Can I use AutoCrit to edit work that is not fiction?
AutoCrit does have a few reports that are specific to fiction. For example, dialogue and dialogue tags are primarily applicable for fiction.
However, a majority of the reports can be used for all types of writing and we have many users who write nonfiction, technical, business, biographies, etc. The areas that would be most applicable include strong writing, word choice, and repetition. Here are details on each of these sections:
Strong Writing Analysis
Adverbs are those –ly words, like quickly or angrily, that we tend to rely on in early drafts. AutoCrit identifies adverbs in your writing so you can eliminate them. Most agents and editors loathe adverbs. A manuscript littered with adverbs indicates that the writer either didn’t know to come up with a more powerful verb (and is therefore inexperienced) or that the writer knew but didn’t bother—and that’s definitely not the impression you want to make.
Passive voice indicates a lack of specificity and clarity, which also occurs when writers use generic descriptions and show instead of tell. AutoCrit identifies passive voice in your manuscript by looking for some of the classic indicators, such as forms of the verb “to be”—like had/has and was/were.
Showing Vs Telling
Showing Vs. Telling is the first rule of writing, and for good reason. In a nutshell, showing uses description and action to help the reader experience the story. Telling uses summary or exposition to simply tell the reader what is happening. AutoCrit finds indicators in your writing of telling instead of showing.
Clichés are phrases so overused they’re considered trite and unoriginal. AutoCrit helps you spot them so you can replace them with something crisp, vivid, descriptive, and distinct.
Redundancies are words that can be omitted because they repeat what has already been expressed or conveyed in the sentence. AutoCrit spots redundancies for you so you may eliminate them, making your prose leaner and cleaner.
Unnecessary Filler Words
Filler words are words that creep into our writing, such as that, just, even, seem, very, or really. Filler words are almost always fluff. AutoCrit will help you identify your fillers, so you may cut, cut, cut—keeping your sentences tight and your readers happy.
Word Choice Analysis
Initial Pronoun and Names
Starting any sentence the same way too often can distract or bore your reader. This analysis helps you see how often you start sentences in your manuscript with either a pronoun (she, he, it) or a name. Pronouns and character names are important—but they don’t always belong at the beginning of a sentence. Mix up your sentence structures to keep your writing fresh.
As writers, we want to mix up our sentence structures—it makes our writing livelier and more interesting than if every sentence starts the same way. AutoCrit shows you where you start your sentences with initial –ING verbs or initial conjunctions so that you can identify repetitions that become annoying to readers.
Generic descriptions are fuzzy, ambiguous words—words like nice, good, uncomfortable, or pretty. Sometimes known as abstract words, such descriptions make it difficult for the reader to truly “see” the scene. AutoCrit looks for generic words that you may replace with more specific words.
Think of looking for homonyms as a last “check” to make sure “its” isn’t confused with “it’s” and “their” isn’t confused with “there” or “they’re.” AutoCrit highlights homophones and homonyms in your writing so you can make sure you’re using the correct word.
Personal Word List
Do you have a word not found in the standard AutoCrit analysis categories that you want highlighted in your writing? Words that you know you repeat or abuse? Not a problem. AutoCrit will highlight and find any word you choose from a customizable Personal Word List.
Repeated words are similar words used too close together, regardless of whether they have the same meaning. AutoCrit helps you spot areas in your manuscript where you repeat the same words within a few paragraphs so you can replace them with synonyms or unique descriptions instead.
Repeated phrases are groups of two, three, or four identical words used too close together, regardless of whether they have the same meaning. AutoCrit helps you spot these areas in your manuscript so you can replace them with unique descriptions.
AutoCrit combs through your manuscript and compiles a list of the top 100 words you’ve written. Too many difficult and uncommon words in your writing have a big impact on its readability and flow. Reviewing the type and frequency of your words allows you to reduce repetitions and ensure your writing is in sync with your target audience.
AutoCrit identifies the two-, three-, and four-word phrases you use throughout your manuscript and tells you how frequently you’ve used them. This gives you a big-picture perspective on phrases you may rely on too much as a writer. Too many similar phrases and actions quickly become noticeable to readers. Knowing how often you use them will help you decide whether or not you need to mix it up.