Over the past few months Autumn and Jesper have tested out different types of writing software. Against AutoCrit and Fictionary, your hosts decided that ProWritingAid is the best one of them all.
In this episode of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, Autumn and Jesper (well, mostly Autumn), explains why ProWritingAid is such a great support tool for authors.
Sprinkled in are tips and tricks, you can take away and apply in your own writing process.
ProWritingAid can be found here: https://prowritingaid.com/
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. In today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them. Now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I'm Jesper And I'm Autumn. This is episode 121 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. I, and the over the past few months, we have been testing out some different types of writing software. We tried Fictionary AutoCrit and pro WRITING eight, and I think we've arrived at a favorite that we can talk about today. Autumn.
Yes, I definitely have my favorite in there is actually I should mention that one or two features that I wish it had at one of the other ones sort of did. So, you know, maybe I'll do some, maybe I'll be able to convince the staff at the one of our top choice. They've had a few features. That's my wishlist.
Jesper (1m 15s):
Yeah. So we are going to deep dive a bit on ProWritingAid today and share our thoughts about it. And why are we? Well, I, I think it's not a secret that we like it very much. So we are going to talk about that and hopefully that will help some people, if they are not familiar with ProWritingAid already, then maybe they we'll be inclined to check that out. Or if they are already using pro Writing eight, maybe we are going to mention a few things they were not aware of.
Autumn (1m 44s):
Absolutely. Or at least may be some ways of using it that they hadn't considered. So I think it will be fun. I've definitely been using this tool heavily on some major novels. I feel like all I have been doing is editing I since January and that's okay. That means there was a lot of Writing in 2020, so that's all right, right. It's good to be pushing things out the door in Publishing. So that's exciting.
Jesper (2m 19s):
Its been Easter holidays here in, in Denmark, which means that a, I actually got quite some writing done on a book One. Yes you have been doing really well. Yeah. I am only seven chapters so away from the ending now, so that's pretty cool.
Autumn (2m 34s):
That is so cool. More editing.
Jesper (2m 38s):
You're never going to be done. It's just forever and going.
Autumn (2m 42s):
Oh this is my punishment. Like I think so, but yeah, yeah, yeah. You're just clocking right ahead. Well, I hope you had a good Easter as well as some time off or.
Jesper (2m 55s):
Yeah. Yeah. Well I do to the usual Corona stuff to there wasn't much we could do, but I got some Ikea furniture put together and we got rid of the bit of the, I think we are down to like five or six moving boxes after we moved, but everything else has not been unpacked. Yeah. That's amazing.
Autumn (3m 16s):
That's good. So that is really good. And that means that you can, hopefully now that it's turning towards spring ish, I would have hoped they're that you can actually go for walks on the beach are through town and not be worried about, you know, coming back to a new apartment full of boxes.
Jesper (3m 31s):
Yeah, that's true. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Autumn (3m 33s):
And, and we've also started to allow soccer game now. So I'd been out refereeing, a couple of matches, which was nice to get started on again. So things are lightening up. No, you can't say lighting up. That sounds like we were putting on fire, but it's not getting better. That's exciting. And that's always an improvement. How about you? Oh, Goodlife my husband I'm was on top of things and he made an appointment for me to actually both of us to go get our coronavirus vaccine. So I'm very excited. And at the end of the month I, I might get to go down and see my parents and that's exciting.
Autumn (4m 14s):
So I'm looking forward to that. We have, we don't have kids, so we didn't have like an Easter where your high things, but we have our own traditions since we never did have children that we, I have a deal. I've got an in with the Easter bunny and he comes every year and gives me this nice little basket of all of my favorite things. I don't know how he knows, but then he hides Adams, everything. So everything is hidden. And I get to spend the morning sipping. My tea is sitting there like this watching for his Easter candy. And it's just one of my favorite holiday. He has a, he gets back though.
Autumn (4m 55s):
My tea delivery is brought by Easter, Easter Bunny's cousin is Jack and Jack likes to hide my tea delivery. So, you know, we each have our own issues with rabbits. Yeah.
Jesper (5m 11s):
All right. Okay.
Autumn (5m 12s):
Rabbits on a naughty, I guess. So we had an actual, a visitor That this year it was possibly an Easter raccoon. We had a raccoon outside of the cabin on Saturday night and he was adorable and just the big guys, he was a very healthy, feisty invasive right now, but he hasn't come back since then.
