Autocrit is an editing tool for fiction writers. It’s no substitute for the services of a professional editor, but it can help you see areas where your writing could use improvement and is particularly good for identifying little tics and common style issues in your work.
Choose your genre (options include generic fiction, movie scripts, mystery, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, short story and young adult) and Autocrit will compare your writing to a sample of published works, suggesting various changes that might improve your writing.
Autocrit much more than a spelling and grammar checker (though it does include a tool for identifying homonyms that you might have accidentally misused).
Autocrit is cloud-based, running in your web browser. This has its benefits and drawbacks; on one hand, you don’t need to worry about installing software and your work will be accessible on any device with an internet connection. On the other, you can’t work offline and its frame-based interface doesn’t lend itself to use on mobile devices. Integration with Microsoft Word would also have been an advantage.
To get started, either paste a chunk of text into the editor, or upload a text file from your desktop (particularly large works can be split into more manageable chapters). This cloud-first approach works well, enabling you to continue working across multiple devices, and you can store several different revisions of a single document.
You can print or email documents directly from Autocrit or save them to your desktop, but it’s a shame there’s no integration with services like OneDrive and DropBox.
Once your text is in place, you’re advised to run a summary report and given an overall score, though this seems quite arbitary. It’s the detailed reports that offer the most useful information, encouraging you to work through your manuscript line by line, considering your word choices.
Implementing all of the software’s suggestions might leave your work feeling strangely stilted, but it’s entirely up to you whether you act on them; Autocrit doesn’t make any changes automatically.
An Autocrit subscription is quite expensive at US$29.97 (about £20, AU$40) per month, so we wouldn’t recommend investing until you’re ready for detailed line-editing. You can get a sample analysis by pasting a chunk of text into the homepage.