Now of course Microsoft Word will tell you how many words you’ve got on the page, in the selection, or in the document as a whole. But I don’t know how to get it to tell me that I used the word “little” 14 times, or “different” 9 times, unless I specifically search for that word–then it shows me all the instances. I wanted a tool that would easily point out to me if I’m using any particular words too often.
This was the first useful thing I found. It talks about some macros and scripts…but I don’t actually know how to use those. 😦 It may be useful for anyone who does, and it also has some tips about Word.
The next useful thing I found was this article by Amanda Shofner. She tries several online tools, some of which cost. I wasn’t looking to spend any of my hard earned dough at this point, so I only tried her #4, Pro Writing Aid. If you sign up for a free account, it lets you paste a max of 3,000 words at a time to be analyzed. This tool was really cool! It analyzed everything from average number of words per sentence on through to repeated phrases. It also told me if I started too many sentences the same way in quick succession, such as three sentences in a row that all start with “he.” Nice! This ended up being my favorite.
Another easy, free tool online I discovered was After the Deadline. Just paste your writing and click “demonstration.” This was also a handy, nifty tool to know about it! When you spend so long in your writing looking at story and flow, it’s fun to zoom out and analyze it in a completely different way.
Finally, I stumbled across SmartEdit, and it looks like a very useful tool as well. The cool thing about this one is that it works with Microsoft Word, which I’m already completely familiar with. Sadly it costs a chunk of change, but there is an option to try a 10 day demo.
Keep on Writing!!!