Reading blogs can be dangerous to your writing time and your wallet. A certain blogger — you know who you are — wrote about using Autocrit, an online self-editing app. I checked it out since I have to admit that my self-editing skills, though pretty darn good, are far from perfect. I followed up with a search for similar apps and found Pro Write Aid. Without going into details right now (a review will be up and coming soon), after comparing their features and cost, I decided to try out Pro Write Aid. I don’t really like working online, so I was glad to see that PWA has a beta version that works directly with Scrivener. I haven’t looked deeply enough into the site to know whether it will be a purchasable standalone that you can download, or will be on the subscription plan that both apps use. I’d much rather own it than rent it, but that isn’t important for the moment.
The Scrivener beta downloaded without a hitch, and I worked through about half a chapter of Privileged Lives with it. After going through only two of the 19 reports, I’m sold. It’s incredibly rare for me to be enthusiastic about any software (I save that mostly for Scrivener), but I think I may be in love.
The interface is beautifully designed. When you click on an underlined word or phrase, a little blurb explains why your choice isn’t that great, and offers a suggestion, which you can click on and insert into the text, or you can click on “ignore” and the underline will go away. You can also tell it to kill the particular rule it’s using. Probably not a good idea.
The acid test was saving the changes I made. I closed out PWA after saying yes to whether I wanted to save the changes, and lo, there they were. I’m going to delve deeper into the program, making notes along the way, so I can report back.
The 14-day challenge? The beta is only good for 14 days, and then I would have to either use the free, more limited online version, or sign up for the premium version. I’m nearly finished writing the last chapter of Camp Expendable, and most of it has been through numerous edits, so this is a chance to get it publication-ready without any more goofing off. And it will be a thorough real-life test of the program.