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Hemingway and Me: AI Editing

October 15, 2020 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , , , ,

Last month I was excited to share that I signed with Wolfpack Publishing, an online publisher. I never thought I would do that (check September to see why I did). This month, I’m having another never-say-never moment. I purchased an Artificial Intelligence editing program called Hemingway.

Why I shelled out $20 for Hemingway

A friend recommended the program. It was inexpensive. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing.

What is Hemingway?

It is an intelligent assistant for the writer who wants to improve their style. Hemingway cannot replace an excellent editor. In the early stages,  guidance on foundational work is essential. No computer program can analyze characterization, plotting, inconsistencies, theme etc. the way a human can. It will not check for grammar or spelling.

What I like about Hemingway.

Hemingway made me think. The app ‘believes’ that simple is better. The program color codes perceived style problems in the manuscript. Purple indicates  hard to read sentences, yellow very hard to read, blue is adverbs, and green is passive voice. The app also highlights phrases that have simpler alternatives.

More often than not, I heeded Hemingway’s advice. Yes, some of my sentences were convoluted. Yes, there were other ways describe action without a word that ended in LY. There were also times I didn’t change a sentence. Yes, that passive voice was necessary. Thank you, Hemingway.

What are the drawbacks of Hemingway?

Blogs, articles, and short pieces might find Hemingway more helpful than the novelist. I uploaded chapter by chapter so I wasn’t overwhelmed. It was tedious, but I’m glad I did it.

It is difficult to figure out how to transfer the edited work. I finally used the export as a word doc function. I did have to reformat each chapter. Not a problem, just an extra step.

Hemingway does not check spelling and grammatical errors. It would be a nice addition to the program.

Do I recommend Hemingway?

Yes. It is well worth $20. This program made me stop, think, revise, and it gives me reasons why I should pay attention. Because I will have a cleaner manuscript, it will save my real life editor time and  therefore save me money on the back end. For traditionally published authors, your editor will be very pleased with the smooth submission.

Bottom Line for Hemingway

I recommend that all writers add Hemingway to their tool box. It is a small investment for a big return on how you look at your writing.

P.S. Yes, I did edit this piece in Hemingway. Here is the link.


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