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Autocrit is an online based editing tool. The keyword there is editing. And autocrit for self-editing is nothing less than brilliant.
It is not a word processor. It is not there to help you write or create. It's not a name generator. It doesn't have tips and tricks to help you edit.
It is an editing tool.
Now, I wanna be very clear here that as an editor, it is smart to find any and every editing tool that can help you do your job. However, like most editing tools, Autocrit does not replace a set of human eyes. I know there is some pushback out in the world that says no human editor would use a tool like Autocrit...
I think the best editors use every tool in their arsenal to ensure that your book is the best book it can possibly be. This includes tools like Autocrit or ProWritingAid or Grammarly. But the best editors also do not rely solely on these tools. Rather, these tools end up being a step one, to give them an overall view of the health of the manuscript and how much work is about to go into getting it fixed. Or, it could even be as a final step in the editing phase, to try to catch any of those tiny problems that are hiding out of reach of your normal editing process.
I put it to you this way, using a tool like auto credit is a lot like choosing a saw in woodworking. You can use a handsaw for everything, and the work you produce will be amazing. But there's no shame in grabbing a tablesaw from time to time to help speed up some of those long, straight cuts. And Autocrit is just like another set of eyes.
Additionally, I hate self-editing. I loathe self-editing. My words get in my way all the time. But I am an advocate that guy and everyone else should self-edit for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to help save money when it comes to hiring an editor.
Here are 10 other reasons to check out Autocrit for self-editing
- Removes you from the story. Many times, when you're editing, you can skip over parts of the story. It's natural -- you know what's happening. You know exactly what's going on because you dreamt it up, wrote it, and probably have read and changed that paragraph a dozen times. This doesn't happen with autocrit. The highlighting feature pulls you out of the story and lets you focus on the parts that need improving.
- Focused mistakes. You can choose to highlight everything, or just one mistake at a time. Want to focus on passive voice? You can turn off all other reports and highlights and just run those checks. Need to check for pacing? You can run that as a separate report. With Autocrit, you no longer have to look at your manuscript like one big monster -- but you can see the steps you need to take to get done.
- Genre-specific comparisons. We all know there are certain things included in romance novels than, say, science fiction novels. Horror books contain different elements than erotica. With Autocrit, you can set your novel genre (or get pretty darn close) and run the reports with standards specific to that genre.
- Educating yourself. You can bet that as I used autocrit for my novel, many of the mistakes I used, I don't repeat. That's part of the reason I can pump out seven or eight novels in a year! Autocrit does more than simply highlight a mistake. It will explain to you why it is a mistake and help you learn techniques to avoid repeating it.
- Saves you time. Working with editors can sometimes seem tedious. I know that the novels I edit sometimes end up passing from the author to me and back several times before we're both happy with it. Autocrit saves you a lot of that.
- Common errors. Autocrit also catches things word processors don't always catch, like homonyms. Whether or not you wrote peek instead of peak. Yes, word processors are getting better at catching these things, but everytime I run my manuscripts through, Autocrit always catches something they missed.
- Saves you money. This is a big deal. One question people ask me all the time is how much does an editor charge. And the answer is: how much work are you about to make them go through? Autocrit helps you jumpstart the editing process by making it easier for you to remove yourself (and your bias) from the story and make necessary changes. By having that done before sending the manuscript off to an editor, you save both time and money.
- Better than grammar check. Can you name off every colloquialism or cliche in your book? Autocrit can. And getting rid of some or all of these tropes will strengthen your writing and your point of view.
- An unbiased critique. Good writers have critique partners, alpha readers, and maybe even beta readers. And that's great. But Autocrit offers an unbiased critique that isn't afraid to hurt your feelings. For new authors who might not have a strong team of readers put together yet, this is invaluable.
- It makes editing more enjoyable. When did you ever think you would see the day when I would say "I enjoy self-editing..." Although, enjoy might be a strong word. I no longer dread self-editing. I no longer stare at my manuscript and wonder where to start. I no longer feel lost. Which means I can power through it faster and feel more confident with the results sooner. And that is something I enjoy!