Clean your clothes at the laundromat
Clean your prose with Editomat
Don't make your editor say: "Clean this up!"

Before you submit, self-edit. Submit your best work.

Editomat will make your writing cleaner and brighter.

Editomat integrates with Word and is also supported on Mac and Linux.
Editomat Reviewed by Alex Kourvo
"...this software is ideal for the fiction writer."
"five stars"
Alex Kourvo on the Writing Slices Blog

Alex Kourvo, is the author of many novels and short stories, as well as being an editor and a writing instructor,
Read her full review.

Don't repeat yourself repeatedly
It's easy to get a word stuck in your head and use that word over and over. This is especially true during first drafts when you are writing an idea and a scene before it slips out of your head.

Editomat will search for repeated words and highlight them for you. By default, Editomat looks for words of more than five characters that are repeated within twenty words of each other. This reduces the clutter caused by words like "the" or "an" that get used frequently and legitimately.

This paragraph overuses the word "pebble", and also duplicates "handful" and "sifted". It's easy to see with the highlighting. The first occurances are highlighted in red, and the final occurance is highlighted in green.

repeat1

After reworking the paragraph, we don't have any repetition of major words and the paragraph reads cleaner. However, if you look closely, you'll see that some very insignificant words like "of" and "an" got duplicated adjacent to each other.

repeat2

This is a common problem when you are reworking your prose. It's easy to type a phrase and repeat the word you thought you'd deleted. These are pernicious because your eye (and the eyes of a dozen beta-readers) can skip over them.

By resetting parameters in the Preferences panel to get all words with one or more characters that appear within 2 words of each other, these get highlighted without getting the clutter from legitimately used "the" or "and".

repeat3

Use Editomat to clean your prose
buttons
You spruce up your wardrobe witha a clotheswasher at a laundromat.

You spruce up your prose with the prosewashers in Editomat.

Editomat shows you how to make your writing brighter and cleaner.

Editomat has over a dozen tools to help you improve your prose, including:

  • Highlighting words that muddle a sentence without adding color.
  • Highlighting words that are repeated nearby.
  • Displaying words you use most often in a piece.
  • Highlighting sentences that are too long.
  • Displaying repetitious sentence structure.
  • Analyze reading difficulty and emotional tone.
  • Highlighting passive voice.
  • Showing how your work compares to others in your genre.
  • Highlighting poor language constructs.
  • Tracking the emotional intensity and tone of your writing.
Weak words stain your prose and hide the color
We all use weak words when we're speaking.

That doesn't mean we should use them when we're writing. These words have become meaningless from overuse. They are vague, or they may be as superfluous as the "Umm" that we all say and never write (except sparingly in dialog).

For instance, the word "very" is useless. I can say my character is "angry" or is "very angry". It doesn't change what the reader sees. The reader sees that my character is angry. Even "a little angry" doesn't help the reader. Your character is angry or not.

Other words, like "went" just don't convery as much information as the reader wants.

Saying "Joe went into a room" doesn't tell the reader as much as saying "Joe scrambled through the doorway" or "Joe sidled around the corner".

"That" is overused. It's sometimes necessary, but usually it's just an extra word that slows your reader down.

The weak word analysis highlights the commonest weak words so you can see where your prose needs to be cleaned up. This might be deleting words or finding more descriptive synonyms.

Here's a not-horribly-bad paragraph that's full of weak words: weak1

Some of these words were simply superfluous, some could be replaced with stronger words. The reworked paragraph still has one weak word, but not so many that it's wishy-washy.

weak1