Write This Way

dog being stroked - standing absorbed in the pleasure of it.

Who knows the pleasure of a dog being stroked – standing absorbed in the pleasure of it.

Suddenly there is a proliferation of applications with which to write.

Refly describes itself as an editor for content marketers, bloggers and authors that helps you avoid grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes. It’s Mac only.

Telegraph is web based and it is so minimal that someone is bound to like it. Here is my post, entitled Published

Write As is another web-based offering and describes itself as

A writing platform
Write.as is built for productivity. It’s simple enough for you to concentrate on your thoughts, and powerful enough to support the most prolific writer.

Write once, publish everywhere
Write for yourself, or share a post with someone. Publish to a Write.as blog and any of these platforms (Medium, Tumblr, Twitter) where your audience already waits.

Private by default
Express yourself without worrying about who’s watching. You can publish without signing up, and even if you do, we limit what data we keep about you.

Draft is web based and has features that will be of real use to some people – as opposed to things that are nice to have but not that essential.

When you share your document using Draft, any changes your collaborator makes are on their own copy of the document, and you get to accept or ignore each individual change they make.

And you can see the changes on the screen with a side-by-side view.

Hackpad, owned by Dropbox, is somewhat similar to Draft. Check it out and see what can be done with it.

Trim Your Prose With These Tools

The Hemingway app nudges and pats your writing into shape with on-screen prompts. I bought the desktop version for the princely sum of $5.00 a while ago. Now it is out with version Two. It’s a free upgrade, which I appreciate.

If you don’t want the desktop version and are happy to use the web version, it’s free.

Have you heard ‘adverbs are nature’s way of telling you you used the wrong verb’?

I recoiled from that when I first heard it. What’s wrong with adverbs? But now I am getting used to looking for stronger verbs.

The Hemingway app homes in on adverbs. So if you are into using them, be prepared to find the ‘offending’ words in your prose highlighted in blue.

Now you have pruned your prose, run it through The Writer’s Diet. I came across this site on the BookBaby blog. It will tell you whether you writing is as tight as you and Hemingway think it is. It has a scale from ‘lean’, through ‘fit & trim’, to ‘needs toning’, to ‘flabby’, and all the way to ‘heart attack’.

The Writer’s Diet also hates when you use too many verbs in a piece of text and it hates an overuse of the words this, that, and there.

As I said, I’ve been using Hemingway for a while, and it has changed my writing style. I use it for pages like ‘Privacy Policy’ and ‘Terms and Conditions’.

They are the kind of pages where the prose can get a bit bogged down and sound too corporate or officious or unfriendly.

And using Hemingway has nudged me gently towards snappier prose. I was worried it would destroy my style or the flow, but it hasn’t.

Then when I have buffed my prose to perfection, I put it into The Writer’s Diet. I remember the first time I ran a piece of my text through its algorithm to see whether it agrees with Hemingway as to how trim my prose is

It wiped the smile off my face and pointed out where all the flab is – too many verbs and too many indefinite pronouns for its taste.

Let me know how you get on with these tools.