There’s an ad I’ve seen promoting Grammarly: a young woman gets a new job as a social media manager, and uses Grammarly to avoid embarrassingly simple grammar and spelling mistakes. If you’re like me, you might think that a “real writer” already can spell well enough, and that somebody shouldn’t take on a writing job if they can’t.

But here’s the thing: in the passion of first-draft creative writing – often fueled by insomnia, caffeine and anxiety – it’s very common to make very simple, dumb mistakes… and also very tricky to catch them while revising your own writing.

That’s why even when I’m editing books, I always do a final pass with editing software to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Are they perfect? Not at all. I ignore 95% of their flagged issues. But it’s still worth it if I catch a dozen typos from a full book manuscript.

I’ve tested extensively, and in my experience Grammarly catches more actual typos, so that’s primarily what I use. But prowritingaid sometimes catches a handful of other things that Grammarly missed. Generally, prowritingaid is better to learn how to write better, with suggestions on word choice, sentence structure, etc. But Grammarly’s simple (and still free, I think, if you only use the “correctness” tab instead of all the other bells and whistles) tool is useful enough to recommend to all writers, and authors especially.

NEW editing software: There are a ton of new writing apps and programs to help you finish and edit your manuscript. Here’s a list of some of my favorites!


PS I’m working on a tool JUST for editing, check out