Author Topic: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?  (Read 14503 times)  

Offline anotherpage

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Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
« on: March 18, 2017, 10:40:08 am »
Anyone dabbled with one or more of the above and care to comment on which one they think is the best?

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    Offline Some Random Guy

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 12:02:15 pm »
    I've done both Prowritingaid and Grammarly.  Prowritingaid eats Grammarly's lunch and kicks it around the schoolyard.  ;D

    Offline lincolnjcole

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 12:28:08 pm »
    I've done both Prowritingaid and Grammarly.  Prowritingaid eats Grammarly's lunch and kicks it around the schoolyard.  ;D

    Yeah grammarly is very low on the totem pole and only helps a little bit.

    Offline anotherpage

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 12:44:41 pm »
    I've done both Prowritingaid and Grammarly.  Prowritingaid eats Grammarly's lunch and kicks it around the schoolyard.  ;D

    Good to know. I am looking to pay outright so prowritingaid looks like a good solution. Though did you use grammarly recently or a long time ago?

    Offline S.R.

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 12:58:45 pm »
    I use the free Chrome plugin for Grammarly. It's great for catching obvious typos in emails and online posts that my eyes would easily skip over when I'm in a hurry.

    Based on experience with the free version, I bought the premium version during one of Grammarly's sales. Oddly, I found it to be less helpful than the free version. I'm on a Mac, and understand that the PC version has greater capabilities so maybe that was the problem. Anyway, it gave me so many false readings that I asked for a refund.

    I now have ProWritingAid. It gives false readings as well (any program will), but overall I find it much more useful than Grammarly. Its reports are very helpful in identifying style issues and words that I overuse and tips on streamlining sentences to improve readability. It's a good learning tool and helps me deliver cleaner manuscripts to my editor. I also just downloaded the Scrivener plugin for ProWritingAid - which is a nice addition.

    Offline Some Random Guy

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 01:06:02 pm »
    Good to know. I am looking to pay outright so prowritingaid looks like a good solution. Though did you use grammarly recently or a long time ago?
    My Grammarly use is fairly recent, as in the last few months.  I've switched over the Prowritingaid though.

    Offline Colin Bundschu

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 01:15:03 pm »
    I use both the free version of Grammarly and The Hemingway Editor. http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

    The free version of Grammarly is nice for catching objective mistakes, and The Hemingway Editor does a good job of picking up on deeper structural issues and passive voice.

    Offline caarsen

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 07:29:13 pm »
    I've used Autocrit extensively for the last three years. I like it a lot and use it a lot. However, I've lately discovered Prowritingaid. I'm still in the learning phase with Prowriting aid. What I like about it is that I can work directly in a Word document and maintain formatting. When you work on a document in AutoCrit you have to cut and paste your work into the program and if you work on it right in the program and then bring it back into Word or Pages, you lose your formatting. So I've often had AC open in one window and my main document in another - searched for the errors etc in AC corrected them in Word. It's rather cumbersome so I was excited when I found out that I could use PWA directly in a document. The only disadvantage I've seen so far to PWA is that it's mighty slow to work with using a full manuscript document. I haven't opened PWA in Scrivener yet so if it works better in there then I'd be all in with Prowriting aid. I've bought a lifetime access to Autocrit so I'm not out any money. But from what I've seen so far Prowriting aid is an better and easier to navigate program. Just don't use it on a 65,000 word manuscript.

    Offline Some Random Guy

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 07:42:30 pm »
    The only disadvantage I've seen so far to PWA is that it's mighty slow to work with using a full manuscript document. I haven't opened PWA in Scrivener yet so if it works better in there then I'd be all in with Prowriting aid. I've bought a lifetime access to Autocrit so I'm not out any money. But from what I've seen so far Prowriting aid is an better and easier to navigate program. Just don't use it on a 65,000 word manuscript.
    I run my manuscript through ProwritingAid one chapter at a time, be it in MSWord or Scrivener.

    Offline BlouBryant

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 07:46:57 pm »
    OP, I'm a fan of PWA. It works well within the document, no need to go online or cut and paste. There are a lot of different reports you can run - I like the ability to customise what it's telling me. My favourite feature of the program has to be the ability to identify my own overused words and have the program flag them as an automatic part of its report.

    The only disadvantage I've seen so far to PWA is that it's mighty slow to work with using a full manuscript document.

    Oh, it's awful for a whole manuscript - I gave up on that. Try doing a chapter at a time... highlight the chapter and go.

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    Offline caarsen

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 01:25:28 pm »
    I feel like I should update my answer. I've been using Pro Writing Aid for the past couple of weeks. I'm sold. What I really like about it is that I can open a Scrivener document with it and edit and it all gets saved in the original document! It's great. It will never replace an actual editor but the cleaner I can make my manuscript the better!

