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Interpreting the AutoCrit Results


Adverbs

If there’s one telltale sign of an amateur writer, it’s a manuscript crammed with adverbs. Adverbs are those –ly words, like quickly or angrily, that we tend to rely on in early drafts.  But now that you’re in the editing process, most of them need to go. Why remove adverbs? Adverbs rely on weak verbs

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Passive Voice Indicators

Passive voice. Just hearing that term conjures images of ninth-grade English class with all its confusing grammar rules. Never fear: AutoCrit is here to help you figure out what passive voice really means, why it’s (usually) bad, and how to avoid it in your manuscript. In the English language, there are two ways to construct

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Showing vs. Telling Indicators

Show, don’t tell. It’s the first rule of writing, and for good reason. In a nutshell, showing is about using description and action to help the reader experience the story. Telling is when the author summarizes or uses exposition to simply tell the reader what is happening. For example: Telling: John was sad to see

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Clichés

He wanted all hands on deck… She had an axe to grind… It was tough to make ends meet… His hands were tied… The game was a nail biter… If these phrases sound familiar, it’s because they are. They’re clichés--phrases that have become so overused they’re considered stale and unoriginal. There are thousands of clichés

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Initial Pronoun and Names

  This analysis helps you see how often you start sentences in your manuscript with either a pronoun (she, he, it) or a name. Imagine if every sentence in a novel started the same way: Joe heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Joe froze. Joe looked around, trying to find a place to hide. Joe

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Sentence Starters

  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. But we have to watch out for two common pitfalls with sentence construction: starting sentences with an initial conjunction or an initial –ING verb. Initial conjunctions are when you start your sentences

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Generic Descriptions

  As fiction writers, it’s our job to create a vivid, detailed world for our readers. But that won’t happen if you have boring, generic descriptions in your manuscript. Generic descriptions are fuzzy, ambiguous words—words like: nice good uncomfortable pretty really very Sometimes known as abstract words, such descriptions make it difficult for the reader

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Homonyms

  This analysis helps you spot homophones and homonyms so you can make sure you’re using the correct word. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings: knew and new, poor and pour, or cite, sight and site. Homonyms are words that are spelled the same but

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Personal Words and Phrases

Do you have a word or phrase not found in the standard AutoCrit analysis categories that you want highlighted in your writing? Words or phrases you know you repeat or abuse?  Not a problem. AutoCrit will highlight and find any word or group of words you choose from a customizable Personal List. To customize your

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Repeated Words

  One of the best ways to keep your writing fresh and engaging is to avoid using the same words too close together. Repetition can make your work seem amateurish or even goofy. Aim to use synonyms and unique descriptions instead, to eliminate unnecessary repetition. This analysis helps you spot areas in your manuscript where

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