Editing the Speedy Way

This weekend’s editing was frustrating, among other things. But Tuesday afternoon I came home and went back at it. Whoa! So much easier that day (why, don’t ask me), and I managed to eliminate another couple thousand worthless words (sorry, “just,” but you’re just not worth it). Having completed the first third of the novel – and feeling very satisfied, indeed – I decided to take a break and cruised around the Internet.

That’s where I found AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It looked interesting, so I decided to test out a few hundred words of the newly edited Part I. In a few short seconds (amazingly short), I received the results. I found I was not in the “danger” zone on anything, except for three cliches (in 40K words, that’s awesome). I’d done a good job of eliminating my overused words, my empty words, and adverbs. Yay, me!

Let me preface this post by saying I do not recommend this form of editing. There is nothing better than to learn the proper way to write, create, and edit. Yes, yes, I know. I am a pantser, but one with an enormous library of reference books and an Internet bookmark list of good writing web sites to back me up. Plus, I am cheap, very cheap. The AutoCrit Editor is expensive; well, expensive to a writer who has sunk a lot of time, energy, and money into reference books and decent editors. At $117 a year for a “membership” – it’s not software you own –  it’s not like Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die ($10 donation, and one payment allows you to put the software on every computer you own).

However, AutoCrit is a very fun diversion. I entered a short story I’d written at 16 (second place winner in a city contest) and found it was full of terrible errors. Like I didn’t know that before… when I look at it now, I cringe. To remain on the “free” side of things, you can submit 400 – 700 words to AutoCrit at a time, so it might do well as a final polish to a scene or chapter.

Now, back to work.

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