Author Topic: Recommended Software for Writing  (Read 9186 times)

Offline Cathy C

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6592
  • Procrastination is the thief of time.
Recommended Software for Writing
« on: November 10, 2006, 04:34:54 PM »
This site is for any GREAT piece of Software you might have come across that helps with your writing.

If you've tried it - and found that it really does help then please, let everyone else know.

Here's two, recommended by Ann:


Quote
I bought Stylewriter from:  http://www.writerssupercenter.com/stylewriter/

It's described as the Plain English Editor.  It's not a spelling and grammar checker, but checks for style and usage.  It is to help writers edit and polish their writing into clear and concise English.  For example, there are pre-set sentence lengths for different types of writing (and you can also set your own).  It will highlight long sentences, so you can shorten them (if you wish).  It highlights complex words and suggests alternatives; and jargon; even points out when you're being sexist! It spots constructions like 'very badly' and tells you not to do that! When you write, for example, 'it's' or 'its', it reminds you of the difference between the two, in case you are using the wrong one. I bought it because I was embarrassed by my writing style.  It was convoluted, flowery, preachy and pompous!  And I didn't know what to do about it.  My writing's still rubbish, but it's less so, (I hope)!  And I'll even start a sentence with 'and' when a conversational approach is appropriate!  I like that it forces me to look at sentence length, so that I can vary it and therefore help make the writing more lively.  (I recall someone once criticising a piece of my writing in which there was an incredibly long sentence, the immaculate grammatical construction of which I was very proud! "The sentence works", she commented, "but so does the reader!" Was I crushed!  While it might seem suitable only for non-fiction writing, I use it for fiction too.   When 'it' points out suspect word usage, in say, a scene, it makes me look not only at the words, but back up and ponder why I'm writing the scene and to try and make it do what I want it to.  It's almost like a writing companion!  It's not cheap to buy, but does come with a lot of other software, such as 'Essayist'. 
In which case, I've edited the typos out of my posting!  There's another 'program' I use that I wanted to recommend.  I didn't know where it should go.  I use it about every 10 minutes!  I got it originally as a free version, found it so invaluable that I upgraded to a more sophisticated one, though it's very simple.  I don't think it's free anymore but only costs $19.19.   I find it indispensable.  It's Digital Post-it Notes.


And

Quote
Digital Post-it Notes. http://www.3m.com/us/office/postit/digital/digital_notes.html


Maybe you already use them of course.  My husband noticed one day that my computer screen was covered with yellow post-it notes and mentioned he had a digital version. I was hooked on them within a week and bought the full program.  You can make memoboards - up to 50 I think - with tabs, choose the colours of the notes and the tabs.  I currently have 15 different memoboards.  For instance, I have a memoboard called 'Writing' with one tab called Outlets, another tab for Quotes, another for Ideas.  There are a couple of tabs for a story and an essay currently in progress.  It's easy to bring up a note - just click on the icon on the desktop and a blank one arrives.  You can transfer notes to memoboards from the desktop, or add directly to the memoboard and paste them into docs.  And unlike 'real' post-its, which can only hold short notes, you can paste-in large quantities of text. Brilliant for plagiarising!  (I'm joking). I find it useful when I copy text (or images), or HTML code, to paste it onto a note.  That way, it isn't invisible somewhere in cyberspace, so when the cat or my husband (or both) puke up on my socks to get my attention,   I don't lose the text in losing track of what I was doing.   
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 05:14:58 AM by Nick »
Novel: Where There’s Smoke. Published by Fireborn publishing http://amzn.to/2tZKNCn

