There are lots of sites and forums where you can go to get feedback or constructive criticism from peers or readers. Sometimes, a writer needs other kinds of feedback – like whether their grammar is correct, or maybe they resort to the passive voice too often.
While automated reviews and checkers leave a little bit to be desired, they can still come in handy when you need an instantaneous review just to get the ball rolling.
There are several free online grammar and writing websites that will give you an instantaneous answer to your query – even if it’s something a little more fun like wanting to know which famous author you write like.
If you’re worried about being too repetitive in your writing, the simplest way to handle that is to stick your text into the Word Counter and it will rank the words that you have over-used, from most to least.
You can choose to exclude small words like ‘it,’ ‘the’ and other common words you’re bound to repeat. Other choices are to include only the root word, and group all variations together, and the number of words that will be listed, from 25 to 100.
If you want to avoid the passive voice in your writing, The Passivator will highlight all passive words in yellow. The Passivator works differently from the other services listed here, which allows you to copy and paste your text. The Passivator is actually a bookmarklet which will highlight passive text on any given webpage.
If you want to check your text before it’s posted online, you can use any blogging platform like WordPress or even a private journal service like OhLife which allows you to post text online which only you can see. Run the bookmarklet on the posted text, and find out how much you write in the passive voice.
Ginger Online Grammar Checker
While Microsoft Word and other word processors can point out grammatical errors as you type, you can always doublecheck, using another service to make sure you haven’t made any small grammatical errors in specific sentences, the free Ginger Online Grammar Checker could come in handy.
While you can only check one sentence at a time, if English is your second language, it always helps to get that extra reassurance about a sentence you aren’t too sure about. Simply type or paste the sentence into the site, and Ginger will underline any grammatical mistakes you have made.
If you’re skeptical about how accurate automated reviews can be – how about trying out something a little more human? Page 99 Test is a website that is based on an interesting premise – all it takes is reading one page from a book to decide whether or not you think it would be an interesting read.
Some might not agree with this premise, as it would be very hard to select just one page that represents what the book is all about. On the other hand, all it takes is one page to get a feel for style, rhythm and storyline.
Signing up for a free account allows you to upload a page from your novel, accompanied by the novel’s title, author name, genre and publication status. If you’re a little shy, you can start out by reading other author’s uploads. You can upload a maximum of 3 pages, each of which will be available for review for 30 days.
The feedback system is set up in a very user-friendly manner in which you answer the following questions:
I Write Like
For a bit of fun, I Write Like, will tell you which writer you are similar to. This is by no means accurate, and any writer worth his or her own salt, won’t take it seriously. After all, I highly doubt my style of writing is anything like William Shakespeare. Each attempt with a different piece of writing had me writing like a different author, from Stephenie Meyer to Ian Fleming – so it’s certainly anything but accurate.
If you want to get in on the fun, simply paste the text into the service and at the click of a button you can find out which famous writer you write like.
What tools do you use to review your writing? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Denis Vrubelski
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