From Edward to Edits

Two years after graduating from college, I bought my first piece of real estate in the form of a one-bedroom condo. The community had its share of many 20-30 year old professionals. My neighbor at the time was a man named Edward Itz. He taught English at the local community college. Everyone called him Edits which fit because he was a stickler for perfect grammar. I moved away from the condo after three years and never saw Edits again. I sure could have used him on my first manuscript but fortunately I found a good substitute.

Reading many articles about the submission process convinced me a spelling and grammar check in Word was only a beginning. I needed a full edit. I researched costs and found them to be $250-$1000 for a manuscript my size. As I stumbled through the maze of choices and did more searches I came across Pro Writing Aid. 

This free online editor allows you to paste in your text and in 15-20 seconds you get a 19 separate reports of problem areas (Did I really use “Have” that much?). Red flags for sticky sentences, repeated words, use of clichés and redundancies, and dull paragraph finder made my writing better and tightened up the story (I lost 1000 words in the process).

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 2.26.37 PM

I used Pro Writing Aid for each chapter and it took a tremendous amount of time (10-12 hours total) to edit my pages. I have renewed respect for those English Majors and professional editors. A premium version ($35 per year) gets you even more reports and the ability to edit online (I had to go back and forth from online to Word). This would cut down editing time by several hours.

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 2.27.23 PM

So enjoy this free tool and marvel at the many benefits coming to a writing session near you.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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