Tools for writing #2 – Hemingway

In my Tools for writing series I will be highlighting some of the writing tools that work for me. This is not to say they’re the best tools for everyone, but they are for me.

In my previous post on writing with Scrivener, I highlighted how it’s an amazing program to write my manuscripts in. The second program I use for the majority of my writing is a neat little application called Hemingway. Named after the famous author who was known for his concise writing style, this application highlights different aspects of your writing.

Unfortunately there is no easy integration yet between Scrivener and Hemingway, so I spend my time copy-and-pasting (or using the external sync folder). That is a small price to pay since I find that Hemingway helps me in my writing for the following reasons:

  • Seeing my text in a different font and layout brings a fresh look to my writing.
  • The colour-coding is very helpful. I don’t follow all its suggestions to the letter, but it’s helped highlight some weaker areas of my prose can could do with some tightening up.
  • It provides a solid interface for editing my manuscript. Afterwards I do a quick copy-and-paste back into Scrivener and I label a scene as “Edited”.
  • The Readability grade is interesting in an arbitrary sense: I don’t want to be writing at Grade 6 for the majority of my manuscript and suddenly jump to 10 in a few scenes. It should be consistent throughout on that level as well.

The Hemingway app exists in multiple shapes, the biggest difference being the online editor or the local application. I decided to purchase it, since I much prefer working in native applications than online writing tools. Not that my internet connection has died on me in the recent past, but I prefer to work with bits and bytes on my own machine with plenty of backups running.

As writing enthusiasts, we all have our tools that we prefer. For me it’s a combination of Scrivener & Hemingway that gets the job done.

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