A great help for any author as an in-progress or pre-editing tool!
How can you improve your writing skills if you don't know where your weaknesses are? This program is a good way to find out!
What Is a Text Analysis?
An analysis takes each individual word out of your manuscript (MS) and sorts it in different ways.
Think of it this way—you took a pile of Legos and built a beautiful object. Some of the common "rules" for building this object are: Don't use too many blue Legos ("ly" adverbs), don't use too many square yellow Legos (passive voice verbs), make sure all your red Legos are the same size (no inconsistent proper nouns), etc.
Now we're going to take it all apart and tell you that you used 12 blue Legos and that puts you in the Master Builder category, and a couple of your red Legos are not the same. You did use 15 square yellow Legos, however, and you need to work on that.
It doesn't tell you anything about how beautiful the object itself is, just the pieces.
What Does the Analysis Analyze?
Each word in your MS is removed and counted individually. The results, organized in several different ways, will be returned to you in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) spreadsheet. You'll receive:
- The extracted word list is sorted numerically and alphabetically
- All “ing” verbs are extracted and the percentage calculated from the extracted word count
- All “ly” adverbs are extracted and the percentage calculated from the extracted word count
- All proper nouns are extracted and sorted alphabetically for comparison to see if any are inconsistent or misspelled
- All verbs (other than forms of the verb "to be") which appear in triple digits are extracted in all tenses and totaled, and the percentage calculated from the extracted word count
- The percentage of potentially "overused" words is calculated
- "To be" verbs are extracted
- Pronouns are extracted
- The percentage of "unique" words is calculated
- All your dialogue tags are extracted, and the percentage of appropriate tags (said, asked, and replied) is analyzed
In addition, you'll receive a PDF Instruction document with explanations as to why some of these writing techniques are not considered good writing, and specific exercises to fix the issues found in your MS!
Is Every Word Analyzed?
Yes, every word is intended to be analyzed. Sometimes a couple are missed, and sometimes a couple are added (ellipsis characters count as a word).
How Will The Results Help Me With My Book?
This service does not evaluate the story and cannot be used to assess of the plot, characters, setting, etc. The MS is not read by anyone other than the computer and no commentary will be made on these aspects. This is a literal calculation of the specific words used in the story and an appraisal of some writing techniques—a tool to help you see errors and trends you might have missed.
How Will The Results Help Me With My Writing?
While the extraction and sorting process is automated, a human being reviews and manipulates the data, highlighting different types of words that may be overused. Examining the numeric and percentage results will help you identify redundancies, inconsistencies, passive writing, overused and weak verbs, and telling instead of showing—all classic errors made by writers.
How Do I Know What The Percentages Mean?
Text analyses from many manuscripts (MSS) have resulted in actual ranges from high to low in each category. This range is displayed and personal results are inserted and highlighted within the range. Not only does this help visualize how a MS compared to other MSS, it shows where the writing skills currently fall.
Additional information about what each percentage can reveal about the writing skill level is explained in the Instructions document. Analyzing multiple MSS written by the same author can demonstrate how skills have improved or changed over time. The entries in these categories do not lend themselves to an overall judgment of the book.
The errors and trends picked up by this text analysis process can be difficult to spot for the author after spending so much time focused on the MS. Employing a freelance copy editor is the best way to ensure any MS is as perfect as possible, but even an “affordable” edit can be out of some authors’ financial reach. This service attempts to offer writing assistance at an extremely low price.
If you cannot open an Excel spreadsheet to read the results, the report can be returned in PDF format, but you will not be able to manipulate the data yourself.
- Manuscripts of 2,000–50,000 words: $30
- Manuscripts of 50,001–100,000 words: $50
- Manuscripts of 100,001–200,000 words: $75
- Manuscripts of 200,001 words or more: $100
Customers who subsequently hire Adirondack Editing for MS editing can deduct the analysis service fee from their editing fee. Turnaround time is 48 hours after payment is made.