Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Podgy is my Writing?

As I promised earlier today, I put my own work through the Writer's Diet assessment program.

I took a 300 word sample from the first page(s) of my novel and assessed it, first manually and then electronically at the Writer's Diet website - just to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

You can do the same by going here.

Now my first pages have been edited not only by me, but also by my beta readers, so if not perfect this is at least a fairly spruced section of my work.

My score for this section was Lean on all points. (Much to my surprise!) Writer's Diet also gave me an overall score of Lean and a Lean rating on all points. As you can imagine, I was very chuffed with that.

So, out of curiosity, I wondered how badly a random section of my work would rate.

I chose a piece from around page 60. This has only been briefly edited by me and my writing buddy. No serious re-writes or beta-reader critiques here.

My electonic score for this section was overall Fit and Trim. Everything scored Lean except Waste Words which got a Needs Toning. Too many "it" and "that" happening in the dialogue at this point.

So, I submitted another sample from even later in the novel, around page 150.

The electronic score was overall Fit and Trim with Ad-dictions (Be-verbs) and Prepositional Podge creating a bit of extra fab. Not enough to be unsightly though.

I'm pretty pleased with my scores.

Now, I'm tempted to take a piece of my previous MS and test it. Given how much my writing has improved of late, I think it'll be carrying quite a bit more weight.

This whole diet thing is really quite addictive.

Go give it a whirl yourself. I'd love to hear how you score.


  1. It sure is addictive! I put in several pieces and I'm a lean mean writing machine! Thanks for the link Ruth. It's such a helpful nuts and bolts help. The piece I am working on came up with work needed on prepositions, which really made me think. This is the short story I was paring back and making it really spare. Have to hit the prepositions now.

  2. I couldn't believe it. I went ahead and tested some of my old writing and surprisingly it tested lean or trim and fit. I swear my jaw dropped especially because I thought it was so overwritten in comparison to what I'm writing now.

    Sue! You stole my line. I'm the lean mean writing machine. :P

  3. Yes, I put in pieces from my very first chapters - the stuff I've ditched and it scored lean all the way. I think that this is only half the story when it comes to writing. There must be other factors, coz some of my early stuff is baaaaad.!!
    Can't we both be 'lean mean fighting machines'?

  4. I think you have a very valid point Sue.

    I was actually thinking about this too yesterday after I had submitted some of my earlier writing and found that they still score reasonable well.

    I guess even if your writing is lean and mean it's no guarantee that you write well or have a good story.

    It was fun anyway.

  5. Heading over to try this, purely for fun of course! ;)

  6. Let us know how you get on Michelle. Have fun! ;)

  7. I found someone on twitter who tried out this tool on some of the classics!
    thought you might be interested.