Friday, May 17, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with AutoCrit


In my quest to polish up my MS and be ready to query, I decided to check out AutoCrit.com, a website I saw recommended several times on the ABNA discussion boards. Probably many of you have heard about it and used it yourself, but for newer writers, or writers just starting to explore tips on the internet, this website is designed to be a tool for editing your drafts.

I completed my MS years ago, and then life got in the way of pursuing publication. A few months ago, I dusted it off and did an editing pass, then had a critique partner review it. During this time, I have spent waaay too much time on the internet looking for advice on getting published, while somehow managing to write 30,000 words of my WIP. The net result is that I have learned quite a bit about the publishing process, and the seemingly impossible odds of getting an agent and/or publisher to print my novel. Apparently, the key is lots of luck and good writing. I can’t do anything about the luck, but I can keep polishing the writing. If I had extra money lying around I would hire a professional editor, but with four daughters, chances are I will never have the funds for that.

A subscription to AutoCrit is actually very reasonable and allows access to all the features, though you can run 500 words through the wizard and get limited feedback for free. I decided to subscribe, and ran my prologue and first chapter through the wizard. The results were reassuring and dismaying at the same time. While I am pleased not to have a problem with clich├ęs or redundancies and pacing is good, the overused words are a killer. More distressing is the fact that my MS needs to be simplified for my audience. So, I am revising, one chapter at a time. But, in the long run, the book will be better, and I just might land an agent and sell the book.

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