Why I used ProWritingAid to Write a Book--and Why You Should Too

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Michelle Massie

2/2/20234 min read

What is ProWritingAid? It is an online spell/grammar checker, with editing capabilities. And I love it!

After checking around on Grammarly and ProWriting Aid, I decided to go for ProWritingAid for three reasons.

  1. It was cheaper than Grammarly.

  2. It was better for novels. Grammarly is great for things like blogs and emails, but ProWritingAid had more of an editing flair along with it.

  3. Grammarly offers simple suggestions to fix errors, but ProWritingAid offers thorough explanations and includes access to a library full of articles on each report.

I learned so much from these articles. If you don’t understand what ‘passive words’ or ‘sticky sentences are,’ I highly recommend checking out their articles and videos.

I used the ProWritingAid free version for a while, but it did not have the help I needed, especially in the way of checking passive verbs and duplicate words. (Super guilty of these two.)

As it turns out, I was thrilled with the program I got. The best part? It is compatible with Scrivener (and Word, Google Docs, etc) and so easy to use in Scrivener. It is incredibly simple for a computer moron like myself, and I can simply open a Scrivener document in ProWritingAid.

I can make changes to the document, which will then show up in my Scrivener file. It’s great!

It took me a couple tries, but once I figured out the system it was a breeze. Here is how to open a file in ProWritingAid.

  1. Open the desktop app

  2. Upload your document to ProWritingAid

  3. ProWritingAid will scan your document for errors.

  4. The editing side panel pops up with every single error or suggestion it finds, and you can click on any one of the suggestions to navigate through the document.

  5. Fix away! Again, any edits or things you change will appear in Scrivener, Word, Google Docs, etc.

ProWritingAid has so many edits and specific things it checks for. The Online Editor will check your manuscript for the following:

  • Overused/duplicate words

  • Vague words

  • Incorrect tense

  • Sentence length

  • Cliches

  • Sentence Readability

  • Slow reading sentences

The other features ProWritingAid will check your work for include:

Style report

Helps your writing to become more engaging. Things like repeated sentence starts can hold your writing back.

Sentence Length

Too many short, choppy sentences? Or too many long-winded sentences that will tire out your readers?

Sentence Variety

Some sentences will need to be longer, while others can be short and to the point. ProWritingAid will add suggestions.

Sticky Words

Or ‘glue’ words. Glue words are necessary for sentence structure, but too many of them will clog up your writing and are just unnecessary. They are words that hold your sentence together but don’t hold any actual reading value. (Words like that, the, them, had, etc.)

Passive Voice

I am highly guilty of this one, and any suggestions ProWritingAid gave were appreciated. Your story will need passive language, but it is recommended you write in an active voice whenever possible. In passive, the object of your writing comes first and the subject last. It can (but not always) make your writing less clear.

Conjunction Starts

While starting sentences with words like 'and and 'but' is okay, is it necessary in each instance? Should two sentences be joined instead?

Pacing Check

This was a new tool to me that I found highly useful. Pacing refers to the speed which the story is told and how quickly readers move through events. Too much backstory in one paragraph? Not enough dialogue? It’s a great tool to identify if your story is keeping a reader engaged.

Sensory words

ProWritingAid points out your sensory words (look, feel, saw, touch, etc.) and it made me realize how often I used the word ‘look’. The goal here is to make you use all five senses in your writing descriptions and liven it up.

Here's an example of how it looks. (And also a sneak peek of Chapter One in my next book!)

These are only a few of the reports ProWritingAid generates. I was so grateful to have these tools and learned so much going through all their articles when I didn’t understand what something like ‘pacing’ was. I highly recommend reading through these articles!

It was also super helpful to see their suggestions and actual explanations on why a section of text was marked for editing. I like having the explanation so I don’t continually keep repeating the error!

Just recently, I began using ProWritingAid Everywhere on my computer. It now even checks my emails!

Prices for the paid versions of ProWritingAid are:

  • $20 a month

  • $79 a year

  • $299 for a lifetime payment

Now, these versions do not include the plagiarism checker. For that, you would need the Premium Plus versions of ProWritingAid.

Prices for Premium Plus ProWritingAid are:

  • $24 a month

  • $89 a year

  • $ 399-lifetime payment

Now, I’ll admit, I’m partial to ProWritingAid because I’ve never technically sat down and wrote anything in Grammarly. While I know Grammarly is great software, it doesn’t have the editing capabilities I needed for writing a novel. And I am 100% happy with my purchase. I hope you give it a try as well!

Please note that certain links to products/services on MichelleMassieWrites are affiliate links. Certain links you clicked through to products or services are affiliate links and I will receive a commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Happy Writing!


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