Prowritingaid Plug-in for Scrivener?

sh
shoshinsamurai
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:34 am
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:16 pm Post

I usually open my .scriv files in Prowritingaid (for which I have a perpetual license), for editing. I found Prowritingaid to be excitingly helpful. And, PWA is arguably the best in class, IMO.
How I wish there was a plug-in of sorts, within Scrivener, so the files need not be opened again in another program to edit. Somehow, that will make Scrivener a more wholesome writing tool. One will not have to leave Scrivener to improve style, check grammar, sticky sentences, pronoun usage, ease of reading or sentence length variations. I then see Scrivener, from its present form, becoming so much more powerful as a writing tool.
Of course, it would be advantageous to only those who hace a PWA license, but I guess, once someone gets the taste of what PWA can do (by the way of a trial), they wouldn't let go.

do
docboat
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Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:18 pm Post

I am seriously looking at ProWritingAid as well - you sound very convinced of the utility. What do you see as the strong points of the program, and apart from recommending it, what are the drawbacks that you have encountered? It is not that I am lazy, just that I am too keen to buy it, and need to be held back a bit

er
eric1954
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Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:10 am Post

I have a perpetual PWA license as well. I'm using it to create copy for a massive (for one person) authority website.

After I get the copy to my own satisfaction, but before putting it up on the website, I run it through PWA. Benefits include helping to dumb-down sentences and paragraphs to an easy instructional level. (Some users are ESL.) I use the Style, Grammar and Diction analyses every time. When my overall score is 80% or above, I call it good.

The downside is that PWA is first and foremost for fiction writers, so that's the benchmark for analyzing your work. The "House" style option doesn't change it much. Since I want to create easy-to-read copy (7 to 10 on Flesch), PWA wags a finger at me for an unimaginative vocabulary and what it calls "sticky" sentences.

It also has a maddening tendency to flag difficult-to-read sentences that look clear to me. (Strange for a fiction-oriented tool, PWA doesn't like compound sentences.) Even after I edit them, reduce compounds to simple and more, they're often still classed as difficult to read... with no reason given.

PWA is still very helpful and I recommend it. It's not like a live professional editor, but for those of us who can't afford one it goes part way.

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KB
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Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:13 pm Post

This has come up a few times in the past, but I've looked at the PWA developer APIs and haven't got very far with them, because it would take a significant amount of initial work and then maintenance to have them working in Scrivener's editors.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

ph
philipt18
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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:10 pm
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Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:08 am Post

I see they have lots of options for their API (https://prowritingaid.com/en/App/API) but maybe that's the wrong approach. Their API seems to be for developers who want to build the features of PWA into their app. People here already have PWA and just want it to work in Scrivener. PWA already advertises that they work with Scrivener by opening Scrivener files directly in their desktop app (something that is clunky and I would fear could mess up the files). Maybe offer them a way to create a plug-in for Scrivener like they have MS Word, Google Docs, and their Browser plug-ins. I don't know if you have a good way to allow plug-ins or not, but really they should be creating the plug-in, instead of you integrating with their API.

er
eric1954
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:37 am
Platform: Mac

Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:45 am Post

Thanks for the input.

I don't have a problem working with the PWA app on desktop. It's a bit annoying to exit Scrivener, but that's required for version control.

My issue is with how PWA analyzes documents. In my case, instructional content must be easy for less educated people (and ESL readers) to understand and optimized for retention. PWA is unsympathetic. Simple language without varied vocabulary is flagged for revision. Their thing about "sticky' sentences in an invitation to make instructional language less understandable.

Ironically for a fiction-oriented tool, compound sentences are seen as difficult and in need of revision. I'm tempted to run PWA on a chapter of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". It's some of the most beautiful non-fiction English prose ever written, but PWA would probably explode on impact.

I don't fault Scrivener at all. PWA needs to allow users to select more precise writing types: fiction, academic, instructional and more. If not, their analytical conclusions will be approximate at best.