ProWritingAid is the BEST self-editing software on the market at the moment.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you:
It IS better to hire a good proof-reader that you trust than to use software.
The trouble is finding one that’s both good and reasonable.
See, there are a lot of ‘proof readers’ out there trying to take advantage of self-published writers.
(A buddy of mine got conned £300 quid by a ‘friend’ of his operating a self-published service. The manuscript he got back was worse, if anything.)
And the top-top level pros? Well, they can cost thousands.
If you can afford them, GREAT.
I can’t and – I suspect – most self-published writers can’t.
(If I’d gone to a really top level proofer for my books, I’d be in DEBT rather than earning a healthy profit).
ProWritingAid is an outstanding solution for removing the worst of your mistakes.
What’s more, it’s just had a swanky upgrade and it’s now far superior to the older version (which, to be fair, I still liked).
So, why do I prefer PWA to the other options?
The reason I prefer ProWritingAid to other editing software (and use it for business clients as well as books) is that it edits EVERYTHING.
See, as the writer, I get handed a lot of writing from other people, and one fact has become very apparent:
Not every writer screws up in the same way.
- I tend to use the same phrases in sentences without realising it. (You’ll probably notice some scattered across this site, which isn’t edited by PWA!)
- My buddy I mentioned before writes sentences that are WAY too long.
- Another girl I know is always getting her speech marks in the wrong place. (I do this, too).
The problem is, all three of us can spell. Pretty well, as it goes.
Which leads us to the unpleasant fact:
A spellchecker is NOT enough.
Luckily, ProWritingAid ISN’T just a spellchecker. It allows you to pick up edits of pretty much everything:
- Repeat phrases (my cardinal sin) (You can drill right down to single words that are repeated).
- Passive language.
- Repeated sentence starts.
And so on.
It checks pretty much every type of mistake. You can zoom straight to each error using the toolbar at the top, so you don’t have to scroll through looking for everything.
If you go through every single error PWA picks up and correct it, your writing will improve by about 300 per cent.
PWA recently got an upgrade, moving from a browser-only deal to its own individual app.
Now, you can open Word (or Scrivener) files WITHIN the app – the app will strip out all the formatting whilst you edit the text – and then allow you to save directly to the word file with the formatting all restored.
It’s a BRILLIANT feature, and I really flippin’ wish it had been in the old PWA.
One of the problems with the old version was that – because it was browser based – it could be unstable. No hint of that here.
In 2017, ProWritingAid is an impressive piece of software.
- Yes, you sometimes get false positives. Occasionally, PWA will pick up something that doesn’t need correcting. This is easy to fix, though: ignore it! Because you can zoom straight in and find stuff immediately (using the handy magnifying glass tool) this takes less than three seconds.)
- You do need to be connected to the web to sign in. I’m a big advocate of Freedom, an app that stops your net working for a period of time you choose. It’s ideal for focusing and being productive, so I’d prefer it if PWA worked offline.
(But if you’re less of a procrastinating machine than be, this may be less of an issue).
ProWritingAid isn’t free. (Be nice if it was!)
However, if you write in any capacity and want to improve your writing, there’s no better option, and it’s not THAT expensive in the grand scheme of things.
PWA is essentially a technical writing tutor in a box. You’ll improve your writing more by running it through PWA and editing every mistake than you would doing three years of a writing degree.
(And I’m saying that as someone who did a three year writing degree, and still takes any opportunity to shameless bash what a rip-off it was.)
There are three pricing options:
Before the 2017 upgrade, I’d have recommended yearly. However, the latest PWA upgrade has sold me on the lifetime idea.
This single upgrade from a browser-base to a full standalone app took PWA from a tool I quite liked to one that I now recommend to everyone.
And it’s worth noting that it’s a one-off cost: buy PWA now and you can use it on every piece of writing you do forever. You’ll be paying less for lifetime use of the tool than my buddy did to that ‘proof-reader’ who did jack.
What’s more, you’ll get lifetime upgrades. If the future upgrades are as good as the recent one, this tool will be worth a few hundred dollars in the next year or two.
Using just the old ProWritingAid, I self-edited books and made hundreds of pounds. I won’t pretend I didn’t get a proof-reader when I could afford one, but in the early days, PWA is a great investment in your writing career.
The new 2017 edition of Pro Writing Aid is an essential tool for the modern writer.