Jesper (5m 36s):
Oh wow. Yeah.
Autumn (5m 37s):
Yeah. Well that animal life I noticed as well, somebody in the Facebook group a and apologies, I forgot who it was, but I just noticed that somebody was a posting some stuff about, I think it was a, she that she almost died because she was, she got bit by a snake. Yeah.
Jesper (5m 57s):
And as she survived, she was Okay now, But it was just like sometimes when I hear stuff like that, it it's just so foreign for me here in Denmark. We, we don't have any thing, you know? Well, I think we have one snake that has some venom that can be, but there was only that one, a type here in this country and it it's not lethal. Oh, well, okay. If you are out in the middle of nowhere and you get bitten by it and you don't get to the hospital, I guess you could be lethal, but its not, it's not to bad. You have time to go to the hospital and everything as well. So it's not like instant re reacting, Venmo or anything like that. So I don't know that the whole thing about all those animals are not, well, it doesn't have to be posted it, but just because like you were mentioning like, Oh that that whole thing has just so foreign to me.
Autumn (6m 45s):
I mean, I think they don't know if you remember, if I told you that last year when we were walking to the, the main house on the property, We, I saw something running through the field and coming up towards us and I'm like, why is there a Shetland pony loose? I mean, I'm in Vermont, of course people would have ponies and that I'd be like, that's not a pony. That's a bear. That way. It was literally the biggest black bear I've seen outside of the Labrador we traveled, I slept next to Grizzly's have visited our camp site, but to be walking and Vermont, you know, I'm on my way to take a shower. My dog has like 50 feet ahead of me. And I'm like, yeah, it was cute. And I just happy.
Autumn (7m 25s):
My dog is very well behaved. And if you open, you do a hug thing and you call him, he comes running with ears back. It was a little tail wagging. So I was doing that. Well, I watching this bear run about 10 feet behind him and I'm like, okay. So yeah, there is. And then a few other ones a month later and we saw the female mother with two of her Cubs walked right by the front of the cabin. And so what, that was just amazing and I'm glad that it was inside of the camp because she would have had the third Cub going on with her.
Jesper (7m 56s):
Autumn (7m 56s):
Yeah. If I could sit inside and watch it and I know that I am safe, then I think that would be pretty cool. But honestly walking around like in the forest and knowing that that bear could suddenly pop up, like I know why as a dangerous person, I'm just not used to that kind of thing. And it's only one thing that frightens me and the forest and that's actually other humans, most animals is there. Fine. People are scary.
Jesper (8m 21s):
That Is true. Yeah. And, but that's also where we normally see and all the, some of the TV series, right. Is actually the humans that are the most scary ones to come across and not to some of these.
Autumn (8m 34s):
No, no, that's true.
Narrator (8m 39s):
A week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast.,
Autumn (8m 44s):
So I was wondering that you noticed that the Facebook has announced that they're gonna, they're going to create a new Publishing platform. I haven't seen something and I noticed that the article, but I didn't go read the full thing. So no, you can feel the listener in as well as me. Yeah,
Jesper (9m 2s):
Well, yeah, kind of. I just thought that it was quite a significant news, so I just want it to share it. But I did actually write up a post for our patron supporters with my thoughts on this topic. So if people want to go into the details, then should I should just to go on to patron it and check out what I, she had there, but I just found it pretty interesting. And that's why I wanted to share it. And of course you can also do a search on the internet if you want to check it out yourself. But I think it's something to keep an eye on, but I'm not so convinced as of yet, which is what I explained on Patrion, but let's see where it goes.
Jesper (9m 45s):
At least I just want it to mention it so people can keep an eye on it.
Autumn (9m 48s):
Yeah. Well, you know how I feel about Facebook that yeah. Yeah. And I actually, I like Instagram, so that's kind of sad. I think I liked it better before Facebook bought it, but yeah, that's pretty much my, a theory on most things of Facebook is okay. That's a nice little moving on.
Jesper (10m 9s):
Yeah. Moving on. Okay. Well let's speaking of patron as well. We want to give a huge shout out to Brian men. Dunka I hope that's how you pronounce the names, but yeah. Bryan is our new newest patient and support us. So thank you so much, Brian. And then we could not keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going if it wasn't for people like you. So thank you for that.
