Mechanical Writing

I work in phases: a bit of writing for a few weeks, a bit of coding, a lot more writing. I'm just coming out of a programming phase where I spent the last two weeks working on a new implementation of Author Intrusion.

Author Intrusion is my attempt to get around my writing flaws. I've done quite a few attempts at it, but this is both the most extensive and least expansive version I've written. But, it also has the same pitfalls that every other version provided.

The biggest one is the mechanical nature of the analysis. Say I mark things as being overused if it shows up more than ten times in a hundred words. There might be a place where that is actually useful, or important or intentional.

“If you want to be called Max, Max. Max is what I'll call you.”

One of my favorite lines (half-forgotten so probably not accurate) from the Norby series by Issac Asmoiv.

I've decided to show close words as warnings and very close words as errors. The programmer in me really wants to get rid of all warnings and errors, but with this tool, it is just highlighting what might need to be fixed, not what must be fixed. Though, the goal is to have the errors become the points I really should fix it.

“To” is used 7 times in 57 words.

In the first chapter of Sand and Blood, I overused “to” once. When I read it, it seems okay, but just knowing it is there would have caused me to rework it at least a little.

This is one reason Author Intrusion won't ship with a set of grammar. Because writers should know their own flaws. I know I overuse gerunds, so I'm writing a rule (once I finish coding it) that will highlight occurrences once I get over a certain density. Same with echo phrases and words. These issues might go away, but there will be other ones. If I can at least highlight them, maybe I can improve my writing.

While I won't ship rules with Author Intrusion, that doesn't mean I can't create a forum to talk about it, including letting me and others come up with sample ones.

Still having fun with working on this version. It feels better, mainly because it is broken into smaller parts and easier to manage. But, at the same time, I still have to write. So I'm going to use what I've written so far and work on a commission and Second-Hand Dresses, my romance novel, for a little bit.