Category Archives: Tools for Writers

7 Online Tools for Improving Your Writing

toolsHere are seven simple online tools to help you become a better writer. All are free and don’t require a download.

  1. Word Counter

Maybe you have a habit of overusing a word or words. Word Counter can help. Simply enter your text, and Word Counter will show repeated words.

  1. Cliché Finder

There_s nothing inherently wrong with clichés. They_re just . . . tired. Stale. Overused.Overused clichés are part of our everyday speech; so common that they slip into your writing unnoticed. Cliché Finder will identify clichés. To use this tool, delete the text in the box and replace it with your own.

The Oxford Dictionary blog offers an excellent article on avoiding clichés. Find it HERE.

  1. Rhyme Zone

If you write for children or if you’re a poet or songwriter, Rhyme Zone suggests rhyming words for your text. Enter a word to find a list of its rhymes. The drop down menu offers many additional options like finding lyrics and poems, similar sounding words, related words . . .

  1. Capitalize My Title

Paste in the title for a chapter or blog post, and Capitalize My Title will automatically correct any capitalization errors. You can choose from APA, Chicago, AP, or MLA styles.

  1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

This tool turns any subject you enter into an idea generating title. For example, say you want to write a blog post on the subject of dinner. Type in the word “dinner” and the idea generator suggests titles to direct your content: “Unbelievable Dinner Success Stories”, ”Why Dinner Beats Peanut Butter on Pancakes”, “How Dinner Made Me a Better Person.” Have fun playing with this one!

  1. The Hemingway App

46062-Ernest-Hemingway-Quote-All-you-have-to-do-is-write-one-trueThis tool has so much to offer! It analyzes your writing for adverbs and weak phrases, complex words, passive voice, and hard to read sentences. The Hemingway App also shows word count and readability. To use, delete the text under the header and enter your own. A desktop app is also available.

  1. Read-O-Meter

According to Time Magazine, in this fast paced age of technology humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish! Is your article or blog post too long to hold your readers’ attention? Paste in your text, and Read-O-Meter will estimate the reading time.

Check out THESE attention span statistics from StatisticBrain.Com

Do you have a favorite online writing tool? Share it in a comment.

_____________________________

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles
and inspiration for writers.

august2016wordpress
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

6 Comments

Filed under Tools for Writers, Uncategorized

How NOT to Dread Deadlines

487971b7e0dc6161fd791c713acaa3fc

Why are deadlines important? Because publishing is a schedule based business. When a book receives a publication date, everything moves toward the date when that book goes to the printer. If the book isn’t ready, printing presses stand idle, and time is money.

Many authors feel enslaved by deadlines. But what if how they think about them could change that? On his leadership web page, author and motivational speaker, Stan Toler, offers five positive ways to perceive deadlines. He says:

Deadlines are friends. You created them to assist you. Treat them with respect and they will be loyal to you. Ignore them and they may haunt you. They are not there to harass you; they are there to help you. Like a friend, you check on them, give them space, and remember their birthdates and anniversaries.

Deadlines are property lines. They are the imaginary spaces where your ideas and ideals live. As property lines, they need to be detailed, recorded, and guarded from intruders—such as time-wasters or attention-grabbers.

Deadlines are destination points. Like entering a travel location on your GPS, you create a deadline so you can journey toward it. There may be “points of interest” along the way, but their destination is your end goal.

Deadlines are managers. You gave them permission to keep you on the straight and narrow. In return, they give you friendly reminders of neglect, lack of focus, or impulsive behavior. You don’t need to fear them. They are not immovable. And if they are not flexible, they may need to be replaced.

Deadlines are volunteer staff. You appointed them, not vice versa. They are the stagehands, but you run the show. They embody your vision. You are only bound to them by loyalty. They have no overruling authority.”

Incorporate Toler’s suggestions when you write and revise. Remember–you control deadlines; they don’t control you. Meeting, even exceeding, them is a sure way to forge a great relationship with your publisher.

_____________________________

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles
and inspiration for writers.

august2016wordpress
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Deadlines, The Business of Writing, Tools for Writers, Uncategorized, working with editors, Writer's responsibility

Lost in a Sea of Lists

I recently downloaded onto my Kindle Bryn Donovan’s book, “Master Lists for Writers”. Since then, I’ve been blissfully lost in her sea of lists!

51bHYN1SlyL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_From the description on Amazon.com:

In this book, you’ll find: • lists of phrases for describing facial expressions, body language, gestures, physical appearance, and emotions • 175 master plot ideas, including romance, high-stakes, family, and workplace stories • lists of words for writing action scenes and love scenes • inspiration for figuring out character traits and quirks, backstories, occupations, motivations, and goals • lists for describing settings and writing dialogue • lists of good character names for contemporary stories…plus medieval England, Regency England, Wild West, and WWII settings • and more!

Trust me. Once you begin reading her book you won’t be able to put it down. And I’ve found a few other lists for you to peruse.

• Shaun Usher’s “Lists of Note”  A collection of notable lists including: 20 Rules for Writing Detective Stories, Orwell’s Rules for Writers, Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Things to Worry About. Usher’s site isn’t updated as often as I’d like, but still, there is plenty of content to keep you interested. “Lists of Note” is also available as a book.

• Listverse is a huge database of lists on almost any topic you can image. Browse the lists and you will find plenty to write about. The site is updated daily.

Listverse_full-width_LeftLists are grouped into six categories:

BIZARRE
ENTERTAINMENT
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
LIFESTYLE
SCIENCE
SOCIETY

You can also search the site by topic.

A few lists from the past week:

10 Facts About The Talking Knots Of Ancient Peru
10 Fascinating Facts About The Human Skeleton
Top 10 Bizarre British Ceremonies

• Finally, before you drown in a sea of lists, sail on over to the Encyclopedia Britannica site and ponder their list of lists. Similar to Listverse, these are grouped by category:

Encyclopaedia-Britannica-1HISTORY
MUSIC
ANIMALS
GEOGRAPHY
LITERATURE & LANGUAGE
ARTS & CULTURE
HEALTH & MEDICINE
SCIENCE
SPORTS & RECREATION
FOOD
POP CULTURE
SOCIETY
PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION
TECHNOLOGY
EDITOR PICKS

And, like Listverse, the database is mammoth. Here are a few of the Editor’s Picks:

6 Fictional Languages You Can Really Learn
Top 10 Must-“Visit” Fictional Lands
9 Mysterious Disappearances of People Other Than Amelia Earhart

Lists, lists, lists. Essential additions to a writer’s toolbox. Use them to brainstorm story ideas, plots, character traits and more . . . the list is endless!

_____________________________

Word2

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers.
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun, Lists for Writers, Tools for Writers, Uncategorized