Monday, April 12, 2010

Wanted: Feedback on Critique Software

Recently, I posted about using Gary Corby's neat little wildcard string for searching out one of my grammar quirks. Since then, I've been playing around in Word trying to find a way to highlight echo words, only to come up empty-handed. I then searched on the 'net to try to find a macro for finding repetitive words and phrases and came upon the AutoCrit Manuscript Editing Wizard.

The wizard allows you to paste in a scene or chapter (the amount you can paste and how often you can do it is dictated by your subscription level) and get feedback. The basic subscription (listed as $47) gives you reports on overused words, repeated phrases, sentence variations, repeated words, dialogue tags, first words, names and pronouns, frequent phrases. The higher subscription levels give you more.

I am intrigued. Normally, I am skeptical of software that analyzes writing (don't even get me started on Word Grammar check). But these days, I am so over-familiar with my manuscript that I feel I am missing some basic stuff. So I wonder if AutoCrit (or similar) might help me with some nitty-gritty mechanics.

Any thoughts on this? Does anyone have any experience with AutoCrit or any other program that would do similar things?


  1. In word, you can use the "search" function by pressing Ctrl and F at the same time. It asks you if you want to highlight them, and it'll tell you how many times you use the word. I'm not sure if this is what you're talking about, but I've found it helpful.

  2. Hmmm... I'd be skeptical of those programs too. If you have a word you want to target and switch, you can always do a word replace and do NO NO NO for the new word. Of course, make sure you don't do what I did and replace part of larger words. That was bad. Very bad.