Autumn (10m 36s):
Yeah, definitely. Well, we love having you join us there and I mean, it's been good. It's been busy, even Dominic. I want to give a shout out to him who posted a link to us, unspecified spontaneously. And it's saying how much he was enjoying what he was learning on Patrion. So that's just, that's wonderful to know that you're really helping other authors and that's what we do over on Patriot and even more than we do in the Am Writing Fantasy Facebook group. So I would love to see other people. Do you have to sit there? Yeah,
Jesper (11m 9s):
Absolutely. Yeah. So those are the link in the show notes, if you are interested and there's all kinds of rewards that we offer over there as well. So, so, so I'll go and check that one out. But one more thing on M O O D is, and I almost felt like not sharing this one with a new term.
Autumn (11m 30s):
You really do have something else. Now what's up Please. I, how are you saying that? These for me?
Jesper (11m 39s):
Yeah, I did actually say yes and I loved to spring things on you in the middle of a podcast episode, but this one is actually gonna play in your favor. And that's why I want really to be shared with you because I feel like I'm playing cards into your hands that you can use laid on Against me.
Autumn (11m 55s):
And I don't like that. I love that. Please share it. It's my birthday this month. Come on. This is my present Please. Okay. So, okay. So let us stay present. And did you notice that the YouTube comments on Episode 119, where was she at the 10 WORST stories ever told, Oh, well let me guess I'm winning and by winning, please tell me I'm winning. So when we, just for the listener, when we are doing these alternating lists episodes where we sort of go a bit crazy and have a bit of fun with some random topic like we did in episode one 19, when we, she had those a 10 worst stories ever Told, we always a have a bit of a competition going on as well, where we try to best each other and see, you can build the best list, basically.
Autumn (12m 45s):
What are the best, worst lists? You know, the best worst lists. Yeah. Usually, And on that note, Dominick said, and this paints me so much to read out loud. So you are killing me, Dominick. They just don't post like this in these kinds of comments. You Dominic. So Dominic wrote quote, Oh, Oh my God. I'd have to psych myself up for this evening. She'll just send it to me. All of them tends to win. Yes. Pro on quote is what it says. Autumn temps to when, what is that? It wasn't even just that episode.
Autumn (13m 24s):
It was in general. What, Davidic your, thank you. You made my day. I owe you like a page or a review or something. Thank you.
Jesper (13m 39s):
Yeah. Well, no, I strongly strongly disagree with those YouTube comments like that. And I, I don't actually appreciate getting that kind of comments. Oh, I love it. That's just fantastic. I have a winning, I hate it. That I have a feel for this one is going to come back and bite me later. I don't like it now and now it's hanging There. It's the precedent. Has it been, can we move on? I don't feel like talking about this anymore. All right, lets get into editing
Narrator (14m 9s):
And on to today's topic.
Jesper (14m 13s):
Okay. So when we write together, I'm usually doing the first draft while you and shots of the editing Autumn. So pro Writing ADE is sort of your domain. Yeah. You did give me a virtual to have a providing aid before we invested in it. But the fact that I'm not doing the editing also means that I have a, not too much knowledge, is that what you are actually doing inside the stool? Well then I guess you're a role in today's podcast is letting me know if what I'm saying is clear and understandable and not gobbling, but yeah, it was right to ask the stupid questions today.
Autumn (14m 57s):
And It is, I, I, we started in January. So again, I had, we were planning on writing together. You were working, we were working on the novella And I was also finishing up my tainted face series and I wanted something to really enhance my editing. I mean, I think I do a pretty good job. I do several passes. We've talked about how we edit it before is that I do like a content edit and then I do like a word choice that I am doing really the fine tuning, you know, making sure everything looks good. And then I send it to the editor and I just wanted something a little bit more on that fine tuning. And so this was after the content edit were, I know all the subplots are good in general, everything. I think everything, I think it should be, there is there, but something before I said that to the editor and because of that, we looked at Fictionary we looked at AutoCrit and when I was looking at Fictionary, I think I suddenly thought I should check out for a Writing aid because I was a user with that when they were just mostly either or the like a little BB company.
