Birthdays are a time to reflect on the past year and look at all you have managed to accomplish. For me, that means writing two books (and continuing to edit the hell out of the first), coming up with my first idea outside of the fantasy series I've been working on for 1/3 of my life, and making some amazing connections. All in all, a very good writerly year.
But you know what else birthdays mean? PRESENTS. And that's the real reason I am stopping in today.
I received the best writerly birthday present ever this year. My husband got me a year's subscription to autocrit.com and I have not been able to pry myself from it! The site acts as a sort of editing wizard. You paste your scene or chapter (depending on your subscription level) and the wizard will point out overused words (and highlight them to make them easy to find--you can even highlight just one overused word at a time), cliches and redundancies, initial pronouns, summarize your phrases and the amount of times you use them (example: "she said with a" shows up twice in chapter two for me), and much more that I still haven't played around with yet. The repeated words is a big help to me because it will tell you how many occurences you have and how many you need to get rid of. The wizard even spots ly adverbs.
I am not a natural editor by any means, so this tool has been a big help to me. I almost want to skip the obligatory drinks after work tonight (gotta ring in the last year of my twenties the right way!) so I can play with it some more. I'm only on chapter two of my MS but now that I am getting the hang of it, it is going much faster. So again: Best. Writerly. Birthday. Present. EVER!
After the birthday shenanigans are done tonight (and recovery in the morning), stop back by to see an interview with Mike Robinson, author of The Green-Eyed Monster!