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Thread: Useful tools for writers

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    Useful tools for writers

    During a discussion a couple of days ago, somebody suggested that we should have a thread with useful links and software for writers. Since I couldn't find an existing one, I figured I'd get one started.

    Personally I use OneNote to just write things (since it syncs between all my devices, both mobile and computers) and then OpenOffice to do the editing afterwards, but other really useful programs are:

    Wordweb is my go-to thesaurus (every writer's favourite dinosaur). It can sometimes be a bit fidgety when you're using the hotkeys to look up words, but it's free and can be run from a flash drive.

    The Everchanging Book of Names is quite useful when you need to come up with names that at least sound like they're based on a different language. The program is shareware and has a somewhat limited functionality. (You can only generate five names before you have to reload the language you're using. This only takes a second so it's not that much of a hassle.)
    Last edited by Gummybear; 02-22-2017 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Fixed typos and grammar
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    Abysswalker TheOneWhoSees's Avatar
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    For this I'll just quote what I wrote in the Halloween contest thread, so that new writers don't have to stumble across it in an unrelated topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneWhoSees View Post
    I'm a bit late but on the topic of organization and word processors I would recommend yWriter5 or 6 (they're functionally the same but 6 works better on Windows 8 and later, 5 is working really well on WINE so far).

    It has all of the scene/character/location/item/note organization as the others and it's a pretty good word processor as well (for writing, it's limited in the aesthetic department so I wouldn't use it for design work). I've used it on and off over the years -- mostly because it's rare for me to write anything long enough to need it.

    It has the benefit of being made by a published author who also happens to be a programming veteran. It essentially treats every story as a Project file you'd find in Sublime Text.

    It's got a lot of features and it's free so I'd recommend giving it a try. It's monolithic at first but it has everything I've ever needed.
    As an added note you'll need to install the spell checker manually (the spell checker highlights errors, it doesn't fix them, you may want to use the aforementioned WordWeb or LibreOffice for editing).
    Last edited by TheOneWhoSees; 02-22-2017 at 11:50 PM.
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Hey I made a link dump article, care if I add some of these?
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    Abysswalker TheOneWhoSees's Avatar
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Quote Originally Posted by eatenbywo1ves View Post
    Hey I made a link dump article, care if I add some of these?
    May as well, there's no good reason not to advertise useful tools.
    Last edited by TheOneWhoSees; 02-24-2017 at 01:02 PM.
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneWhoSees View Post
    May as well, there's no good reason not to advertise useful tools.
    I can think of one good reason for the software ones. There's a separate article for those being worked on right now
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Hey guys. So some time ago, i came across this thing called Pixar's 22 rules of storytelling, which aparently is a collection of guidelines the Pixar crew uses for writing their stories, which are usualy briliant. BTW, if anyone cares, i saw it on the SuperCarlinBrothers Youtube Channel, definitly worth checking out. This is of course not realy a tool, but these are great tips for storytelling.
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Quote Originally Posted by AmonBisby View Post
    Hey guys. So some time ago, i came across this thing called Pixar's 22 rules of storytelling, which aparently is a collection of guidelines the Pixar crew uses for writing their stories, which are usualy briliant. BTW, if anyone cares, i saw it on the SuperCarlinBrothers Youtube Channel, definitly worth checking out. This is of course not realy a tool, but these are great tips for storytelling.
    IMG_0315.JPG
    I used this in my CW classes for several years; it's actually excellent.

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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    I use Scrivener. I have an iPad so I have the iOS version as well. I used to use the Linux version of Scrivener, but it is not getting developed as fast and I can't read between the different platforms. I use the Windows version under Wine and the Mac version on the iMac. It's actually great, even as a Linux user.

  9. #9

    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Quote Originally Posted by Gummybear View Post
    During a discussion a couple of days ago, somebody suggested that we should have a thread with useful links and software for writers. Since I couldn't find an existing one, I figured I'd get one started.

    Personally I use OneNote to just write things (since it syncs between all my devices, both mobile and computers) and then OpenOffice to do the editing afterwards, but other really useful programs are:

    Wordweb is my go-to thesaurus (every writer's favourite dinosaur). It can sometimes be a bit fidgety when you're using the hotkeys to look up words, but it's free and can be run from a flash drive.

    The Everchanging Book of Names is quite useful when you need to come up with names that at least sound like they're based on a different language. The program is shareware and has a somewhat limited functionality. (You can only generate five names before you have to reload the language you're using. This only takes a second so it's not that much of a hassle.)
    Thanks for the links. I'm using OpenOffice as well, great tool. The Everchanging Book of Names is new to me, but it sounds like fun.

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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Lately, I've been using Grammarly and Hemingway for editing. The former handles spelling and grammar whilst the latter judges readability.

    Aside from basic spelling and grammar Grammarly also lets you find definitions and synonyms for highlighted words.

    I haven't tried out the paid version Grammarly yet. I'm not sure if I ever will but there are some things it won't correct in the free version (it doesn't outright say what).

    Hemingway highlights adverbs, wordy sentences, complex words, and passive voice. It helps you find more readable and stronger alternatives to these. You are free to ignore its suggestions as their main goal is to get you to think about your readability rather than enforce a standard way of writing.

    Hemingway is free to use online, the paid desktop version is identical but the online version lacks a save or export feature (so you'll need a separate word processor to write in).
    Last edited by TheOneWhoSees; 07-09-2017 at 11:39 PM.
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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Thank you, TheOneWhoSees. That Hemingway editor is full of neat insight!

  12. #12

    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Thanks for these guys. Just what I've been looking for. I use google docs for writing and that's it. So these links are brilliant. Thanks.

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    Re: Useful tools for writers

    Speaking of which, there are a ton of free Office-style suites available out there for those of you who prefer to work offline.

    LibreOffice
    OpenOffice
    WPS Office
    SoftMaker FreeOffice

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