Grammar Tools

editing tools

We are affiliated with ProWritingAid and Grammarly. If you decide to sign up for these services, we may earn a commission. That being said, we sincerely recommend both tools. ProWritingAid is an amazing editor, and Grammarly has a free version that can clean up most spelling and grammar mistakes. Both tools work inside of Novelize.

ProWritingAid: Professional editing tool for your novel

Writing a book is time-consuming, but editing can be even more difficult. The good news is that editing just became a whole lot easier. In 2016, I came across this really neat editing tool. It’s called Pro Writing Aid If you’re already using Grammarly, you may think you don’t need this. But ProWritingAid is so much more than a spell and grammar checker.

How it works

All you have to do is copy and paste or upload your text to ProWritingAid. Then the program will run through the text to detect a variety of issues. This can take a while depending on how long your document is. It may end up giving you a long list of suggestions that will make your writing more readable. This can be intimidating, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

Here are some of the things ProWritingAid looks for:

  • Overused words

  • Passive verbs

  • Excessive use of adverbs

  • Excessive sentence length

  • Vague words

  • Repeated phrases

  • Spelling and hyphenation consistency

  • Alliterations

ProWritingAid checks a lot of other things, too. For example, it looks for “sticky sentences”. These are sentences that use “glue words”. Apparently, glue words slow the reader down and make your writing harder to read. Here are some of the glue words ProWritingAid detected in my writing sample: “but, on, the, many, people, down, and, at”.

Hold on. Now you can’t use “the”, “but”, and “on” anymore?

No. There’s no need to panic. You can still use glue words, but the key is not to use too many of them in one sentence. And yes, it’s almost impossible to detect this on your own without the help of a program or a skilled editor.

There are limitations

Naturally, ProWritingAid has its limitations. For example, it detected capitalization inconsistencies in my writing that were completely fine. I had capitalized the word inside of a heading, but I didn’t capitalize it inside of the paragraphs.

It can also be overwhelming to see a lot of suggestions in your text. In fact, it might make you want to give up on editing altogether. The key here is to pay attention to the major issues and work on those first. You don’t have to correct everything ProWritingAid suggests. In fact, the program does a pretty good job of highlighting the issues that need attention.

Finally, I didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t able to edit the document inside the program. This meant that I saw suggestions to edit words that I had already changed in my document. In the end, I uploaded my revised version again to finish going through all of the suggestions. But if you decide to use this program, you’ll have to go with the paid version after editing 3,000 words anyway. So after you download your manuscript from Novelize, you can start editing with ProWritingAid inside of Word.

Should you use ProWritingAid?

I think  you should give it a try. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain. However, if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, you should stay away from ProWritingAid until December. Otherwise, you’ll get caught up in a vicious editing cycle. Needless to say, constant editing won’t help you reach your 50,000 word count goal.

Do you still need an editor?

Every expert recommends getting your book professionally edited before publishing it. Will you still need an editor with a program like ProWritingAid? It depends. You can definitely use ProWritingAid to refine your craft. The only thing that it can’t check for you is the content of your novel. But presumably, if you’re writing cohesive sentences that are easy to read, then you’re probably not bad at writing a story, either.

Here is what I would recommend if you want to save money and not hire an editor: You should use ProWritingAid to edit what you’ve written. Afterwards, you should leave your book alone for at least 2 weeks. When you read the book again, you need to pay attention to the story. Does it flow well? Is it logical? The next step is to get someone else to read your book (not your mother or your partner) who will give you honest feedback. After the final round of tweaking and editing, you can release it for publication.

One thing I noticed about the program: You can hire a human editor on their site, too. Maybe some of the writers get frustrated with editing. Or maybe there are some things humans can still do better than computers.

Find out for yourself what it’s all about and give ProWritingAid a try.

We are affiliated with ProWritingAid. If you sign up through one of our links, we may receive a commission.

How to use Grammarly for writing your novel with Novelize

At Novelize, we’ve made it our goal to help you write your novel. For some of you, getting the words written isn’t the biggest problem. In fact, you may have no trouble cranking out thousands of words every week, but spelling and grammar just aren’t your strengths. The good news is that you can still write a novel, but you may just need a little bit of help.

Don’t let spelling and grammar rules hold you back anymore! You can get Grammarly for free and check for the most common mistakes as you type. With the Grammarly browser extension, you can use this service in conjunction with Novelize.

Sign up for a Grammarly account, add it to your browser extensions, and log into Novelize and get that book written. Note that Grammarly has a free and a paid version. The paid version offers many more additional features that come in handy when you’re ready to edit your novel. But while you’re working on that first draft, the free version is likely all you need.

After installing the Grammarly browser extension, can click on the little red circle at the bottom of your scene. This will open up a new window where you’ll receive suggestions to fix spelling and grammar mistakes. When you’re finished, click on the top left corner to go back to the Novelize writing screen. Inside your scene, you’ll now see the changes you’ve made with the Grammarly extension. All you have to do now is just type another letter or empty space for Novelize to save the scene. You can also use CTRL+S to save the changes inside of your novel.

What if your changes aren’t saving? You’re probably not typing anything in your scene after you’re finished with corrections. Novelize only saves your scenes when something has changed. For some reason, the Grammarly changes don’t register the same way as typing. Adding an empty space or character is all it takes to activate the save button. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL+S to save your entire novel.

We are affiliated with Grammarly. If you sign up through one of our links, we may receive a commission.