Cool Tools for Self-Editing


I spend a lot of time tweaking words in my stories – perhaps because in my heart I am a poet.  I probably need to spend more time tweaking plot and character development!  Be that as it may, here are three  fun tools I like to use:

Word Frequency Tool

This tool will give you either a cloud of your most used words or a graph.  Then you can visually see if you’ve overused any one particular strong word (especially problematical in very short stories) or if you have too many prepositions or passive language.  I like to see many 1-count words, and I find it helpful to skim down and see my words as a list by frequency, rather than in sentences. (Free)

Wordle

This tool is similar – paste in your text and you get a cloud of your words – but this generates ART.  Yes, a pretty poster image of your story’s words – hit randomize a few times to see the various styles.  I thought one story I pasted in generated a fabulous image of the story’s themes and feel.

You can even link to your website (or a single post) and perhaps get a sense of your personal theme, or the tone of your site. (Free)

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus

I love this interactive thesaurus.  You get a branching map of related words that you can expand by following the branches.  You can also check the specific definition of each related word. (Free trial, then $20 per year)

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14 responses to “Cool Tools for Self-Editing

  1. I’ve never tried any of these before, but you make them sound like a lot of fun. I’m excited to have something else for procrastinating my novel rewrite. 🙂

  2. lol, didn’t mean to help you procrastinate! But if you’re working on word level issues in your rewrite, maybe they’ll help – start with the first page of chapter 1!

  3. Lee, great job on meeting and exceeding your W1S1 goals for April!

  4. I recently started playing with Wordle too. I really enjoy it, too much, perhaps LOL It could be easy for me to keep playing with it instead of writing 😉

    ~ Rhonda Parrish

  5. Congratulations on making your W1S1 goals. Interesting links. Here are a couple I use:
    http://www.paperrater.com/
    http://www.autocrit.com/

  6. Great tool tips – I’ll definitely check them out. I use Grammarly a lot, which is a spelling/grammar/thesaurus rundown of your work. It will catch little mistakes that Word misses.
    Congrats on reaching your W1S1 goals.

  7. Congrats on your W1S1 goals! And great suggestions for self editing. I love the highlight all feature for things like I, was, feel, etc.

    • Lee Hallison

      Yes, that’s a great feature – lol, sometimes checking for too many prepositions takes me forever!

  8. Hi

    Congratulations on W1S1! And thanks for all the tool tips. I’m going to have fun playing with word clouds and stuff.

  9. Wordle’s a fun one. And well done on reaching your April Write1Sub1 goals!

  10. Congrats on reaching your W1S1 goals. Wordle sounds fun and useful. One way to do a lot of reviews is to review short stories, at least that’s what I’ve done. I can’t read novels fast enough. With short stories, you can read widely without investing a lot of time. I avoid the negative review problem by only reviewing stories that I like.

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