This is a guest article by Michael McPherson. If you want to read a guest article of your own be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
Writing for a living is not as easy as people think. Most persons believe that writers have a great life – just sitting at a desk, filling in blank pages. But the truth is that freelance writers struggle to survive everyday by trying to create new and exciting content. Fortunately, in our informational era, there are a lot of apps designed to help you organize the text. A better visualization of the scenes means less time spent arranging and more time spent writing.
So here are some amazing tools that a freelance writer must know about.
This application (for iPhone only right now unfortunately) is wonderful for those whose inspiration ran dry. With one single spin, writers can find new ideas for plots, characters, illustration concepts, and fiction worlds. Users can even create their own wheel. Let’s say you want to write a new scene but have no clue where to start. After spinning the wheel you get: Unconditional love – small town – harbor. Is this generating any inspiration? Then get to work!
Editor’s Note: When is this coming to Android, anyone?
This is another great tool for ones stuck on a text. As the name says, the site randomly generates different things – entire short stories, plots for any styles, pen names, letters and so on. Users can fill in the forms with their characters’ names, adjectives, places, jobs, passions, and more. Then, with just one click, the plot is created. Also, the website can generate a plot from scratch, by filling in the forms on its own with random ideas. Now, writers don’t have to completely accept the plot. They can just use it for some inspiration.
This tool is good for the ones who create long and complex texts. Scrivener allows you to organize the scenes really effectively. The software has many features. It can be used as a notebook, users can create a board with sticky notes and they can label chunks of text as drafts or anything else. Then, they can draw outlines, edit multiple documents and more. The great thing is that writers don’t have to work on a single long text. They have the possibility of creating separate documents for every scene and then compile them as a whole.
Editing is a hard job for every writer. Also, it is well known that one cannot efficiently proofread his own text. This online tool is very helpful in that matter. Writers just have to paste the text on the website and click edit. The tool will point out difficult to read phrases, number of adverbs, words or phrases that can be simpler, and uses of passive voice that can be avoided. Of course, the user is the one expected to make all the necessary changes, but Hemingway always has useful suggestions.
Editor’s Note: I can’t believe I haven’t tried this tool before. But then, like all such things, it’s good till some extent, can’t completely replace manual work.
Having problems focusing on your text? Then you need something to block all the distractions away. FocusWriter is great at doing this! Users can set a personalized background and create a workspace comfortable for them. The tool is also motivating – writers can set goals and alarms, and view statistics of their work. The typewriting sound effects are wonderful for the inspiration. You can use this program anytime, it works on all operating systems and it doesn’t need installation.
Inspiration strikes at weird hours. And not everyone is carrying around pen and paper. But it is a sure fact that no one leaves the house without the mobile phone. So install Simplenote – created by Automattic – and never forget an idea again. They say it’s the cleanest note-taking app ever, it offers ways to organise notes, and you get full online syncing. Can’t hurt to try it, no?
In conclusion, there are a lot of amazing tools and apps that a writer can use to improve his scenes. One must only be dedicated to this job and put in all the efforts to create better texts.
Michael McPherson is a graduate student from Boston University, freelance blogger and a regular contributor at ScholarAdvisor.com. You may follow him on Twitter: @McPhersy.
Helen Evans says
Very interesting article! Though I’m engaged into publicist kind of writing it was very interesting to read about fiction writing. For me it is much more difficult to write fiction than any other kind. You should have imagination, right words to express the whole range of emotions… It’s tremendous work!
That plot generator site is hilarious. It reminds me of Mad-Libs where you ask someone for random nouns, verbs, and adjectives and insert them in a story. The humor aside, I can see how the plot generator would be useful for thinking outside your own little box (if nothing else).