Tips for Tool #5

As a follow-on to my first post, Tool #5, here are 5 tips for using ProWritingAid.

#1: Be open to suggestion. 

Almost every time I thought “unh-unh!” but stepped back to consider how I might, juuust for the sake of argument, adjust my phrasing, I could. For the better. Not always using the program’s suggestions but respecting the issue identified before tweaking the content.

#2: Revise section by section. 

Each area of the tool has a distinct concentration. This helps me fixate on just one thing. Otherwise I get distracted while culling issues, finding another, and another along the way. Detours ensue. Sometimes I never find my way back to eradicating the instigating factor. The compartmentalized set-up of ProWritingAid minimizes flitting around between pursuits. I’d like to say “eliminates” but, {sigh}, I’m too obstinate to keep my focus even with blinders in place.

#3: Ignore when applicable. 

While often presented as rules, the suggestions are alternatives, neither right nor wrong in and of themselves. The application provides a way to ignore the advice. Hover the mouse pointer over the underlined bits and varying options appear. Ignore will remove the underline from the item which reduces the distraction in text view. There doesn’t seem to be a way to “unignore” items (to show them in the text again) but the left-hand pane continues to display them.

Use ignore sparingly, eschew disable. You can click ignore, or even disable a rule, but I suggest considering the other options first? It’s easy, too easy, to tell the app to ignore stuff. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to examine other ways of saying what you want? Isn’t that why you’re using a tool? As you revise and refine, you’ll learn to avoid these “mistakes” in the first place, leading to a stronger initial output.

#4: Rinse and repeat. 

Revisit other summaries after you make revisions in one. Each change has the potential to impact other areas. Fix one, break another. Adjust that, impact a third. It can be most frustrating! Persistence in checking and rechecking leads to a clearer, more coherent overall result. It’s worth the effort.

#5: Polish vs. Create. 

Because the sections examine only one dimension at a time, juggling those could deter creativity. The temptation would be too distracting for me, I’d give in then get nowhere in the actual writing. It this you, too? My recommendation: get at least the first draft, maybe even a revision or two, done on your own — or in another tool such as Scrivener, Word, Notepad, whatever. Then bring the text into this tool for a polish.


Gratuity: If you spend a lot of effort in one area, or just want to learn what the system wants, check out the more about this report link in each summary’s pane. The link brings up a browser window with an article describing what the particular report analyzes.

Written by Ordinary Dreams

Becca loves (in no particular order, ok, the husband comes first, probably) triking, Jeeping, her Spinone, her husband, and his Whinerarner (and we both greatly miss his sooper-dooper cutie-patootie of a mutt, Mia Mutt, and her Labradorable, Sophie). The universe presented an opportunity on a platter and, not being one to deny the universe, she took the chance to chase a dream by transforming from accidental geek to intentional writer. Though life now leads back to the cube world she plans to put even that experience to good use in her writing. {muauuahhhahhhahhh}

Now time for the shameless plugs. Please see also her site with her husband about their motorcycle (and some Jeeping) travels, Chasing Blue Sky, her site as a Real Estate Broker in Colorado, SpinOne Group, her site as a Notary Public and Notary Signing Agent in Colorado, and/or the Facebook pages for Lu C. FurL.C., and  Mia Mutt (Sophie was pre-this-sort-of-thing), and Pigasus Studio.