Meet the Founder of ProWriting Aid | Our Write Side
As we launch Our Write Side into the writing community today we must express our gratitude to ProWriting Aid for their support. Their belief in our dream and sponsorship of our efforts has allowed us to make leaps forward in our progress! Additionally, using the ProWriting Aid tools has allowed us to drastically improve both our writing and our editing skills. ProWriting Aid is simple to use and offers a wide array of editing options.
Introduce yourself, if you would?
Hi, I’m Chris Banks, founder of ProWritingAid. I started ProWritingAid just over 3 years ago to help writers like myself learn and improve.
Tell us a little about the history behind ProWriting Aid. What motivated you to develop this software?
I conceived ProWritingAid while I was writing a novel (an archeo-thriller – is that a genre?). I was used to writing research pieces and was frustrated by adapting my writing style to fiction. My background in statistical analysis meant that I began to look for measures that distinguished fiction from academic writing, and good writing from bad writing. I built a basic app to use those measure to find issues in my work so that I could fix them. ProWritingAid grew out of that and continues to evolve.
Do you have a mission statement? Would you share it?
Help people improve their writing. Writing is one of the most important things that we do, but many people find it difficult or frustrating. ProWritingAid allows you to improve your writing in your own time by providing you with unbiased feedback.
Writing is a big business. What sets your product apart from the rest?
I developed ProWritingAid foremost to help other writers. That’s why we’ll always have a free version of the app. The premium version offers great perks to users like Word and Google Docs add-ons, customizable reports and soon, a desktop version, but the free version is comprehensive and effective. We are also committed to providing premium licences to schools and universities at cost prices.
How is ProWritingAid different from my usual grammar-checker or a human editor?
Where ProWritingAid excels is at finding sentences that should be changed, not because they are grammatically incorrect, but because they are not as clear or as strong as they could be.
Some reports have been built based techniques have been passed down by writers for generations, like reducing reliance on adverbs or passive voice. Others have been developed more recently and are based on statistics. The app can scan your document in seconds and highlight repetitious phrases or structures so that you can add more variety. It can create a visual representation of your whole document so that you can assess your sentence length variety. It can find all those overly long and overly complicated sentences so that you can improve their clarity. The app doesn’t fix them for you, it just highlights potential pitfalls so that you can reassess them to make sure that you are getting your ideas across in the best way possible.