Alternate Writing Resources
There’s Always Help Available
I think all writers (me included) have a tendency to complicate things overthinking what, how, why and where we write instead of just picking up a pen or tapping on a keyboard. We cogitate over so many variables with our already overstimulated minds (I blame coffee) that we sometimes neglect the simple things. When all is said and done, we only need one writing app be it Scrivener, Microsoft Word, Pages, Storyist, Google Docs etcetera, etcetera, often overlooking the more statutory writing resources available. Here is a collection of apps and sites that I hope might genuinely (damn, an adverb) assist fledgling writers. The more experienced, too.
There are many good dictionaries online and as apps but Dictionary.com is a double-barrelled bonus. Available as both a website and dual app, inclusive of thesaurus.com, it is essential to a writers arsenal.Such a useful fallback when one forgets how to spoll, spall, spell, a writer should never be ashamed to check the spelling or correct usage of a word.
How many syllables, spelled as one word, is a sight with one simple purpose to count the syllables we might be unsure of or run out of fingers for. A very good aid for those who write poetry such as haiku, shadorma, tanka, etcetera (four syllables) and need to be sure of their syllable counts.
In previous posts, I’ve talked of my love for Prowritingaid and Grammarly. However, there is another kid on the block which is more app-like in presentation. Available on the web or as a download, Hemingway presents the writer with a canvas to write on and then have checked for possible improvements. I would recommend trying this out in the same way I would my favoured two. If such devices/resources correct or help to correct even one mistake, they’re worth using.
Have you always wanted to add a little ’un petit quelque chose de plus’ a little something extra (according to the item in question). Google translate is available like all Google products on the web, but also as an app. It’s free, so give it a spin. Authenticity is priceless in text.
We all know it. Or do we? I dare anyone to admit not knowing Wikipedia or even having visited it for one reason or another. But if you take it for a real spin (I use a lovely app called V for Wikipedia) you can soon use it for so much more than you’d think: colour options; geographical exactness; history; people, and the list goes on. Bookmark it and take it for a ride, it’ll soon eat up the hours.
Text-compare.com opens as a dual pane editor for you to paste two lots of text in. The site will compare them and highlight the differences, What use is that? I hear you shout. Well, many apps these days save version histories (especially Dropbox and iCloud writing apps,) which you can browse. You might not even remember some of the changes but looking at them might make you think ooh, that was good! Being able to compare two side by side won’t be an everyday occurrence but it might help every now and again.
Last of all, something different.
Alternativeto.net. If you’re looking for software but don’t know where to start, or perhaps only know of one option, try this site. If you type an app or software name into its search bar, it will list more alternatives than your can shake a stick at. These can be filtered to your heart’s content.
As always, I hope something here assists your written work.
Thank you for reading
Richard M. Ankers
Author of The Eternals Series
Into Eternity (Very Soon!)