Autumn (15m 60s):
Umm. And it was on my Google drive when they still had my full time job. And I was doing some editing like in Google drive all at work and in my lunch break and stuff like that. So I had a premium subscription at one time to ProWritingAid long time ago when I thought it was pretty impressive that what they do now, there are pretty awesome. So that's, that's sort of the background of what happened. Yeah,
Jesper (16m 32s):
Yeah, yeah indeed. And I just want it to inject as well that, because the other part of why we we're looking at these different software was also that we have been thinking that at some point in the future, we don't know when, but, and it could be years out. I don't know. But we have been thinking that at some point because the, the world, the fictional world, a, a, a fantasy world that we call it Elysium, the one that we created is so big and we created it so big on purpose because we were thinking that maybe at some point we would like to publish other authors who write in this setting as well.
Jesper (17m 13s):
So one of the initial drivers behind looking into all of this was actually that we were trying to see if we could find some sort of software that could help analyzing work. Meaning for example, let's say that we wanted to take on board a two or three authors or something like that. And we said, okay, we are, if anybody is interesting in us Publishing your work, which would also mean that we are advertising it and all of that stuff on your behalf, then M you know, send some, some of your work to us so we can see your writing. But the problem with that of course, would be that it means that we would have to sit there and REIT nine novels.
Jesper (17m 57s):
For example, we are at my reading speed, how will it take three years? So that's, that was not very good. So if we were trying to see that the Fictionary AutoCrit is that those were the two weeks we started with before Autumn thought of ProWritingAid. But when we were trying to see, can we use any of those tools to sort of like load in a manuscript and then get some sort of report from the software saying, what is the WRITING like, so that we want to, we, of course, do you want to read some of it, but we don't want to be forced to read entire novels. You know, it would be like in initial screening thing. So we, if it said already, or if the software were to assess, this is not a very good, and then why spend all the time reading It?
Jesper (18m 43s):
Whereas if the software says, this is really good, Oh, there's no problems with it. Then we could go in and read it. Right. So we were, we were looking for some sort of screening process. So, so it was just to put the whole thing in context, because I may be, some people will think that pro writing aid is not quite the same as AutoCrit and Fictionary, there is some overlap, but its not quite the same. So it was just to explain where we were coming from as well. They're right. How about it?
Autumn (19m 8s):
Yeah, I don't think so. There are all, I would say it's definitely worth checking out AutoCrit and Fictionary and they all have different things that they do. AutoCrit steam to be more towards editing. They had a lot of reports that were similar to ProWritingAid, but not quite as beefy. And then Fictionary had some really good tips on how to write better and develop your novel better. But actually it didn't get into a lot of the editing I aspects where pro writing aid has a really in depth editor. But besides that they have this wonderful overview that tells you, Hey, these are the areas, your strong in which I love that they started out with, these are the ones that you did well in.
Autumn (19m 53s):
And then they have ones where they kindly say, these are our areas you might want to look working on. And then you can go into each of those individual areas that they say you need to work on. And there is a sub report where you can just look it just that one and work on it and fix it. And I've developed 'cause I've done like what three or four devils already. And it's what March is pro writing aid and going through all of these Stories, I, I feel like I'm like totally an expert on which of these reports that I go through and I have my own little standard of running through them to see how things develop and what I liked to develop. And I have noticed actually some really cool corks, but depending on my characters that a few reports will actually show up different ways.
Autumn (20m 40s):
And so you can almost see the character's voice showing up in the report. So it's kind of, that's really fine tuned in a nuanced. When you notice, when you're noticing a software in AI going through something and saying this report, this metric has always reading this one, it's this character or you're like the herd. That's really funny, but the nice things that are really cool, it is really cool. And I could tell you what to report that is, but which ones I noticed, but there are definitely some reports there that I don't go into quite as much. And that's okay. I mean, everyone is going to look at things differently. Some of them, I just don't take the time and maybe they should spend more time on them, but I feel like I've already covered them later, but some of them we can get into some of the best reports.