Short Story: A Killer Week Published by Bridge House http://amzn.to/2rhLVAX

Offline bry

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • The writing life of a manic depressive
Re: Recommended Software
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 09:51:10 AM »
Thanks for the info. I have downloaded the 30 day trial of post it notes. It is priced at $19.95 for the full version.
Blog: The writing life of a manic depressive

http://bry-thewriterslife.blogspot.com

Offline BrigidMary

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
    • Visit my website!
Google Docs -- For those of you who need to backup
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 12:30:43 PM »
I was reading the board about a broken USB stick, and I realized that I've been using a tool that a lot of people might not know about. Google Docs is a new feature in Google (you can access it by going to docs.google.com) for anyone with an internet connection. You can upload your stories, and they are accessible from any computer. I'm not too keen about it as a word processor (very basic), but every time I add a few pages, I upload them to Google Docs. (It's also nice because I can edit on my lunch hour). I even have a file on there for ideas I have when I'm not at home. You can only upload 500kb at a time, so I had to break my novel-in-progress (at 92000 words) into two pieces, but it's still a wonderful feature. Best of all, it's free!!

You can also share and collaborate documents with other people, but I don't plan on using that feature. It might be useful for those of you who have "writing buddies."

I'd love to know if anyone else uses a similar "web" tool to save their work.

Good luck, all!
Brigid Kemmerer
Author of <b><i>Storm: The Elemental Series</i></b>, coming April 24, 2012 from K Teen (Kensington Books)

Offline bry

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • The writing life of a manic depressive
Re: Google Docs -- For those of you who need to backup
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 01:23:04 PM »
Thanks for the info BridgitMary, I have signed up, it should be a very useful backup feature.
Blog: The writing life of a manic depressive

http://bry-thewriterslife.blogspot.com

Offline bry

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • The writing life of a manic depressive
Re: Sticky: Recommended Software
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 04:03:12 PM »
I have found some software called"Writers blocks 3". It is really useful for gathering all the information for a book in one place. The information is stored in blocks of information and you can enter any ammount of text into each block. These could be pages, chapters or anything you choose.There is a word processor within the program and it is simple to transfer block information into the word processor which you can display as a split screen.Blocks one side, word processor on the other.It can be used to organise any writing projects into easily sorted and colour coded blocks. Again this is not a cheap programme, it costs $149 for cd or download. The best thing is there is a free 30 day trial of the full programme.
You can access the download at: http://www.writersblocks.com/
Blog: The writing life of a manic depressive

http://bry-thewriterslife.blogspot.com

Offline Tiggywinkle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • Tiggywinkle's Diary
Re: Google Docs -- For those of you who need to backup
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 11:54:08 AM »
I was reading the board about a broken USB stick, and I realized that I've been using a tool that a lot of people might not know about. Google Docs is a new feature in Google (you can access it by going to docs.google.com) for anyone with an internet connection. You can upload your stories, and they are accessible from any computer. I'm not too keen about it as a word processor (very basic), but every time I add a few pages, I upload them to Google Docs. (



Hi BrigidMary - I found out about google docs recently and considered uploading work onto it but I am neurotic about security and wonder whether the pages can be accessed.  I don't know why I am neurotic about security because I'm sure no-one would bother to copy my work as it isn't of a high enough standard to warrant the effort but still that's me - a worrier!

Does anyone else have any views on web based word processors and security?


Offline jeff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • A Moonbeam Shines On Viroconium
Re: Recommended Software for Writing
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 01:35:42 PM »
Wilderness Mapper is an application for drawing maps based on a hexagon grid.

You can download it as freeware from: www.mythosa.net/Utils.htm

I was going to post an example map that I've made but it's more than the 250kb limit for attachments. I might post a cut down version later.
.

Offline jeff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • A Moonbeam Shines On Viroconium
Re: Recommended Software for Writing
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 01:39:13 PM »
I've just tried following the link i posted above and got an error message.

I think it should be : www.mythosa.net/Utils.htm#Other
.

Offline jeff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • A Moonbeam Shines On Viroconium
Re: Recommended Software for Writing
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 01:42:27 PM »
DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just follow either of the above links then choice Other from the list on the left hand side of the page.

.

Offline jeff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • A Moonbeam Shines On Viroconium
Re: Recommended Software for Writing
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2007, 01:16:48 PM »
Here (assuming I've done the linking correctly) is an example of a map that I created using Wilderness Mapper.
.