8 Pieces of Useful Technology for Writers
April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Technology won’t dish out ideas for your plots, but it will take care of the formatting so that you have all the time in the world to chew your fingernails or tear your hair over the twists and turns in your story. But you have the ideas, can wield the pen (the keyboard rather), and have a jolly good time playing with the language! So you probably need technology to take care of the sundry other stuff and let you get on with what you do best, writing. And so shall it!
Given below are eight absolutely essential technology tools that serious writers just cannot do without to create that perfect script, an awesome story, or an impressive article.
1. Natural Reader
You often read your work aloud after you finish writing. Most writers will agree that it is the best way to assess a written piece, especially to spot weak writing — lines that do not make sense or sentences that do not sound right. Natural Reader is a free piece of software that does the reading for you. Leveraging text-to-speech technology, it lets you sit back, close your eyes and have your written piece read out to you.
Contrary to popular notions, a writer does not spend his days sprawled on a haystack or seated beneath a tree with only a notebook and a pen letting his mind wander. There are likely quite a few browser windows open on his computer, along with sundry bookmarks and virtual post-it notes. Heaven help the writer who has not indexed all these various chunks of information! Thankfully, Tinderbox comes along as the savior.
This extremely ingenious piece of software lets you club all your various pieces of notes, web links, and research material according to specific topics. It is like having color-coded index cards for each piece of information that lets you spot related pieces of data in a jiffy. Tinderbox is an extremely “visual” content management system that is just ideal for writers who want to have easy access to all their notes and research material so they have more time to spend in their worlds of words and imagination.
3. Final Draft
It’s not easy to achieve the peculiarities of a film script layout with a typical word processing program. Using something like Word is an easy way to find yourself with a formatting nightmare on your hands. Luckily, there’s Final Draft. This software is specifically crafted for the needs of script writers who can now concentrate on crafting stories instead of formatting text. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the Final Draft AV also allows documentary script writers to effortlessly format their written piece in the simultaneous video-and-audio layout.
What does a writer’s desk look like? There are books, files and folders that hold reams of research material, almost countless index cards, and an equally bewildering number of post-its. His computer desktop is no less cluttered either and is an equally confusing maze to navigate. Enter Scrivener and poof! All chaos vanishes and order is restored.
Scrivener is a nifty tool that lets you organize all the seemingly disparate and scattered texts, notes, post-its, markers, and comments related to a specific paragraph, sentence, or even a word in your story or article into a readily visible pile. You can thus focus on a particular section of your story or article, and yet have all the reference material related to this section at your fingertips.
5. Cliché Cleaner
“Avoid clichés like the plague”. This is an often-repeated advice to writers, and the reason why Cliché Cleaner scans your written matter for commonly used figures of speech, repeated phrases, and of course, clichés and point these to you and that too, according to the sensitivity parameters you assign. It of course, doesn’t go about fixing anything, but merely having a tool to instantly scan hundreds of pages for you saves you loads of time and effort.
6 . NEO
Ask any writer and he is sure to tell you that inspiration and plot ideas come everywhere but when he is sitting at his desk with the word processor open in front him. So, the NEO is the perfect hardware for writers who would love to scribble a few lines or even entire pages when riding the subway or waiting at the bus stop. NEO is designed to balance perfectly on your lap turn on instantly, and let you type for hours on end. NEO is just a keyboard with a display. But what more do you need to just write!
7. Writers Blocks
While this piece of software cannot help you prevent the dreaded writer’s block, it can definitely help you organize your sundry ideas into immensely manageable and readily visible “blocks.” This is an ideal tool for book writers who need to keep in mind and keep track of all the ideas that strike them from time to time, and the bits of information they unearth regularly so that they may call up on it when needed.
There is probably no writer in the world who doesn’t dream of being able to write in a serene world free of distractions. The Writemonkey software gives you just what you have been dreaming of, in the virtual world that is. The software provides a simple text-only interface where you can write without being disturbed by mails, pop-ups, and chat messages. Writing just got more Zen!
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