Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Children's Story Diagnostics

I took my children's book for a quick diagnostic test and got back some positive results. When I say diagnostic I mean that I went back to Hemingway App and pasted my entire story. There's been a big improvement in word count, as I drop the total from 1859 to 1519. Thoughts on that but first some other stats:
0 sentences that are hard to read.
0 sentences that are very hard to read.
12 adverbs.
Six words or phrases that could be simpler.
3 uses of passive voice.
Reading level, 3rd grade.
I understand this app is not my only measuring stick. Kids will ultimately be. But its a good quick check for some things to consider while writing. In my previous post I mentioned that I had 1859 words. I've reduced the number by 340. At first I wondered if this reduction was possible because I felt like I had a pretty solid story. After multiple read throughs I found hole after hole. I picked up other children's books as well and learned what true efficiency was all about. It made me wish I could go back to school and ask my teachers why I was taught to write a bunch of fluff. Back then I was given page counts and minimums and trained to make up "word stuffing". I think maybe it was because there was more research in projects that could be used in reports, but it never turned out that way. I could be more concise and to the point today but I grew up on those minimums, and now I can't get away from them. Now, I write too much!
I'm learning again how to speak like some of the very best writers in the world, kids! It's a fun learning curve and the experience has been great. I say that a lot but it's true. I look forward to sharing my book one day in the future with as many people as possible.
In regards to my drawing , I'm still working on my boy. I'm halfway there, hopefully.
Thanks for visiting.

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