Last week I mentioned I was going to run my manuscript of Secrets through AutoCrit and promised a review this week. AutoCrit is an online tool to help you to improve the quality of your manuscript. Here’s what they say about themselves:
‘AutoCrit’s founder was a struggling author, weary from the difficulty of getting unbiased and knowledgeable feedback on her manuscripts without the costly expenses of an editor. This journey from “first draft” to “published” had no quick & easy shortcuts…
‘So she created one.
· Identify frequently overused words that litter and weaken the impact of your storytelling.
· Highlight specific areas that need improving, with suggestions on how to improve those areas.
· Give a side-by-side comparison of your manuscript with a successful, published fiction novel
· Simplify the process of fiction editing and revisions—automatically and instantly
‘Unlike other online editing tools that have popped up over the years, AutoCrit was designed by a fiction writer, specifically for fiction writers with a focus on the QUALITY of results.
‘Over the past few years, there have been MAJOR updates to the Editing Tool, further setting AutoCrit apart as the premier toolkit to help authors go from draft to polished manuscript.’
When I started using it, you could use it for free on short passages, and I was so impressed I paid for it to get the extra features. Since I last used it you can try a sample for free, but if you want to use it, the cost is $29.97 a month. But there is no contract, so I assume you can cancel when you have checked your manuscript and sign up again when you're ready to check the next one.
Because my membership transferred over when they brought out the new version, I get it much cheaper, but am shut out of some of the features and can only analyse 1000 words at a time, whereas they recommend you load 10-50,000 words at a time.
If you think $29.97 a month is expensive, check out the cost of hiring an editor, which can be £10 per thousand words or more. The more you do yourself, the less work for your editor, and the lower the editing cost. That’s assuming you plan to self-publish.
AutoCrit does not completely replace an editor, because it cannot tell you if you have plot holes or your story doesn’t develop well, but it will give you a much higher quality manuscript. That’s vital if you want to be traditionally published. You want to impress the publisher with the quality of your writing, or they may not read past the first page.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz