Hemingway Strengthens Writing

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Hemingway Strengthens Writing

Writing can be difficult. It can be hard to convey exactly the right message in a way that is simple and enjoyable enough for your audience to play with. At its’ core writing is about making a message resonate with people: for that there are some tools that can help.

One of the niftiest out there may be the Hemingway App, a single-page application that draws on the simplicity Hemingway embodied. Through a set of algorithms that evaluate readability, the Application is a constant reminder to keep things as simple as they can be.

Hemingway App with code(love)

Hemingway App with code(love)

Crafted by a pair of brothers (Ben and Adam Long), the application is something that was created by writers for writers. When the application was founded, Adam was working in marketing, and Ben was working as a copywriter in an ad agency.

They created it because they wanted some objective distance between a writer and their craft. What writers used to achieve by asking others to read their works, Ben and Adam want to make possible through the power of algorithms.

This is important because the Internet opens up countless outlets of expression to everybody, which has enabled content to be shared effortlessly. The amount of writing has exploded. Ben and Adam want to ensure that the quality of what is available matches the quantity.

They’ve made a lot of progress already, without dedicating too much effort.

They’ve made a lot of progress already, without dedicating too much effort. Traction has come from posting in a few writing-focused sub-Reddits, and seeing their app go to the top of Hacker News.

They have a hypothesis that if you solve a real pain, you won’t need to tell your story: others will tell it for you. That has been borne out, time and again, with many people using the application to simplify their story giving Hemingway the plaudits it deserves.

Time and again, the algorithms that power the application itself crank out rules that help simplify writing. The application uses the Automated Readability Index to gauge the clarity of the prose.  Using some detection rules, the application can also point out when you are using too many adverbs, when you are using words that have simpler synonyms, and when you are writing in the passive voice. It seeks to encourage reflection about writing that leads to strong, clear prose that can convey any message effectively.

What the Long brothers have built works, and it works well. They’ve seen it used by a high school special education teacher to help their students, and by somebody who was not a native English speaker to clean up their CV. Writers everywhere swear by it, and already, both Adam and Ben are working on a desktop version, driven by the demand and success they have seen.

It’s an exciting prospect: two talented writers using technology to help improve the calibre of writing online.

It’s an exciting prospect: two talented writers using technology to help improve the calibre of writing online. It’s a daunting goal, but one for which the brothers say they have big plans for. They’re excited. Judging by what they have built so far, everybody else should be as well.


The author

Roger is an entrepreneur who has co-founded a social network entitled ThoughtBasin that looks to connect students looking to make a difference with organizations looking for difference makers. This experience has given him some setbacks, but also some priceless insights. He is deferring admission from the law school of University of Toronto to pursue his dream of creating impact through entrepreneurship, and he is constantly looking to learn and create, and to do more. He contributes to social entrepreneurship projects with his fellow Global Shapers, coordinates a volunteer tutoring site, and on his off time he unwinds by reading, writing, and dancing---sometimes, all at the same time. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rogerh1991.