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Posted January 20, 2014 by in New Technology
 
 

The Future of Editing – A Review of AutoCrit


A Review of Autocrit

Photo from Flickr by Joanna Bourne

The future of editing has arrived. I’m a writer first and an editor by default. Reducing my editing time is important. I want to present the best work I can, that I am capable of doing myself. I’ll admit I’m not the best editor. There are just so many editing issues it’s difficult to catch every single one. A poorly edited manuscript turns off prospective buyers and readers, though. It takes far more time for me to edit than it does laying out a first draft. The essential word here is time. Searching for a myriad of issues in a manuscript while getting eye strain is an intense, boring, and at times frustrating experience.

Impressive Functions of Autocrit

I stumbled upon the AutoCrit site and used their  Free Wizard, pasting in a 500-word sample. I expected it to take a few minutes, enough for me to walk away and grab a coffee, but it was  fast. How fast? Right now fast. Later, I pasted in 100,000 words and each analysis was done in seconds. It’s actually a fine-tuned, elaborate search mechanism tailored to writers. It performs 11 functions: searching for repeated words/phrases, sentence variation, dialogue tags, pacing, phrases, homonyms, overused words, first names/pronouns, and clichés, plus it produces a combination report and sums up the readability on about ten ratings. The analysis readily shows problem areas by highlighting them in color or underlining them. On a few reports it even makes suggestions. If your overused words count is low it will congratulate you. That’s a nice touch.

Word Searching

I use the word search on MS Word to catch the usual culprits of -ly adverbs, was, that, had/has, but it’s the phrase repetition I find difficult to spot. AutoCrit identifies two-word, three-word, and four-word phrases. Trying to catch overuse of slang phrases is no longer a concern. This is important in dialogue because not all characters speak the same way. The best part about the program (I have the professional subscription) is that I can insert my own particular slang words and phrases and it will include them in the analysis. That’s not all. Each report can be emailed so you can work on it at your convenience.  program has saved me time and made my work far more presentable. Actually, it showed how basic my editing was.

The Future of Editing

This program will catch on because it’s effective, clever, time-saving, and attractively priced. I believe it will raise the bar if enough writers use it. Expectations will rise from publishers and agents. With all the information regarding editing and manuscript submission formats on the internet, there are still many writers who don’t show due diligence and submit their work anyhow. Every writer can use AutoCrit but these are the people who need it most. Those who don’t have AutoCrit risk being left further in the dust. Take a look when you get the chance.


Edward

 
Edward Yatscoff is an award winning author with seven eBooks, and has published several short stories and travel articles. His firefighter suspense eBooks are the first in Canada and his MG novels are the first written in a Niagara Peninsula setting. Edward is a retired fire rescue captain who has circled the globe, lived in Oz, fishes, camps, and travels widely. He keeps track of his reads on Goodreads and posts short stories on his website. He lives in Alberta with Gloria and manages a writers group.