Online Editor- is it a waste of time?

And yet another edit!  When will I ever learn?  As a teacher, I always encouraging my students to edit again and “kick it up a notch” using more interesting words in their papers. “Don’t start your sentences with those boring “T” words like There are and The and Then  and That! Leave out useless words like Almost, Actually, Look, Often, and Seems!” I tell them again and again to make each word audition.

This week I was schooled! I learned that it is easier to teach than to do, It seems  my writing suffers from the same lack of excitement that I often find   in my students’ papers..

Playing around with some Online Editing Apps  has opened my eyes to my own issues. I am frugal, so I am only using the free version, but even the free version gives me plenty to work on! Several online editing App adds on Google claim to improve your writing.  Hemingway App was interesting, but didn’t quite attack my personal writing  issues. It suggested using simpler words- and I don’t always want to write simply. I think it would be great for many lawyers or MG writers though!

Next I tried an app which just pointed out common mistakes. Using Prowriting Aid  humbled me! I take small sections at a time, so I am not overwhelmed, and I don’t change everything it points out. Even so, I have been “kicking it up” a lot!  I feel sorry for my beta readers who are slugging their way though my manuscript- pre-Prowriting Aid.  Yesterday I removed 60 instances of the word “actually” and I don’t know how many “would’s”  and “look’s” and “seems.”

I will demonstrate with one short paragraph-  Some problems have already been resolved in yesterday’s edits. 

I froze momentarily, then, slowly swiveling around in my chair I looked for something to grab-anything which would work as a weapon.. The only thing within reach was the mouse on the right side of the keypad, so I held on to that. As I turned, Darth Vader, or whoever was in that black dark amazing costume, reached down and quickly snatched off my earphones, then he grabbed my wrists (making me drop the mouse) and pinned them to the arms of my special editor office chair. I kicked and tried to scream, but he was big, and standing, and obviously wearing boots, boots which absorbed whatever my little kicks were doing. I was sitting, and small and over whelmed with fear, facing the menacing large man covered in black from head to toe.
My average sentence length was 27- about 10 too long.  I still had 5 vague words and 3 overused words two cliches and one grammar error – (the extra period).    So I will put in the improved version below.
As I slowly swiveled my chair, I reached out to grab the only weapon available, a 3 by 6 inch grey plastic mouse. I was ready to attack. Darth Vader or whoever was hiding under that black expensive costume,  stood only inches from my chair. In less than two seconds he pulled my earphones off my head, grabbed my wrists (forcing me to drop my weapon) and pinned me. I screamed, but my voice couldn’t penetrate the classroom walls, let alone be heard over the loud pulsating music echoing through the halls. We both understood that yelling was useless Mr. Bob passed right outside the doorway.
His grip tightened, and my wrists burned under p his gloved hands. I kicked his shins, but the large thick black books absorbed any impact my tennis shoes inflicted. Fear almost paralyzed me, but I forced my eyes up–up from big black belt and breastplate, up to the shoulder pads and voice box, and up to ominous face mask on the monster of my childhood nightmares.
I checked this version of my paragraph, and it received a much higher grade, but not perfect!  My sentences are still too long (21 average), and I guess I had included one British spelling and two American.. I will have to check on that!  Must be “grey”   Easy fix!  
So, Do you think the “edited” version is better?  

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