Autumn (21m 25s):
And I know my favorite is I call it echoes and this is a phenomenon. I'm sure you've noticed this, that once you think of a word, you tend to use it two or three times really close. Like after you write it the first time, like you'll think of something really such a strange word. I don't want to pick out something, but you know, we would not pencil, but it would be like maybe a description and action and you'll end up using like thrust or pooled or glanced. Look, those words like that. And you'll look it, you know, reuse it like two sentences later and then you'll reuse it like six sentences later and that just gets boring for the reader. That's why we have a thesaurus.
Autumn (22m 8s):
And it's hard though, when you're editing and especially in editing, editing your own work, it is so hard to find those words are used to read backwards. My entire manuscript backwards, just trying to find them other people would read it allowed because you hear it. It often can you catch up so much easier that way. So you have to do something to really see what's in front of you or are, you can run it through a ProWritingAid and look through the echoes. They have two different versions that it took me a second to do this, but they have word repeat, which looks at every single time you've used that word in the entire chapter. I, the beautiful thing about ProWritingAid is if you write in Scrivener, like we do it actually can open a and file and edit chapter by chapter in Scrivener.
Autumn (22m 50s):
So you don't need to have to like move your file into a different format or spit it out into word. Its just, I love having everything in one place. So it's so nice that it does that. And so I'm opening up my Scribner file and letting it run something you don't want to do the whole repeats, but echos just does when you use that word again within the next, so many words, like you can set it to whatever you want. 300, 500, a thousand of that's a little high, but depends on what you're writing. If you are doing a site to a scientific journal, you might want it really high. You might run at a really low. And that is definitely to me. The place to start is to see how many times we have reuse the same word.
Autumn (23m 30s):
And it's just like, even when I thought I was good and I was being paying so much attention too, you know, not reusing the word too many times. Oh no. When you run it through this echos check, you're just like, Oh my goodness. I am in love with this word. Look as fallback. WORST. I, I double check that one all the time because it seems like I always reuse that one way to many times. So I'm often running through and doing stuff There.
Jesper (24m 5s):
Yeah. Yeah. I can't say on top of my mind, which ones I, but I definitely noticed as well that even when I write the first draft, sometimes I, I noticed myself repeating the same word. So I do, I do as will pick up that you saw us and tries to try to even the first draft to try to use some different words just to not make it too painful for you.
Autumn (24m 30s):
I do have a painful on myself. It's just our tendency to do that as a writer is it's like we get these things stuck in our head and we just keep using the same word. And it's just so nice. Like I said, it's so hard to find it on your own and that it has this echo cheque is just so fantastic. It was one of my favorite once you run is where I usually start. And it is impressive how much that cleans up your Writing right off the get go. You're really forest it's nice. Cause highlights, not only where are you used it at? Like how many spaces do you use it? But then it comes up. If you'd click on it, you could come up with a thesaurus and you can see, you know, other options you can think about it.
Autumn (25m 13s):
And that's really, that's my most time consuming. Umm, so the terracing to it, that that is my most time-consuming edit in pro Writing rate ADE is running the Echo's cheque that can easily take a half an hour or more. Cause I'm really reading through it and pulling things out and trying to change, not just using the Taurus. Yeah. First chapter and that just using us the stories. But I tend to sometimes rearrange sentences and really try to really, really develop things a little bit better with this check.
Jesper (25m 46s):
And when you do that, so when you make changes, it changes inside the Scrivener file itself, correct?
Autumn (25m 52s):
Yes. Correct. And that is one of the nice thing. So when I then go back and open up, Scrivner all my changes, our there, as long as we hit save it and it does more new, if you didn't save it, it says, Hey, you didn't say this, but you do have to hit save. Its not like I'm I worked on a Mac. So when I get so used to like what I changed something, obviously I wanted to change it. If I changed it, I wouldn't have changed at all if I didn't need to change that. So max always save everything if you change it, but me and upper Writing it, you have to actually hit the safe. Right. And so
Jesper (26m 23s):
What are some of the other reports and in the software
Autumn (26m 26s):
From their I, the one I have noticed that actually have some nuances based on character's as well as my own author of voice is called stickie, which I think that it's just sound like a fun, have fun reports to run, But sticky sentences, our ones that you use a lot of filler words instead of the nouns and adjectives and verbs, the filler ones like the is, Oh, well actually yours is a verb, but you know, not even strong verbs. So when you have the sentence with a lot of those, its harder to comprehend for a reader. They are going to call us and they can be really short sentences, but usually they tend to be your longer sentences. And that's the one I've noticed that I have a few characters that do speak in a kind of wordy styles and those sticky, those were my sticky rating.
