Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Helpful and Fun Writing Test and Space Food Sticks

A Facebook friend shared a Helen Sword's (she has a cool name) site, The Writer's Diet.

No, it has nothing to do with eating fewer carbs while crafting mysteries, consuming dark chocolate while writing romance, nor chewing on Space Food Sticks while writing science fiction. Does anybody besides me remember Space Food Sticks?

The site deals with slimming down or tightening up your writing.

I used the Writer's Diet test to find out if various scenes in my WIP are fit or flabby. I got mixed results. Some scenes were fitter than others.

Among other things, test counts your "to be" verbs and how many times you used it, this, that and there. It rates each category and highlights words you may want to think about.

By all means, you shouldn't blindly delete any words, but consider rewording sentences. I found it helpful, and I revised a bit based on my results. However, I could not revise much in the scene that scored rather badly. To change much of the wording would alter the nuances in the dialogue and narration.

So, overall, the Writer's Diet test is helpful, and I'll bet the author's book by the same name, would be valuable for any writer.

By the way, this post's overall rating was "needs toning."


DL Hammons said...

That does look interesting. I'mm off to check it out! Thanks. :)

Amanda Borenstadt said...

DL, I hope you find it as fun as I did! :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I tried the program a few years ago. It didn't do much for story, but it was entertaining.

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