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Tools To Prune and Trim Your Writing

I have more writing apps than a person should rightly have - including Ulysses, Writeroom, and Byword.

Ulysses is where I keep everything - notes, books I’m writing, references.

Writeroom is for when I want a black page with nothing else on the screen.

Once I have finished writing I paste the text into the Hemingway app, which nudges my writing with on-screen prompts. It tells me to cut down a sentence, get rid of an adverb, think about using a shorter word for a longer one.

I bought the desktop version for the princely sum of $5.00 a while ago. Now it is out with version Two, which was a free upgrade.

If you don’t want the desktop version and are happy to use the web version, it’s free.

I recoiled when I first read that ‘adverbs are nature’s way of telling you you used the wrong verb.'

Now I am getting used to looking for stronger verbs.

The Hemingway app highlights the words and sentences it thinks you ought to look at - adverbs in blue, long sentences in yellow, horrible ones in red.

Once I have pruned my prose, I run it through the test on the Test page of The Writer’s Diet.

I came across The Writer’s Diet on the BookBaby blog. The test will tell you whether you writing is as tight as you and the Hemingway app think it is.

It has a scale from ‘lean’, through ‘fit & trim’, to ‘needs toning’, to ‘flabby’, and all the way to ‘heart attack’.

I was worried Hemingway would destroy my style or the flow, but it hasn’t. I have a converstaion with it as I trim my prose.

I use it for articles and I also use it for pages like ‘Privacy Policy’ and ‘Terms of Use'

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