I’ve been tinkering around with code to analyze my manuscripts for a few years, and I finally got serious enough about it to build a real-life application. I named the app Thoth after the Egyptian god of writing and magic (among other things).
After writing several bad books and getting helpful (though sometimes painful) feedback, I realized I had a number of tendencies that showed up as weak writing. I also figured since I’m a heavily experienced programmer, I could make my own revision process easier by setting up some logic to analyze my manuscripts and identify those weaknesses with fancy charts and whatnot.
I believe other writers could benefit from my code, and so I’ve released the initial beta version of the application here. It’s free to download and use!
Admittedly, it’s far from perfect. With my writing, I’m typically very reluctant to let anyone else see it until I’ve spent months revising it. This is essentially a first draft, and as we all know, all software has bugs. Mine is no exception. The format of the PDF report generated could be cleaner, and the text I coded in could be better written. Also, I wish the download process was a little faster and easier. (It’s not really that bad, I promise!)
I plan to work on improving on these weaknesses, as well as adding more features in the future. But cut me a break here, please – you have no idea how much fucking time I spent on Stackoverflow trying to figure out why matplotlib was crashing the app and why pyinstaller and plotly don’t play so nice together. ON MY BIRTHDAY NO LESS.
Even so, I think other writers should give it a try. Oh, hey, did I mention it’s TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FREE.
Here are the reports generated within the PDF file:
- Dialogue %
- # of dialogue beats
- Sentence fragments
- Repetitive cadences
- Unusual narrative punctuation
- ‘Crutch’ words (that, just, etc.)
- Filter words
Please give it a try 😁