Most editing software on the market claim that they can edit various types of writing such as novel, non-fiction, academic papers, business documents and etc. What most of them offer as features are similar. They check grammar, redundant words, and suggest corrections for improvement.
SmartEdit, a standalone Windows software with a price tag of $57, takes a rather different approach from those of competitors.
First, the software introduces itself as exclusively meant for novel and short story writers. The developer’s website says nothing like SmartEdit can help bloggers or businessmen with editing their posts and emails. In short, the software deserves to be called novel editing software by making it clear that that it is not for everybody but for novelists who have a finished draft in their hands.
Second, SmartEdit makes no suggestions to improve the text submitted to the program. All it does is to produce a bunch of lists that contains extensive number of items that “may” or “may not” need editing. The actual editing is fully left to the writer him/herself. People behind SmartEdit think that software has not yet reached a level that enables it to judge human writing and that its proper role, given its present ability, is to scan a massive texts and find repetitious and problematic patterns and present them in an easy-to-read format.
I think this is a realistic and sound approach when it comes to editing of novels where repetition or grammatical errors may be intentionally used for an effect. If you want to read more about the philosophy behind the approach, read this post from the developer’s blog. Incidentally, if you are a writer who has interest in using various editing software and writing software, I recommend reading other posts in the blog. They are interesting reads.
As for the major features, here are lists that SmartEdit produces after scanning your manuscript. You can download 10 days free trial of the software here.
- Repeated Phrases List
- Repeated Words List
- Adverb Usage List
- Monitored Words List
- Redundancies List
- Dialog Tag Counter
- Cliché List
- Separate Dialog & Prose Checks
- Misused Word List
- Foreign Phrase Usage List
- Profanity Usage List
- Suspect Punctuation List
- Proper Nouns List
- Acronyms List
- Sentence Start List
In sum, if you have a finished draft of novel or story in front of you and want to have more control over editing process while letting software do the herculean task of checking each and every word, you may find SmartEdit useful.