Using Flesch-Kincaid scores to guide edits

Today I took my recently-completed second draft of THE SEEDKEEPER and ran it through Word’s Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

I’m sure it is the bluntest of blunt instruments, and those more learned than me are as we speak rolling their collective eyes, but curiosity won out. 

Here’s what I found:

Flesch Reading Ease = 78.5

Flesch Kincaid Grade Level = 4.8

Wikipedia, in all its wisdom, was able to translate those numbers into meaningful information. 

Apparently a Reading Ease rating of 90-100 is easily understandable by an 11 year-old student. A rating of 60-70 is understandable by 13-15 year-old students. So my manuscript is somewhere in between. 

Also, its grade level rating would correspond to a student aged 9-11.

Since I’m aiming at the 9-12 year old demographic, I think I’ve got a little bit of simplifying to do in draft three. Not much, but a little. 

I’d love to hear if anyone has any thoughts on the subject!


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