    Offline Renard

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 02:06:01 pm »
    I use both. ProWritingAid premium for the first run on my Scrivener file, then an annoying chapter by chapter Grammarly (free account) check.

    Both return a lot of false results, but they also each pick up things the other doesn't. Example: PWA will tell me to take the comma out of "Neither app is better than an editor, though." and Grammarly will tell me to put the comma in if it's not there.

    You really need to have a solid grasp on what to ignore for any grammar app to work.

    Offline PatriciaDreas

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 03:08:17 pm »
    For novels, I found using text-to-speech software beat both Grammarly and PWA in terms of time invested.

    PWA has more tools than Grammarly, but it tends to waste a lot of your time disagreeing with your prose styling, even though it's grammatically correct. Grammarly is great for online posts or email or other on-the-fly composing.

    For my next novel, I'll use PWA and Grammarly once each on my daily first drafts (same day as they're produced), then text-to-speech software on the final draft.

    Offline Deuces Deleted

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 03:36:48 pm »
    I've used Prowriting Aid as well as Serenity Editor and am a Lifetime member of AutoCrit which I have used for several of my earlier books and will employ in using my future editing rounds.

    AutoCrit and Serenity Editor do similar things although I must admit I like the AutoCrit interface better and when I switched from PC to Mac the internet based interface for the AutoCrit made it possible for it to continue to be useful. I'm not familiar with the current iteration since the improvements and offer for a monthly subscription but the base of the program works great.

    Prowriting Aid just didn't do it for me when I tried it before. And didn't allow for enough customization for me as a fiction writer. Hope that helps. Happy to answer any questions you may have.
    « Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 03:38:44 pm by Shawneda »

    Offline Gone 9/21/18

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 05:45:52 pm »
    Does PWA work with both versions of Scrivener or only one, and if so, which one? I did a little searching around but didn't find the answer, maybe didn't dig deep enough. Until I get somewhere with wifi I won't be able to experiment anyway.
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    Offline dhbradshaw

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #15 on: April 03, 2018, 03:20:53 pm »
    For novels, I found using text-to-speech software beat both Grammarly and PWA in terms of time invested.

    PWA has more tools than Grammarly, but it tends to waste a lot of your time disagreeing with your prose styling, even though it's grammatically correct. Grammarly is great for online posts or email or other on-the-fly composing.

    For my next novel, I'll use PWA and Grammarly once each on my daily first drafts (same day as they're produced), then text-to-speech software on the final draft.

    This is interesting.  How does text-to-speech software help you edit?

    Offline Mercedes Vox

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #16 on: April 03, 2018, 03:59:26 pm »
    This is interesting.  How does text-to-speech software help you edit?

    By having the story read aloud to you. Great for detecting missing words, awkward phrasing, unnaturally ordered serial adjectives, and a host of other issues. There's nothing that helps you give a manuscript a better coat of polish toward the end of editing than hearing it instead of reading it.
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    Offline Torqueconverter

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #17 on: April 10, 2018, 10:08:49 am »
    I've tired both Prowritingaid & Autocrit and like them both, but went with the lifetime subscription on Prowritingaid because I couldn't afford the $30 monthly fee on Autocrit. I saw that someone mentioned a lifetime on Autocrit but I don't see It on the site.

    Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #18 on: April 10, 2018, 10:16:40 am »
    I use ProWritingAid. I liked Autocrit better in terms of the ease of use and performance, but the price and local version of the app that preserves formatting pushed PWA way ahead.

    Offline WDR

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #19 on: April 11, 2018, 07:43:41 am »
    I was using Linguisoft's Grammarian for a while and found it useful.

    However, it also got in the way of writing at times. While great for checking emails and business documents, it became obtrusive when writing narrative prose. It kept interrupting me while I was writing due to some mistake or another and that would break my concentration.

    I stopped using it when a change to Mac OS X interrupted its interface and made it unusable. I never bothered to update it after that. When I turned full time to writing, I simply decided it was better to crank out the prose and then hand it to an editor (a sentient being) to flag my errors.

    I still debate with myself about whether or not I want to load it in again.
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    Offline WHDean

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #20 on: April 11, 2018, 01:29:59 pm »
    They're all useless. None of them do all they claim to do, and most of what they do has no practical value.

    To the former, PWA does not detect all passives, for example, including some everyday ones: It does not detect the first person present simple passive in either uncontract or contracted forms (e.g., I am/I'm mistreated by them) or the rest of the contracted forms (e.g., It's transported by train; You're pushed around too easily). Nor does it detect any of the present continuous passives (e.g., I am/I'm being lied to), the get-passives (e.g., I got promoted), or the have-done passives (e.g., I had my dog put down).

