ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly: Which Is Better For Fiction Writers Featured Image

ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly: Which Is Better For Fiction Writers?

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You want a great book. Part of writing a great book is editing what you have written. Ideally, you want to self-edit your novel before you hand it over to the professionals. ProWritingAid and Grammarly are both popular editing software tools that help nonfiction and fiction writers alike. But I wanted to know which of two are better for fiction writers. So, today I compared ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly. I put them to the test and looked at what both tools have to offer to the writers of the world.

Table Of Contents

Editing

I put the same fictional work into the free online editor version of both editors to compare them at their most basic level. The fictional work I used was 507 words long, fits into the fantasy genre, and is geared toward young adults.

Document Set up

ProWritingAid allowed me to set the following: Language, Writing Style, and Document Type.

Language had 5 choices:

  • General English
  • British English
  • US English
  • Australian English
  • Canadian English

Writing Style had 8 choices:

  • General
  • Academic
  • Business
  • Technical
  • Creative
  • Casual
  • Web
  • Script

Document Type had 34 choices, which were subcategories of the Writing Style choices mentioned above.

For the document I was editing, I chose US English for language, Creative for writing style, and Young Adult for document type.

Grammarly allowed me to set my Audience, Formality, Tone, and Intent.

Audience had 3 choices:

  • General
  • Knowledgable
  • Expert

Formality had 3 choices:

  • Informal
  • Neutral
  • Formal

Tone had 8 choices:

  • Neutral
  • Confident
  • Joyful
  • Optimistic
  • Friendly
  • Urgent
  • Analytical
  • Respectful

Intent had 4 choices:

  • Inform
  • Describe
  • Convince
  • Tell A Story

For the document I was editing, I chose General for audience, neutral for formality, neutral for tone, and tell a story for intent.

While Grammarly had more choices for document setup, I found ProWritingAid’s setup to be more useful. In Grammarly, the audience choices seem rather vague. However, I did like the formality and tone choices. I also thought the summaries below each choice were helpful; especially if you were to be leaning between two different options. Last, I felt the intent choices were largely suited to those writing nonfiction (blog posts, news articles, etc.).

ProWritingAid’s document is much more specific. The only qualm was that they need more language choices for non-English-speaking writers. Perhaps that will be a future installment.

Scoring

My sample document received a score of 66% on ProWritingAid and 92% on Grammarly. This was shocking! I thought the two would be relatively similar in overall score, but this was not the case.

ProWritingAid was much more detailed. The downside to this is that it could overwhelm some writers. The upside is that there are a lot of different ways the online editing tool can help. There are 19 total reports so you can be as nitpicky with your document as you want to.

Grammarly had far fewer reports, as most of their reports are only available in the premium version. Both programs allow you to print a summary report, which is a nice added feature.

When I looked at grammar and spelling specifically, ProWritingAid caught 12 mistakes whereas Grammarly only caught 10 mistakes. Both highlighted the mistakes, told me what the mistakes were, and gave suggestions on how to fix them.

Features

ProWritingAid

  • Free and paid plans
  • Several integrations
  • Real-time editing
  • Summary report
  • Grammar checker
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Spelling
  • Style
  • Punctuations
  • Repetitive words
  • Comma usage
  • Structure report
  • Length report
  • Transition
  • Readability
  • Sticky report
  • Cliches checker
  • Diction report
  • Alliteration report
  • Homonyms report
  • Consistency checker
  • Acronym checker
  • Dialogue
  • Pacing
  • Sensory report
  • Thesaurus 
  • In-Depth and visual reports 
  • Detailed explanations with links to blog posts
  • Extremely customizable

Grammarly

  • Free and paid plans
  • Several integrations
  • Real-time editing
  • Summary report
  • Grammar Checker
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Spelling 
  • Style
  • Punctuations
  • Repetitive words
  • Comma usage
  • Tone Detector
  • Word Variety
  • Weak adjectives

Overall, both editors worked great and were easy to use. However, ProWritingAid gives more options, more detail, and could catch more mistakes. Grammarly seems to be good if you are looking for a quick mistake checker or have a small document.

But for fiction writers with novels to edit, ProWritingAid provides the detail you need before sending your book off to a professional editor. The specific reports it has can be beneficial to you when you want to work on a detailed part of your book. For example, if you wanted to improve the dialogue, or if you wanted to find and take out some words and phrases that you constantly use.