Autumn (27m 13s):
We'll be like 46%. And it does give you ranges of what is normal in writing. So I think Forti is usually the upper level. I tend to, if I hit 40, I'm really proud of myself, usually 42% like you, my low end, I tend to write short sentences, which is funny. And it gives you a sentence variation that it says like average sentence length. I think it was between 11 and 18 based on the genre I've chosen. And I tend to write like 10.2 sentence length, 10.2 words per sentence, as my seems to be my average or a 10.8, 11.2. But my sticky index has a really high. So every once in a while I have a sentence it's like 32 words, you know?
Autumn (27m 55s):
So, and it is, it is at least something that does give you, there is a whole report on length where it'll tell you your sentence length and it'll show you almost like an audit auditable, Audio graph, you know, the ups and downs. It will show you so you can see that you are really varying your sentences. These are important tools that it's happy. It's when I do, you know, read ProWritingAid eye, look at it and I'm like, Oh yeah, I've already got that good. So I tend to skip the length report unless I just feel like, you know, looking at fun squiggly graphs, but the sticky sentence, one is one where you get to sit down and you see the sentences. And then it's in this computer is saying, this might be confusing. This is going to make readers stall and you can go through and try to reduce those sentences and clean them up and move out some of the stuff.
Autumn (28m 41s):
Do you really need to have this description, the description and, and, and an, or, and can you break this into several sentences and clean it up? And that really does help. That will help your reader so much to no, Hey, this is really long sentence or this was a really, even a short sense that just is not clear. Or can you put it in a better noun? Can't you put it in a better verb, make this a little bit more concrete, less sticky sentence. And so that was a fantastic one. And from there I think,
Jesper (29m 16s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And quite a lot of these basically things that helps with the line by line editing. But I believe that, yeah. I mean, I don't think unless I'm wrong, but I don't think you are using it so much. But I do believe that ProWritingAid has some stuff that helps with short of character arcs on all the plotting elements and stuff like that.
Autumn (29m 39s):
Yeah. But it has a little bit, it has some later ones, it has reports on pacing. So you can see how many sentences, how many paragraphs you have that are slow. One thing I wish it did is it will tell you how many paragraphs you have that are slow, but it won't tell you out of how many paragraphs and the chapter I have a knot, it'll tell you sentences. Or like how many sentences you have, but not how many paragraphs. And I think it would be so cool. If it would tell you, you have like nine paragraphs out of 28 that are slow because then if you wanted to, you could make your own chart to see how that is graphing. But it does help to see like, is this a lull you can, you should know for yourself, like, Hey, I meant to write this chapter as a law or this one is a hurdle.
Autumn (30m 26s):
So it should be a lot more exciting. And you look at it and you're like, Oh, I only have four slowed paragraphs. Perfect. This is a hurdle. Or you lug it out and you open it up. And its like its 10 slow paragraphs that are full of like description and emotion. And its just really slow and you're like, Oh well that's okay. This is a lull. Or should it be, should I be reworking lists to make sure it's better? So that is one. And that it has one report. This is the only platform out of everything that we looked at that had to report that was on the census, that it actually looked through your text and pulled out how many times, how many words you use at fit each of the five senses. And that was fantastic. And that's where it Fictionary I thought was pretty cool.
Autumn (31m 7s):
It gave you some advice to always use all the senses, but you were supposed to fill in which words you were using, ProWritingAid says, Hey, you use 2%. So four words that were in a smell. And I think that is really cool. So with just one quick check, you can say like I hit all of the senses or it says you're missing one. You can be like, Oh gosh, I'd have to go back in and add in this one. So I think that's a fantastic report. It really gives you an idea of how you're doing on all using all the senses. You know, do you see only 50% is site and you didn't use any touch. This would be horrible. You need to go fix that.
Jesper (31m 51s):
Yeah. So in some degree or some sense, I guess you could say that if you are looking for some sort of software tool, when you are, let's say first starting out and you basically want to work more around story structure, character arcs, then Fictionary might be the better choice. But if you're looking for some software that can really help elevating you're writing and, and looking sense Instructure's structures, word choices, using a census and all of that stuff, then pro writing aid. Well, it, it, it is more powerful than Fictionary and, And I, I, I, and I also think the Fictionary is better than an AutoCrit.
