I wrote this tool specifically to assist me in fixing many of the core technical problems that plague my writing. The short list is passive voice, prepositional statements, overuse of the word 'that', and word territory. This tool helps me find and fix those problems.
You are free to make use of this tool as well. I typically copy and paste the text of a single chapter into the text box below. Checking any more than a chapter at a time seems excessive to me, but if you feel like doing several chapters at once, go ahead. I would suggest that you not copy/paste an entire novel into the application, though. The more text you add to the text box, the longer it will take to get results back. If you end up with a totally white page that just never turns into results, then you've probably pasted too much text in.
You're probably wondering by now why I'm letting you use this for free. The basic reason is that it cost me nothing for the server, and only cost me a little time (about 4 hours) to write this application. I'm getting great use out of it, so I don't see why others can't as well. Am I using this as a ploy to steal your writing and prose? No, not at all. The text that you enter into the text box is never stored in permanent storage. It never sees the surface of a hard drive, an entry in a database, or even as part of a temp file somewhere. The contents are completely stored in volatile memory (which is a requirement of how programs work), and once you see your results, the only place the data is stored is back on your computer. After my program finishes running to give you the web page, it exits, and all of your valuable words are lost forever on my server.
If you still don't trust me to keep your words off of my storage devices, then you can download the software package here and run it on your own server. You'll need a web server that runs PHP, and I do not have time to answer technical questions on setup and "installation." If you know what you're doing, then you can easily get this working be extracting the ZIP file into a directory on your web server and pointing your web browser to it. Best wishes on running your own copy, so long as my copyright notice at the top of each file remains intact.
How does this thing work?
Basically, I get a list of words and strip off any punctuation ('word!' becomes 'word'), and then I count how many times that word shows up in the submitted text. I then sort the list of words, and put the most common word at the top of the list, and the least commonly used word at the bottom. While outputting the list, I also mark some 'bad' and 'warning' words with a red and yellow background, respectively. Once you get the results, the rest of the operations take place entirely within your web browser. When you roll your mouse over a word in the list, a red box will appear around every instance of that word in the text. If you want to 'lock down' that word, so that it will remain boxed, you can click on the word. This will allow you to scroll through your text to find other occurrences of the word. If you want to unlock a word in the list, just click on it again.
If you notice that some words are not counted, this is because I have
some very common words marked to be ignored. Otherwise, things like 'and'
and 'the' might always be at the top of the list. Words that I ignore
or pay special attention to are:
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, you can contact J.T. Evans via his feedback form on his main page.