Getting started on your novel, finishing your edits or writing a decent article can be tricky. When faced with a blank page, it’s easy to lose heart and end up pottering unproductively around the web or getting up to make that tenth cuppa.
But there are all sorts of writing apps and online tools to make things easier for us. Here are some that I like.
A dictionary app is a must. The Merriem Webster site is a gem – but it’s easy to get lost in the brilliant videos and definitions. You could use their app but probably best to go for a British English version – the Oxford Dictionary of English is a good one.
Word of the day is a great way to improve your vocabulary. Dictionary.com will send you one via email.
The Brainstormer may not have a politically correct name but it’s a brilliant way of getting some inspiration. Spin the wheel to randomly choose plots, subjects, settings and styles and spark some new ideas. Lists for Writers does something similar in a more colourful and less spinny way.
For encouragement, you can’t get much better than writing apps, such as Write or Die. It will reward or punish you for meeting, or failing to meet, your target word count. Punishments can range from annoying noises to actually deleting your work – there’s nothing that will keep you focused better than the risk of it all disappearing – although I challenge you not to disable that mode after it’s happened once.
Planning and Management
Writing apps aside, if you’re submitting your writing to different editors, competitions or publications Story Tracker helps you stay on top of where it all is, acceptances, rejections and how much you are owed.
For writing itself I use Scrivener. It helps you structure, edit and write long documents and I find that having a separate programme purely for writing means when I open it, I’m instantly in writing mode.