Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
If you’re brave enough to start. You’re strong enough to finish. Gary Ryan Blair
Starting and finishing are two parts of the same thing. We can’t finish what we don’t start, so starting is the most important part. In fact, it is said, starting is half done, but we still have to do the other part.
One of the problems writers have is being able to evaluate their own writing. A program like Pro Writing Aid solves this problem. Most of us can’t afford the many rounds of editing a good editor would require before they pronounced our writing publishable. This program can help us make our own writing better, and teach us to become better writers for a reasonable cost. It tells us what goals to strive for, and tells us what percentage we made it better.
I’ve started putting my second novel Secrets and Sorrow through Pro Writing Aid. The many and varied reports highlight where our writing is good and where it needs improvement, and give us goals to aim for. For example, it tells me how often I’ve used a dialogue tag and what most of them were. Do I use said, which is recommended the most, or are my characters, laughing, smiling, whispering, and threatening throughout the book?
The program compares our writing to the writing of published author’s in our genre, and to about forty famous authors we can choose, although I haven’t found how to choose the author I want my work compared to. The program is chosen for me. The idea according to the creator of Pro Writing Aid, published writers fall in line with guidelines and if we get our writing to fall within those same guidelines, it will be considered better writing, than when it doesn’t fall within the guidelines.
Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you. Unknown
To get my novel through this edit by the end of November I have to get two and a half chapters edited per day. By breaking it down into small daily goals I can keep on track. I didn’t start using the program until November 2, so I was already behind but I’m on track now. I joined a zoom call on Tuesday where the creator discussed how to use Pro Writing Aid. They have these zoom meetings every month. This is the first one I’ve attended, but it won’t be the last.
Pro Writing Aid does not eliminate the value of a good editor, but what it does do is give us a tool to make our writing as good as we can before we pay someone to help us with more important parts of our writing. The editor can point out plot holes, inconsistencies in the story, parts we should cut, or elaborate on.
Everything in Pro Writing Aid is available in books. Having a program underline the problems, explain what the problem is, and how to fix it, is very helpful and it teaches us more than reading it in a book. It is a tool that helps us become better writers.
The first novel I wrote is a convoluted mess, but if I put the time into doing structural edits and ran it through Pro Writing Aid it might become something. It’s a daunting task and it may be easier and more interesting to write something new. It will have to wait, at least until my third novel, Secrets and Solace, is complete.
Pro Writing Aid is helping me complete what I started, and gives me a benchmark to compare my writing to. If you are looking for an affordable author’s assistant that will give you more confidence in your finished product check out Pro Writing Aid. There is a free version, that will evaluate short pieces of writing, but if you want to put your entire manuscript in, it is worth paying for.
Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started. David Allen
Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic. Robin Sharma
How you start is important, but it is how you finish that counts. In the race for success, speed is less important than stamina. The stickler outlasts the sprinter. B.C. Forbes
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