Do you want to write like Ernest Hemingway, using active voice verbs; short, simple sentences; short, one-syllable words; and few adverbs? There is a free web app to help you. Here’s how the app works.
Type a passage which you want to be more Hemingway-like. Swipe and copy it. Go to Hemingwayapp.com. Click the “H1,” “H2,” or “H3” button at the top of the app screen to allow you to paste your passage. Or click the “write” button in the top right corner to compose on the site.
Highlighted in yellow will be sentences which are long or complex or which have common errors. The app identifies them, but it’s up to you to figure out how to fix them.
Highlighted in red will be sentences which are dense, that is, too full of information. Again, it’s up to you to figure out how to fix them.
Highlighted in purple will be words for which a shorter synonym is possible. Synonyms will be suggested by the app.
Highlighted in blue will be adverbs—a sign that your verbs aren’t strong enough to stand alone. The app won’t suggest stronger verbs, but it will identify adverbs, most of which should probably go.
Highlighted in green will be passive voice verbs. You need to figure out how to rewrite the sentence to make the verb active.
In the right margin will be a readability score, that is, the reading grade level of your passage.
The Hemingway app will make your writing more Hemingway-like, but that doesn’t mean your writing will be of high literary merit. Your writing will be streamlined and easier to read, but that is not the same as “good.”
Still, if your revising skills are poor, or if you are pinched for time, this app can offer suggestions on how to make your writing more readable. The cost to download a desktop version (3.0) is $19.99, available for both PC’s and Mac’s.