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091 This Free App Will Help You Write Bold and Clear Copy
17th August 2015 • Rough Draft • Rainmaker.FM
00:00:00 00:05:16

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So there s this new browser app that allows you to write/drop content into a text box and click Edit to determine if your writing is bold and clear.

It s called the Hemingway Editor. It’s simple to use, but the question remains: does it work? And how does Hemingway actual stack up against his own app?

That’s what this episode is all about.

In this 5-minute episode you’ll discover:

  • How many long sentences you should use in an article
  • What to do with dense, complicated sentences
  • The acceptable number of adverbs to use
  • The problem with purple prose
  • And more!

Listen to Rough Draft below ...

The Show Notes

The Transcript

This Free App Will Help You Write Bold and Clear Copy

Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at

Demian Farnworth: Howdy! You are listening to Rough Draft, your daily dose of essential web writing advice. I am Demian Farnworth, your host, your muse, your digital recluse, and the Chief Content Writer for Copyblogger Media.

And thank you for sharing the next few minutes of your life with me.

The Hemingway App

So there s this new browser app that allows you to write/drop content into a text box and click “Edit” to determine if your writing is “bold and clear.”

It s called Hemingway.

  • Yellow highlight means a long, complex sentence.
  • Red highlight means dense, very complicated sentences.
  • Blue highlights indicate adverbs (remove them).
  • Purple is for words that can be more simple. (Purple prose, get it?)
  • Green marks passive voice.

I ran The Efficient Writer: A Blunt Guide through it, and the grade was a seven.

You should gun for anything lower than a ten.

As you can see, I had one hard-to-read sentence (which was a quote), two very-hard-to-read sentences, and one passive sentence.

For kicks I thought to test one of Hemingway s short stories: Clean, Well-Lighted Place. You can see the results in the image below.

Stories I Tested

Here were other short stories I tested.

Only one sentence was hard to read, no really hard sentences to read, but seven adverbs (you should use fewer than 23!), ten words that could be simpler, and nine passive voice sentences (aim for fewer than 31!).

Hills Like White Elephants

Then I noticed something about the results. Turns out the score is based upon a ratio of word count because

Snows of Kilimanjaro

This story scored a 29, 59, 59, 22, 22 which might look like this did a whole lot worse, but this was a much longer story (about ten times longer) and so the number of hard sentences you can write, so on, goes up.

Moral of the story: Yes, Hemingway passes the Hemingway.

Give the Hemingway app a try (and the writer, too, if you don t know his work), and see if it doesn t make your writing bold and clear. Report back here before the end of the day.





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