Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Testing the Hemingway App

2 Comments

Improve-your-Writing-Skills-with-the-Hemingway-App-06I’m experimenting with the Hemingway App.
I found out about it early this morning, and I decided to give it a spin.
The Hemingway App is free, and promises to improve my English, so, why not?
I am using it to check this post, and I’ll add the software’s observations between square brackets, so that you an get an idea.
[for instance, this phrase was flagged as hard to read – and the verbs in this sentence were tagged as passive voice]

What the thingie basically does is take my text, and tell me what doesn’t work.
It points excessive use of adverbs, points out instances of passive voice, underscores complicated and hard-to-understand sentences.
[This one is VERY hard to read]
Then it assigns a readability value, and provides interesting stats, such as the reading time. [and this one just hard]

The output looks like this…

Screenshot from 2018-05-04 08-14-13

Will it really improve my posts and increase the popularity of Karavansara?
I don’t know, but I want to give it a try anyway.

I am not sure I will use it for my fiction. Fiction writing follows different rules: there is a fine line between authorial voice and unnecessary complications and “errors”.
I personally know a few authors that write with a style I find insufferable, and yet apart from my personal tastes, I can’t really say they are doing “wrong”; except when the writing style clashes with the theme, genre or general attitude of the story, that is.
And really, I am not letting a machine tell me how I should write, thank you.
[all the stuff above is very hard to read]

Anyway, I’m testing this new app.
You let me know if you notice any improvement or, indeed, any decline in my writing.

Meanwhile, there are others suggestions from Hemingway I’m much more ready to follow.
quote-before-you-react-think-before-you-spend-earn-before-you-criticize-wait-before-you-quit-ernest-hemingway-85-62-55

[According to the Hemingway App, this whole text is a Grade 7 with good readability, and you should be able to go through it in little over 70 seconds. And this sentence is hard to read.]

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Testing the Hemingway App

  1. I wonder too about the value of these apps. Writing – I find – is very subjective. There are times when over adverb use and passive voice are warranted and needed. And I’m using custom language in my WIP so I don’t think it’ll like my writing (old West speak like “you’all got nothin’ on him!”) . I’d be interested in hearing how things go for you though 😙

    Like

    • I agree that writing is subjective and personal – and I am using these apps as a guideline, not as a source of absolute truth.
      Also because, so far, the Hemingway app is being a little too strict for my tastes. I’m especially baffled by the “hard to read” tag, that apparently depends on length/word-count, and does not seem to care for semi-colons and other punctuation marks.
      But I’ll post a report in a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

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