Looking for the best writing apps to help you with your next book? Take a look at some handy tools recommended by the experts at Dean Publishing.
We all write as part of our daily lives but did you know that the average blog post takes more than three hours to put together? And a book can take 6-12 months to write, or more. That’s a lot of time! We know that life gets busy and people have multiple commitments to juggle. That’s why we have a professional team of writers and editors ready to help you. Writing a book is a big job, and it’s worth doing right.
Our team uses a range of digital tools, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, InDesign, Illustrator, Online dictionaries, Plagiarism trackers and Style Manuals, however there are many easy-to-use digital tools that can help you polish your writing in no-time.
Grammarly is a helpful sidekick, giving you pointers when you spell a word incorrectly, use the same terms repeatedly or go overboard with your sentence length. It will also give you suggestions to help you correct your grammar and spelling (based on the style of English you use, e.g. UK or USA).
Recommendations from Grammarly display on screen as you write. You can either work in the app or add a plug-in to your Chrome browser so they show up in your Google Docs. This writing tool has a free version but it’s worth upgrading to a pro account if you’re working on a book of your own.
Editor’s tip: Be mindful of using the correct style of English, many Australian-based authors accidentally end up writing/editing everything in American English using Grammarly’s auto-correcting tools. It’s equally good for helping you write and edit your emails.
Hemingway Editor is another real-time application you can use to improve the quality of your text. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s crisp and bold writing style, the Hemingway app has you writing like a true pro.
Paste your copy into Hemingway and it will immediately give you a score out of 10, then tell you how you can improve. Sentences are highlighted in red if they’re too long or yellow if they could cull a word or two. The app will also help you get used to using the active voice rather than the passive, which makes for better reading.
You can use Hemingway Editor for free via this link: https://hemingwayapp.com/ or download the app for around $20.
Editor’s tip: Make sure you save your writing before and after uploading it into the app. Once you start getting the Hemingway hints, you will no doubt edit your writing within an inch of its life. Save your changes to your computer as the app can get glitchy at times. Oh, it can also be addictive for serious writers.
Novlr or Scrivener
Novlr and Scrivener are writing software platforms built for writers. Although they are different, they both focus on writing books rather than articles and provide one place for you to plot, plan and write.
They allow real-time ‘save’ functions so you don’t lose a word and provide cloud-based access so you can write from any device.
Novlr or Scrivener help you plan your book and have many features (such as proofreading tools) that you can use if you are serious about writing.
Both platforms require a subscription. Novlr is $10 a month or $100 per year and Scrivener ranges between $65 – $77 for MacOS (it doesn’t have an Android version).
Editor’s tip: If you want others to be able to read or edit your work, Novlr doesn’t allow collaboration, it only allows the author to edit their work. Scrivener doesn’t have an Android version like Novlr does and it can be complex to learn at first. Both are great for plotting and planning your book.
The beauty of Google Docs, other than the fact it is free, is being able to collaborate in real-time. You can add comments, track changes, share the document with others and see their changes as they make them.
Google Docs also has the ever-helpful Version History which means nothing is ever lost forever. As a writer, it can be handy to go back and see what you deleted.
Editor’s tip: Great to use for your drafts and first edits, however if you’re collaborating with a team, ensure that no one makes changes after you have downloaded the final version. It’s also more difficult to use for specific referencing and endnotes.
OneLook’s Reverse dictionary and thesaurus
Can’t think of the word?
This tool will save you.
Take the stuff you use to fix the wall with. What’s it called again?
Type ‘material you use to fix the wall’ and this tool gives you ‘plaster’, ‘nails’, ‘stucco’ and 97 other options. You can drill down to verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives. Phew! No more staring into space while you try to remember the exact word you’re looking for. It’s one of the best writing apps you’ll find.
Bookmark this link: https://www.onelook.com/thesaurus/
Editor’s tip: OneLook can help you find that elusive word, but it’s also great for firing up the literary brain if you experience writer’s block. If you’re a wordsmith, you can get lost in OneLook for hours, typing random words and frolicking amongst the word-play.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Our team at Dean Publishing love this philosophy, but we think that doing both is even better.
If you have the desire to write but want help from experienced professionals to turn your ideas into a full-length book, contact our team at: [email protected] or book in a call www.deanpublishing.com/callsusan