Thursday, August 16, 2012

Does Your Writing Need a Diet?

A fellow member of my local RWA chapter posted this link today and said she had some fun with it. So, I went ahead and gave it a try and had some fun, too! It reminds me a bit of the link Paula shared a while ago for Wordle. This one is called The Writer's Diet and it shows you where your work might need a little dieting! As with anything like this, it's not a perfect diagnostic or analysis, and you can take from it whatever you choose, but it was fun to play around with!

I started with the opening of the mss going to Harlequin. It's called "Family Secrets". Here's what came up:

All in all, pretty good. Every category in this portion of the mss fell into the lean category. According to this, the mss is in good shape.

Then I tried it with the opening of An Unexpected Blessing, the book currently in the copy edit stage at TWRP. Here's what came up:

Hmn? This one, which is at far more advanced stage in the publishing process, came up with some areas that may need a little exercise. Unfortunately, at this point in the process, it's beyond making these types of editorial changes. Overall, it's still quite 'healthy', but may have a few too many 'be' verbs. Interesting.

At any rate, this was an interesting exercise. I highly recommend giving it a try. The link above should work, or here's the full address: Let us know how your writing shapes up!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I can't wait to try this. Not going to do it with my published books, but will definitely try it with my WIP. This is really interesting!

  2. Okay, just tried it with the WIP that I've submitted to agents and scored "Lean"--yay!

  3. Awesome, Jen! Like I said, in the grand scheme of things...we need to take results with a grain of salt (and maybe some tequilla!)... but it was fun to see what came up!

  4. I discovered this site about a month ago, and agree it's good for highlighting. The sample I put in came out as 'lean' with no improvements needed - which was encouraging!
    The other site I use is AutoCrit Wizard - you have to pay an annual sub to use more than the basic wizard, but it was excellent in highlighting overused words, words that were repeated on the same page, cliches etc.

  5. Paula...I'll have to check out the AutoCrit Wizard, too.

    Ana...let us know what kind of shape your writing is in!