Among many interesting bits and bites, the December 2012 issue of The Woolf plugged the personal writing editor and coach Pro Writing Aid. Perhaps you all know and use it already.
ProWritingAid highlights elements like repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, passive voice, over-complicated sentence constructions, and so much more.
I tried out the free online version and soon subscribed to the premium edition, which builds the proofing features right into such applications as Microsoft Word, Scrivener, Google Chrome and the WordPress editor. So I avoid copying large chunks of text back and forth. An incredible boon for bloggers!
In this deliberately poor prose, ProWritingAid finds many areas for improvement, such as:
- spelling mistakes
- double spaces
- excessive adverbs
- long sentences
The full analysis of any given text reveals innumerable unpleasantries. Labouring through them does result in significantly better prose.
Just don’t act on every point it criticises.
This report – one of many – shows both good and poor features of a given sample: