabling fiction writers to quickly and effectively self-edit their work anytime, anywhere.
When you import your document into the browser-based application (yes that’s right – there’s nothing to download) you are able to analyse the text on the following features.
- Pacing and Momentum
- Strong Writing
- Word Choice
- Compare to Fiction
It is a very helpful for picking up bad writing habits, for example, it has shown me that I use a lot of “Passive Voice Indicators” which it will highlight for me so that I can rewrite the sentence if I choose to. It will also show you if you are repeating a particular phrase or word, which is invaluable when self-editing. You can analyse the whole manuscript or by individual chapter.
I cannot imagine that Autocrit will ever be able to replace a human editor, not by a long shot, but for anyone looking to polish their writing before showing it to an editor this could be a real eye opener. It is certainly helping me to hone my writing skills and identify my weaknesses.