    Making matters worse, PWA wastes your time on a whole lot of passives it should skip over. For example, every thriller and horror novel will have dozens of sentences like "He was covered in blood" and "The body was submerged in the lake." The agent is either unknown or unimportant in such sentences, so there's nothing to fix.

    Other functions have no practical value. Take PWA's "sticky sentence report," which is defined as follows:

    Quote
    A sticky sentence is one that is full of glue words.

    Glue words are the empty space that readers need to get through before they can get to your ideas. Generally, your sentences should contain less than 45% glue words. If they contain more, they should probably be re-written to increase clarity.

    If you run the sentence beginning "Glue words are..." that I just quoted from PWA through PWA's stickiness report, you'll find that its stickiness is 57.9%, a lot higher than the recommended 45%. It doesn't read all that stickily to me, but I decided to edit the sentence by replacing the sticky words:

    Quote
    The term glue word denotes words that create spaces between ideas, thereby inhibiting the progression of readers through the ideas contained in the text.

    You may be surprised to learn that my convoluted edit rates 33.3% on PWA's glue index, well below the 45% sticky-word cutoff, and only half as sticky as PWA's own sentence.

    In case anyone missed the point, PWA says this sentence (one of its own) contains a lot of empty space that readers need to get through and should be revised:

    Quote
    Glue words are the empty space that readers need to get through before they can get to your ideas.

    But this version of the sentence is just fine:

    Quote
    The term glue word denotes words that create spaces between ideas, thereby inhibiting the progression of readers through the ideas contained in the text.

    I invite anyone who has not already got drunk on the Kool-Aid to test this software using good and bad prose. You'll find that none of these apps can tell the difference.

       

    Offline SA_Soule

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #21 on: April 11, 2018, 03:58:12 pm »
    By having the story read aloud to you. Great for detecting missing words, awkward phrasing, unnaturally ordered serial adjectives, and a host of other issues. There's nothing that helps you give a manuscript a better coat of polish toward the end of editing than hearing it instead of reading it.

    YES! So true.

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    Offline Skip Knox

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #22 on: April 22, 2018, 10:10:40 am »
    Much will depend on the kind of prose you write. I write historical fantasy, so my books have any number of antiquated, foreign, or invented words. I don't mind taking the time to tell Scrivener about those words, but I wouldn't much like to have to tell a second program as well. In addition, different people (elves, dwarves, etc.) have different speech patterns, some of which offend the modern English sensibilities of software. Then there are the complexities of dialogue.

    I'm with the robo-read camp. Having the computer read the manuscript back is useful. Again in my somewhat unusual case, having the poor dear read invented proper names is a bonus. The computer never pronounces the name the way I would, but it does pronounce consistently, which catches cases where I've mis-typed.

    All that said, you *still* ought to hire an editor--copyedit plus proofread--because no software is going to catch consistency and continuity errors. And neither will you, not all of them.

    Offline guerin

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #23 on: April 22, 2018, 11:37:36 am »
    By having the story read aloud to you. Great for detecting missing words, awkward phrasing, unnaturally ordered serial adjectives, and a host of other issues. There's nothing that helps you give a manuscript a better coat of polish toward the end of editing than hearing it instead of reading it.

    I just started using the text-to-speech method after reading a similar thread. I use Grammarly and the Word proofing as well. In MS Word you can use the "Read Aloud" function. It is the best tool I've found to do my final proofreading. It's slow though, which I guess is why it works so well for me.

    When you read you can't help but glance over many glaring mistakes. We've all seen those pattern recognition tests posted on social media where almost every word is misspelled but yet you can still read it with ease. That's what happens when you read your writing looking for errors. You just can't help it. When you read, you don't look at every letter in every word in detail. Reading is pattern recognition. You don't see the individual letters of a word but instead the common groupings of letters and words. How many times have you read something and thought to yourself that made no sense? Then you go back to read it again and realize you saw a word that actually wasn't there. You saw the word you were expecting.

    When I listen to my writing being read back to me the errors become so obvious. There are a few quirks. The robot voice sometimes mispronounces words or screws up the rhythm. Still, I find myself going over every line with a fine tooth comb when it is being read back. That's why it takes so long.
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    Offline danpadavona

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    Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
    « Reply #24 on: November 21, 2018, 04:49:53 pm »
    I concur with the suggestion of using text-to-speech for proofreading. Very effective as a final pass. I wish I'd thought of this years ago   :D


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