I am always looking for new and exciting tools to help with my writing. While editing my latest novel I came across the Hemingway Editor.
All you do is paste your text into the editor…
Right away, it gives you a Readability Score. This small passage of 352 words has a readability of Grade 2. This means Grade 2 is the lowest education needed to understand this passage. It does not tell you the actual grade level that you’re writing for. Lower grades seem to indicate that the writing is easy to understand, not that the writing is bad or uncomplicated.
Next, the Hemingway Editor points out those dreaded adverbs. I tend to go crazy with adverbs, so this is very helpful for me.
If you hover over the highlighted word in blue, it tells you why it is highlighted, and what steps should be taken.
The sentence, “Just hit the ball.” is much stronger as “Hit the ball.”
Highlighted in green you will find use of Passive Voice.
Instead of using is frozen, I can easily change it to freezes, making the sentence stronger. Sometimes we get too close to our writing and don’t see obvious places where we can tighten things up.
Sometimes a simpler alternative is needed to clean up a sentence. The Hemingway Editor shows this in purple.
In this case, the suggestion is to replace the phrase with “whether” or omit it altogether. “She speculates whether to pluck it out of its stillness,” works better, although I will probably edit this sentence further.
Hard to Read Sentences
You will find hard to read sentences highlighted in yellow. It does not offer any suggestions about how to fix the sentence, or why it is hard to read, but usually upon inspection, the reason is clear.
There are certainly too many things going on in this sentence. My revision: The pitcher pulls his hat low over his brow. He winds up the pitch and throws the softball.
Very Hard to Read Sentences
I don’t have any in this passage, but they would show up in red.
The Hemingway Editor is a handy-dandy tool that is easy to use and can help edit and improve your writing. I think it is worth it for the adverbs and passive voice alone.
The online editor is FREE! Which is my favorite kind of app. There is a desktop version as well that can be purchased for Mac or PC for $19.99.
Are there any online editing tools that you have found helpful? Please share them below!