Writing is hard. Even though I love writing fiction, I still struggle with it from time to time. Once I get started, that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing from there either. I know that in the end, it will all be worth it, but it’s still a rough journey to get there.
Luckily, there are a lot of helpful tools to help writers in every stage of writing, whether it’s gathering ideas, writing the first draft, or editing. Of course, it would be nearly impossible to list every single one of them, but there are a few tools that I’ve found extremely useful for my writing. This week, I want to share some of the things that are in my “Writer’s Toolbox.”
Click below to read more!
1) Dictionary & Thesaurus
It’s pretty obvious that writers need words. Unfortunately, using the same words to describe things can get repetitive after a while. That’s where the thesaurus comes in. I know not everyone has a full dictionary/thesaurus on their bookshelf, but lucky for you, there are a lot of great alternatives. My personal favorite is the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary and Thesaurus, but there are others out there too. If you’re looking for a more mobile option, I’ve found that Multisaurus is a good free app, and it’s available on both iTunes and Google Play.
I’ve noticed that writers come in one of two varieties – there are those that love having music to listen to while writing, and those who prefer silence. If you’re part of the first group, then this is for you. SoundFuel has a list of playlists with soundtrack-style music to help your writing. Whether you’re writing an energetic chase scene or a something quiet and thoughtful, SoundFuel has a playlist for that.
Alternatively, if you like the coffee shop atmosphere but don’t feel like paying for an overpriced venti latte something-or-other, Coffitivity has a looping stream of those Starbucks-style sounds to fuel your creativity.
3) Writer Lists
“Writer Lists” is an app I bought a while back, and I’m so glad I did. It’s available on both iTunes and Google Play, and while it does cost $2.99, I think it’s well worth the price. “Writer Lists” is pretty self-explanatory -it’s a collection of lists for writers. It covers a variety of topics, from characters to plot to setting, and within those topics are multiple sub-lists that cover even more subjects. Whether you need to come up with a superpower for your main character or a city in South America for your story to take place, Writer Lists can help you get started.
4) Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor is a free online app that helps you edit your writing for clarity. When you paste your writing into the app, it will pick out and highlight complex sentences, adverbs, phrases that use passive voice, and complicated words that have simpler alternatives. Sometimes you’ll have to take its suggestions with a grain of salt, but I’ve found it very helpful. You can also use it for essays & other writing!
5) Real Life
Writing is a solitary task. Sure, you might work with beta-readers or editors, but most of the actual writing is done alone. However, that doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself in a closet until your novel is completely finished. Sometimes, inspiration can come from real life, so don’t be afraid to step back from the computer or notebook for a little bit. I can’t even begin to tell you about all of the different ideas I’ve gotten from real life! It’s inspired more than one story, that’s for sure.
Now that you’ve seen what’s in my “toolbox,” it’s your turn! Writers, what tools do you use? Let me know in the comments below!
By the way, I’ve updated the “About Me” section of my blog, if you’d like to check it out!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you next Friday!