For reasons known only to The Great Mind of the Universe, the vast majority of writers who contact TVWriter™ volunteering to write for us submit sample articles about online writing resources and apps. Sometimes the articles are about the “7 Best Writing Sites,” or the “5 Best Writing Apps,” or the “Top 10 Best Writing Resources.” Regardless of the specifics, we get ’em. Man, do we get ’em.
Today that ends. Because today, direct from The Expert, an Australian site that bills itself as “Australia’s Leading Editing and Proofreading Company,” we bring you “The Most Complete Collection of Best Writing Stuff on the Web We’ve Seen So Far.” Which means: “Hang onto your interweb writing resource recommendations, newbie TVWriter™ writers. We’ve got that covered.”
Or to put it another way: “Beat this, beeyotches:”
by Brendan Brown
With modern technology advancing at breathtaking speed (computer watches, seriously!), there are online apps and resources that provide a helping hand for just about everything. But what about writing, that old school, pre-Twitter, tricky to master skill?
We did the research to find out how far modern technology can take your writing. And while we couldn’t find anything that will necessarily turn you into a twenty-first century Dickens, we did find some incredibly useful apps and resources for all types of writers and editors.
What is it? You’ve probably heard of Grammar Girl before. She’s insanely popular (this podcast has been downloaded over 7 million times) and for good reason. This podcast offers short one-topic English grammar lessons at no charge to subscribers.
Why we love it: Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer. Highly accessible, short and simple to understand.
2. A novel idea
What is it: A phrase and tablet app for plotting your story and recording any sparks of inspiration. Perfect for writers who want to keep track of and organise their ideas.
Why we love it: It provides an easy-to-navigate interface where you can jot down any information related to your characters, location, scenes and general story ideas. What’s awesome about this app is that it allows you to link ideas, no matter how disparate they are. Great for creativity.
What is it? A text editor based on the style of author Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest writers who have ever lived. It uses an algorithm to find problems in your writing. Long sentences will show as yellow, green indicates passive voice, and red means you’re trying too hard.
Why we love it: Unfortunately, a computer can’t tell you when using the passive voice is okay or not. However, it can point out things you may want to reconsider – such as whether your sentence is too long or whether there might be a smaller, more appropriate word.
What is it? We know how clear, consistent and simple The Economist likes to keep things. Well, this could be the reason why. This style guide gives practical tips on writing concisely and guidance on consistent use of punctuation, abbreviations, and capital letters. It also includes an exhaustive range of reference material you can turn to whenever you get stuck.
Why we love it: A handy guide to make your writing clear and understandable. Its opening phrase “clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought” is the perfect description of what this style guide will do for you. If you are writing an article, report, or even a job application, you will benefit from having this style guide as your companion.
What is it? An app specifically designed for writers in mind. The aim is to provide an environment that is “enjoyable and productive” for writers. You can use it to write, but it’s really designed to improve your writing by allowing you to arrange text and offering advice for what you could change (like the Hemingway app).
Why we love it: It provides some pretty great statistics on the reading ease of your writing, word occurrences, and parts of speech that you’ve used and root word counts. While not perfect, it certainly can be useful.
6. Spice Mobile
What is it? A nifty, little phone and tablet app that takes a thesaurus to the next level. By keying in a phrase or keyword, it will come up with similar phrases used in classic literature.
Why we love it: A perfect app for when you’re unsure of how to say something and need some creative inspiration. There are over 22,000 phrases in the database and if you’re worried about stealing a famous literary icon’s sentence, don’t worry; this app will show you how it has been commonly used before. At least you’ll know if you’re likely to get away with it!