Jesper (32m 38s):
So, so I think that's the thing is it's almost like AutoCrit then Fictionary and then ProWritingAid I, but, but that's of course looking at our own needs, but if you are like a completely new author, you want some help, some software help in terms of just structuring the story, then Fictionary might actually be better than ProWritingAid for your needs.
Autumn (32m 58s):
I agree. Yeah. The one thing I really enjoyed with Fictionary for the cause there was a free trial and I mean, if you want to go check it out, that's what I think it's really cool. It's got a 14 day free trial, the Fictionary and there's a 14 day free trial with ProWritingAid I, so you can't lose the fact. You can do both the same time and you use ProWritingAid I in Fictionary and then you are really doing some powerful writing at the same time. He probably could just focus on one or the other first though, but there are some really cool note features and Fictionary where it goes. And you want to know that, like it tells you to use a sentences and you can go click on the little question, Mark and explains why and what you're supposed to be doing. And I kind of like those notes at the time.
Autumn (33m 39s):
I was like, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But now when I'm in ProWritingAid of the one thing that I think it really isn't the gray that greatest, That, and I've actually sent out a question to the staff over there is I think the thesaurus is kind of the week. I also have a pro or a premium subscription to Grammarly and Grammarly is purely just fixing your sentences, the thesaurus period's, you know, those kind of things, the concrete changes. It doesn't give you any of the reports, a writing ProWritingAid. So I think ProWritingAid has more powerful, but Grammarly is the stories and understanding how you used the word in the sentence. Like if it, the word could be announced or a verb Grammarly, we will figure out what it is and give you some really amazing concrete suggestions for your thesaurus.
Autumn (34m 30s):
ProWritingAid I, 70% of the time, I think there's a word in there that's acceptable. Maybe less than that. Sometimes 40%. It depends on the word. Like I had, I had reuse shoulder or a few times and one of the F the suggestions, and this is the source was left. And like, how has left a good replacement for a shoulder? I just, that one sticks in my mind, but it's not usually that bad, but there are times where if you highlight the word one place, it will give you some suggestions and then you highlight it below. It won't have any suggestions. And I'm just, I don't like those in consistencies. I'm often either, either I know a better word myself, or I'm reworking the sentence and I'll just come up with something better or I'm going into, you know, Googling synonyms of another word.
Autumn (35m 17s):
And I've actually put in a, a S a T they don't have a ticket, but they have a way of putting in features that you suggestions. And so I put it in a suggestion where we can add in our own words into that, the source, because I am so sick of Googling the same words, because I can't remember that I used it in the previous chapter. And I know there is something better. So that's about it. The one place, I really think ProWritingAid, I does kind of fall flat that the source could be a lot more robust and, you know, if I could have anything I ever wanted, I would love to see them like do a next generation where it says, Hey, you use this word, like shoulder or a glance. So many times, why don't you try using a different body part?
Autumn (35m 58s):
Why don't you try? I would love to like, see, like the emotional side is Saurus if you've ever used that online or have that book, which we'll have to have it on my Kindle when they were doing, you know, edit. And I wish it would be like tied into pro writing aid where it says, Hey, this looks like it's an emotional Q, why don't you try this one? But in all honesty, that's what you pay an editor for. If you're paying for a really good editor, they should be picking this stuff up. I think it would be so cool to be like developing the AI too that level. But, you know that's a really big ask it. I know that I was basically like, I want you to like, program an editor into a pro writing it, but it would also be really cool if it could develop that much and be like, Hey, you're using an emotional Q, why don't you try something else here?
Autumn (36m 47s):
Hint, hint, you know?
Jesper (36m 49s):
Yeah, yeah. For sure on that. That would be cool. Yeah. I should also mention by the way that, and I do not remember the episode number, but you can go out and then you can go back and check if you, if you want. But we did interview the CEO of Fictionary and a past episode when she talked to Christina, I think she is called and she a, she talked a lot about, well, all the features within Fictionary. So it Fictionary is something you were interested in just to go back through the podcast feed and find the one where we are talking about Fictionary and then listening to that one as well. But I was also thinking Autumn. Mmm. So using a software can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, meaning like, Okay, so I have all of this report's I've had all this stuff I can, I can get from the software, but maybe if you maybe would be useful for some people to just, if you sort of just boil down a bit about what would be the sort of steps that you would suggest, like do this and then do this, and then do this sort of a give or give some people a bit of a template for ProWritingAid basically.
