Recently I became aware of 38Long’s Hemingway Editor. Over the weekend I had a little time and I figured I’d download it and give it a try. I was really pleased with the result. Taking it’s name from Hemingway himself the software goal is broad: it works to make your writing bolder and clearer.
How does the Hemingway Editor do this? Well, it scans your text and hunts for wordy sentences, annoying adverbs, the use of passive voice, and complicated words. Here’s a screenshot the Hemingway Editor in action, scanning a passage from my upcoming novel Red Litten World. (Don’t worry, I picked one that is spoiler free.)
Ooof, there’s an unnecessary “very” in there there, and some harder sentences towards the end. Wow… look at that awkward lead sentence, how’d that get in there? (Fret not, I’ve already trimmed it down.)
As you can see it’s a thorough and useful piece of software. There’s a few minor bugs with the way tooltips hover, but nothing that makes the software unusable by any means. While not a replacement for a real human editor, it’s a good sanity check for writers, and for the low price of $6.99 for the PC/Mac desktop version it’s worth every penny. The Hemingway Editor also has a free version online, you can check it out at: hemingwayapp.com. Try it yourself, see if it’s something that you’d incorporate into your own workflow. I know it’ll have a place in mine.