Prose Editing

Dev baby! Coloured and flavoured with this…

…is surely all you require to knock out a Worldwide Best Selling, Bodice Ripping, Bonkbusting, Shades of Grey challenging Bestseller!!
‘ere y’ go pal! :smiling_imp:
Don’t have t’ bother including me in the books acknowledgement.
Good luck

I must admit to having only limited experience of these apps, but as a non-fiction editor I have occasionally been asked about them and what has worried me is that many of my favourite non-fiction authors apparently `fail’. Something which rejects aspects of the writings of, inter alia, Didion, Lopate, McPhee, Malcolm, Ozick, and Robinson is clearly a tad too tightly formal.

Having said that, for those that need sentence length checking and such-like, I think the way that this is implemented in Brett Terpstra’s Marked 2 is pretty good: and it can read native Scrivener files without format conversion.

Pretty much. But it is always exhilirating to toss a fresh hunk of grammar into a tank full of writers. :wink:

There are no plans for anything like this, sorry. When it comes to spell- and grammar-checking (and parts-of-speech highlighting in the next major update), I only include those tools that are built into the Apple frameworks. It’s just not an area I’m particularly interested in incorporating into Scrivener - and it’s not something I believe we could do as well as dedicated third-party tools anyway.

The thing to remember is that Scrivener doesn’t have a big team behind it - one person developing the macOS and iOS versions (me) and two people running to catch up with the Windows version. The implementation of tools that check for the passive voice* would require expertise in linguistic analysis. The third-party tools that allow for this have such experts on board - indeed, they are built around such experts, I believe.

I admit that I’m not a big fan of such tools, either (hence Scrivener’s grammar checking is off by default). I can certainly see the appeal if you are writing an essay the night before the deadline and want to check you haven’t made any silly mistakes, but a world in which no sentence ends in a preposition is not a world I want to live in.*

All the best.

  • See what I did there? :wink:

To quote Churchill, “This is the type of errant pedantry up with which I will not put.”



You just wish it was.
I mean, you wish it were.
No, wait, “wish it was” is the way to go.
Damn, I just can’t decide which of those to go with.


I remember Anthony Sher, in something Shakespearean donkeys years ago that gave him some improvisational room:

“He is a Lord, up whose shoelaces I am not worthy of doing.”

Then there is the old story of the aged, now blind, pedantic Professor Emeritus of English who used to get his housekeeper to read to him every evening … until the occasion on which the housekeeper ended her reading with the question, “What did you choose a book like that to be read to out of for?”, which prompted a fatal heart attack.



(Reading, amused, in a passive fashion…)

And you’re free to ignore any suggestions such a system would make. You’d even be free to — gasp! — turn such a system “off” if you wished, I’d imagine. Free to not use it at all. (I know, it’s a radical concept, the idea of not using a provided feature because you don’t need it, rather than having it not available at all to anyone else who might actually need it or want it.) Those of us who do want to follow basic grammar rules, however, and who do delight in working within the established parameters of the English language, would like to have Scrivener support some measure of telling us when we get things wrong or right, however. I don’t think this is too far of a bridge to cross for a piece of software that bills itself as being “y’know, for writers.”

Maybe read my reply up-thread for why it is a bridge too far?

The trouble with that statement is that structures like the passive, that software grammar checkers mark as “incorrect”, are part of the “established parameters of the English language”, and in fact are so basic that we all of us use them every day in our speech without noticing. So the ‘rules’ that you are wishing to follow are not those of the English language, but those of some self-appointed pundits who have decided what is to be considered too difficult to understand.


Considering the outcome of a previous expedition who really went a bridge too far, I hope KB is wise enough to stand by his statement in teh reply up-thread. Going a bridge too far may end up in disaster, for some involved.

No fear. KB is very good at sticking to his guns.

Very fun to listen to Stephen Pinker talk about all the No-Nos that are not.

non-rules: dangling bits, preposition placement, splitting phrases,…

Lots of links to his other vids on this page.

Maybe a modifiable plug-in for Scrivener that could provide some grammatical suggestions?


Please, no prose-editing software. We are wordsmiths here. Experimenting with language is what writing’s about.


You’re right. 8) However, when I think about prose editing, I recall one not so good story that once happened with my friend. He composed a few funny short stories and read them on one of the literature evenings we had in our town.

Imagine what was his rage, when he discovered that one of people who was there on that night, published a storybook with some of my friend’s stories! Yes, this person has presented them as they were his own. My friend used online plagiarism checker and showed our lit community the report with direct percentage of similarity. Besides, he made a lot of posts in social media about this case. After all, this storybook was withdrawn from our local bookstores.

So, even if you are inspired by some well-known story (I believe everyone was once inspired by the story of Romeo & Juliet or by detective stories of Agatha Christie, etc.), it’s editing and wit that will let you compose your own story without violating any laws. Make the most of Scrivener and don’t afraid to try some extra tools e.g. Power Thesaurus to make your writing rich and memorable.