One word of warning though, for both editors, you don’t have to make the corrections it suggests. After all, they aren’t human, so only change what you agree with.

Usability & Design

ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly Pin

Now that we know a little more about their editing power, how useful are they to writers? Both editors are available in several formats. Below shows how and where you can use the editors and whether they include it in their free or premium plans.

ProWritingAid

  • Online web version
  • Microsoft Office
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge extension
  • Scrivener
  • Open Office
  • Google docs
  • Keyboard on your phone
  • iPad
  • Other (several ways to use their desktop app)

Grammarly

  • Online web version
  • Microsoft Office
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge extension
  • Scrivener
  • Open Office
  • Google docs
  • keyboard on your phone
  • iPad

In reality, you probably won’t use either editing tool in every format provided. It just depends on where you edit. I don’t own any apple products, so that is not a concern for me. I edit primarily on my computer, so both have plenty of options for that. For writers, ProWritingAid appears to have the upper hand simply because it integrates with scrivener; a platform for writers. It also carries the upper-hand in the chrome extension. Now, I am speaking from personal experience only here. I have used both chrome extensions in the past, and I favor the ProWritingAid one far more. It catches a lot more mistakes and doesn’t get in the way.

For design, Grammarly wins. From looking at and using both web versions, Grammarly was natural to use. It took little getting used to. ProWritingAid, however, is clunky. It operates a lot like word or google docs with a top toolbar, but it is not as clean looking and it took some getting used to.

Plans & Pricing

ProWritingAid has 4 plans and Grammarly has 3 plans:

ProWritingAid

  • Free
  • Monthly- $20/month
  • Yearly- $79.00/year
  • Lifetime- $399 one time

Grammarly

  • Free
  • Premium- $11.66/month
  • Business- $12.50/member/month

Both editors have bulk and academic pricing available if needed. ProWritingAid offers a 7 day free trial and no word limit on their premium plans, whereas Grammarly offers no free trial and has a 150,000 monthly word limit on their premium plans. Grammarly’s pricing is better for those on a budget, although it offers far less when you look at its editing power and features.

Advantages of ProWritingAid

  • Offers a multitude of detailed reports with equally detailed explanations while doing real-time editing
  • Has slightly more integrations
  • Superior free editing tool
  • Has a lifetime plan option

Disadvantages of ProWritingAid

  • Can overwhelm with information overload
  • Not the simplist design
  • Does not have a mobile editing app

Advantages of Grammarly

  • Easy to use interface
  • Has several integrations available

Disadvantages of Grammarly

  • Limited editing in the free version
  • No free trial or lifetime plan
  • More suited for nonfiction work rather than fiction

What Authors Say

I ran a quick poll on Goodreads asking fictional writers which tool they prefer between ProWritingAid and Grammarly and why they have that preference.

ProWritingAid needs money, but Grammarly edits well even if you don’t upgrade to Premium.

Anonymous Author, Paranormal Genre, Uses Grammarly

I use both, but ProWritingAid is my major go to editing software. I find it more user friendly and it seems to go “deeper” and occasionally picks up whoopsies that Grammarly hasn’t flagged up.

Anonymous Author, Women’s Fiction Genre, Uses ProWritingAid

Which One Should You Choose?

If you want an editing software for free, then use Grammarly. It takes care of major mistakes, but it is not worth the cost of the premium plans. You simply don’t get enough bang for your buck. Especially since you write fiction. You want to make your writing the best it can possibly be, and Grammarly just doesn’t seem like a tool that is best suited for someone like you.

For ProWritingAid, there is plenty available in their free plan that can be beneficial to fictional writers. If you using editing software occasionally, then stick to to the free plan. But, if you are writing consistently, their premium plans are worth the cost. Personally, the lifetime deal is a great buy once cry once option, but if you are feeling iffy, use their free trial.

Get ProWritingAid Today

A grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. ProWritingAid is the only platform that offers world-class grammar and style checking combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing.

Let’s Talk About It!

Today I went over two popular editing software tools; ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly. Both get the job done, but at the end of the day, I prefer ProWritingAid. It is more versatile, and fiction writers can easily use it for their novels. Which editing software do you use? Let me know in the comments below!

With love,

Alexis M.

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