Autumn (38m 1s):
Yeah, absolutely. And it's one of those things, no matter where you open it, it has this huge menu of reports across the top. And you can run an overview, always, especially if you're just getting familiar with the program and your not sure where to start or how your own writing is looking, run the overview report for us, because it'll get you oriented. It'll tell you where you are strong. Yay. I love that. They tell you what you are strong. It will give you some graphs. It it'll tell you, go focus on, you know, go look at these other individual reports. So, you know, that will give you a good starting point. Then at that point, the One report, I would say, never, ever, ever run. They have one that is basically All it'll run every single report that it does all at the same time.
Autumn (38m 44s):
And just highlight all of your texts. It is chaos. I mean, I am chaotic. I admit it, but this is chaos. This is so overwhelming. So just to skip that one. Yeah. And also skip repeats because those two will just make you feel like, Oh my God, I don't even know where to start with this. You will feel so overwhelmed. Just skip that, go to the Echo's, you know, do your overview, go to the echos, you know, to double check your length of your sentences, which is a good one. Run your sticky report below stickie, as cliche as that is a fantastic one. There was a report on dialogue. It'll tell you if you're using things consistently, there's also a consistency cheque, which is also really awesome. So you will tell you if your capitalizations are a consistent, like, are you M you know, mages, or do you have names that are your upper cases and sometimes lower casing.
Autumn (39m 32s):
It will get you to, you have fixed for that. You can go down and then do there's one for homonyms. I used to be horrible in homonyms have gotten better. I would say the homonym report that there is, it tells you every single word that is a potential homonym. It doesn't just look for ones you might have missed. You used that so that it might confuse you. Cause like if you, it will highlight or a cause, or it can be an, or it can be aura as in like a panel. So he'll say you might get yourself a little more overwhelmed with some of those reports. You've got to look at them in, take a minute. You know, there is some information that you can go online and see what they're about. Read those run, you know, the sensory, the pacing run all of those, but to each one individually in a kind of his set up in order that if you start on echoes and work your way to the right, just go in that sequence and then come back.
Autumn (40m 25s):
And there is a final one that I love to wrap up. Two final ones to wrap up with. And one is overused and its like echoes, but its totally different. It, it tells you if you simply used this word too many times as compared to previous WRITING, like I say, look so it'll tell you, Hey, you have started sentences with ING endings way to many times compared to publish Writing, go fix those. And then once you do your overused words, checked, go and run the regular grammar. That's the last step, which is actually the first report. So it's a live report, go fix everything there it tells you to do and then hit save.
Autumn (41m 11s):
And that chapter's done.
Jesper (41m 13s):
Yeah. So I think overall, if you are, I mean ProWritingAid should probably be a useful tool for almost everyone. I would say AutoCrit I would say Nope, just to skip that one. If you need to ask, if we set before, if you, if you are quite knew to writing and you need more of the structural help than probably check out, Fictionary maybe get both Fictionary and a pro Writing eight on trial versions and see which one you, you like the most. But I think it's probably safe to say that you are editing phase and you're writing will become better by using some of this software.
Jesper (41m 58s):
It's not, it's not just some, you know, nice thing to have it it's almost in the category of need to have, because it actually does make a big difference. It really does. I think my set, my chapters edited with pro writing aid are so much stronger than what I was doing before pro writing aid. I really think that the sentences and the echos and the checks that I'm doing through providing aid, I see an improvement. It's got an extra Polish that I could not have done on my own. Yeah. So that's something for, for you to check out, to sign up for a trial version of pro writing aid.
Jesper (42m 39s):
If you have an AE or if you are using already and to see what you, what you think of it. But other than that, then the next Monday, I'm hoping to have an interview for you with Alex Newton, from Kayla Tricks. And we are going to talk about what sells in the fantasy genre. Yeah.
Narrator (42m 57s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/AmwritingFantasy. For as little as a dollar a month you'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.