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Interpreting the AutoCrit Results › 3. Strong Writing


Tense Consistency

Consistency in tense is critical to making your prose flow smoothly. In fiction, writers generally maintain one tense for the main storyline throughout the story or novel. Changes in verb tense can help the reader understand when something is happening at a different time than the main timeline—that they happened in the past, for instance,

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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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Redundancies

Redundancies are words that can be eliminated from your text because they repeat what has already been expressed or conveyed elsewhere in the sentence. For example: He reversed the car back into the driveway. can be simplified to: He reversed the car into the driveway. Or: He threw his keys onto the table. could become:

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Unnecessary Filler Words

  As writers, we know every word has to earn its place on the page.  That means tightening each sentence until it’s lean, clear and free of fluff. So those pesky little filler words have got to go. Filler words are words that creep into our writing during the drafting stage, such as that, just,

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