The year 2016 gave us our first feature film written by Artificial Intelligence, and it was…ridiculous.

While AI clearly isn’t ready to join writers behind the big screen or on the library shelf, the bots are capable of extracting insight from pre-written content. In fact, you can learn a lot about your writing by subjecting it to computer analysis. 

Each of these six bots has something to say about your writing. And the best part? They’re all free and easy to use!

ADVERBless. Stephen King told us that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs,” so in the interest of saving your soul, you might want to check out this site. ADVERBless identifies and highlights all the adverbs in your writing. Exterminate at your discretion.

I Write Like. This is a fun site that panders to the secret desire of all writers: please, please, please compare me to my idol! While I Write Like is guaranteed to give you a breathless moment, as you wait for the bots to confirm that you are [insert genius author] reincarnate, the accuracy of this site is questionable. It is sponsored by Amazon, and as soon as you get your result, you are prompted to buy books from that author.

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A very clever marketing tactic, by the way. I devoured three Agatha Christie novels after being told that “I write like” her.

SEO Book. If you’re one of those mighty bloggers who understands how to use keyword density, you’ll probably appreciate this tool. The site analyzes your writing, identifies your top keywords and key phrases, and ranks them by percentage value. As a freelance writer, I rely heavily on tools like this to make sure the content I deliver to my clients meets their expectations.

Readability Calculator. I discovered this tool today in a post by the ever-clever Kristen Twardowski. The site analyzes your vocabulary and returns a “readability” score, based on the scales commonly used by the education system to divide books across grade levels. Of course, these scores must be taken with a grain of salt, since they only take vocabulary into account and fail to analyze content.

Tone Analyzer. Okay. Here it is. The Mac Daddy. The King of the Hill. The Crowning Star. This site is designed to analyze the tone of your writing and predict the emotion you are most likely to provoke in your readers. 

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Analysis of the first chapter of EleanorI feel like this is fairly accurate!

Creepily, this tool is designed to help CEOs and salespeople manipulate their underlings …but it is also great fun for fiction writers.

Hemingway App. Have you ever wished Ernest Hemingway could edit your novel? Now he can! This site channels Hemingway’s aesthetics by highlighting complex or dense sentences, showy words, all adverbs, and passive voice. Plus it’s color coded! It’s a good thing this app came along after Hemingway, who instructed would-be writers to, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” If he had access to the Hemigway App, he might have never sobered up!


Did you pause to try any of these tools out? How did they work for you? Who do you write like? What’s your take on adjectives?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “What will these 6 robots say about your writing?

  1. Thank you so much for blogging about these sites! I can’t wait to try them out. I’ve been an AutoCrit user for a few years now, and I think that “robot eyes” can tell us all a thing or two about our writing. But there’s no denying that the final judgement is in the eyes of the beholder, the reader. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for sharing AutoCrit. I hadn’t heard about that one. It looks like a useful tool to add to my list!

      I agree totally with you about the reader’s right to final judgment. I’m reading Les Miserables right now, and I can’t imagine what history would have lost if we had subjected Victor Hugo to “ADVERBless.”

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  2. I think what I might try to do is to type up a short story by Hemingway and put it through one of these and see what it says. That could prove to be kinda interesting and it would be a good test! I think. :-/

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    1. Good idea!

      I tried putting the first few pages of Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Great Gatsby in “I Write Like.” It nailed Austen and Dickens, missed Fitzgerald. Would be interesting to see what some of the more editorial tools suggested.

      Just a hint, you can probably find a PDF of one of Hemingway’s stories and copy and paste from it, rather than having to type the story out yourself! ; )

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      1. Thanks for the hint. Sure beats typing out a complete story.

        But now Miles! Let me ask just one question. Do you feel it helps with your writing?

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      2. Good question. Thus far, I have only toyed with these technologies. I was long done with editing Eleanor before I discovered them, and my new work isn’t ready to edit yet.

        I will say that the readability calculator had an impact on the way I have been thinking about (and marketing) Eleanor. Previously, I had classified it as a YA novel because, among other things, I was afraid the vocabulary was too high for a young audience. However, my readability score came in at 7.4, which might open the door to middle grade. I’m exited about this because I think my content might be more attractive to that age group, and the market is a little less competitive.

        And I think I will probably use the Hemingway app when I’m ready to edit my next novel. Winding sentences are a personal weakness of mine, and I could probably benefit from having them glare at me in red.

        Also interested in the software you mentioned for outlining novels! I’ve got a few stories that I would like to hammer out.

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      3. Scapple is VERY basic, but I found it to be incredibly helpful. It costs around 14.00. When you go to the Scapple.com website you immediately see Scrivener–which is more complicated–you have to scroll down to find Scapple. Some bloggers swear by Scrivener, but I think it might be a bit much for me.

        The readability calculator is fascinating, and yes, I can see its purpose. Thanks for responding so well. And hurry up with Eleanor so I can read it and send it on to my reader friends!

        My own novel has been on hold…I started back on a lengthy short story…now I’m back to my novel…sigh. But the days are cold, short, and dark so I now sit by the fire and write write write. It’s good. I hope to have the draft done by end of March.
        Thanks again, Miles! 🙂

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