Celebrated writer for the stage and the small screen, Rod Serling, famously said “Writing is easy. I simply sit at me typewriter, and I bleed.”
That may very well have been how writing was done in Rod Serling’s time – the 1940s – but we’ve come a long way since then.
Today, there are writing tools – software, online platforms, online critique groups – that make writing much easier and more efficient for writers, both professional and amateur.
Today, it is possible to write with little to know shedding of blood. In this short article, we’ll take a look at 3 of the top tools used by writers.
These tools are designed to be used by writers of all kinds – whether you are drafting your next best-selling thriller or looking to improve your content creation skills to better succeed at self-employment.
Scrivener is an app that was specifically designed for longer, more intricate projects. Its strength lies in its ability to keep interconnected parts of a project well organized and easily accessible.
This could be a welcome aid to someone working on a thesis or an academic paper of that type, allowing you to keep relevant research on hand and presented the way you want it.
The app’s corkboard function allows for an easy transition from outline to manuscript.
This is designed for authors working on a big fantasy epic and who need to jump around from chapter to chapter, or someone working on a screenplay who needs easy and seamless transitions from scene to scene.
In addition to the corkboard feature mentioned in the previous paragraph, Scrivener has many useful templates such as screenplays, recipes, comic books, etc.
The app is particularly useful to writers whose organization and work are strongly dependent on the visual.
The app has many customization features. This allows you to organize and display the material you’re working on in the way that best makes sense for you.
Beyond championing the daiquiri and the mojito, Ernest Hemmingway is known for having been a simple, direct, and concise writer.
Therefore, it is no surprise that the editing app that bears his name should strive to help you to make your writing more simple, direct, and concise.
As an editing tool, in addition to highlighting any spelling or grammar errors, it will also point out any of your sentences that are unnecessarily long or overly complex.
Adverbs are shown in blue, so you can choose to remove these often sentence-weakening words if you see too many of them. And the passive voice is shown in green.
The color-coding concept in the app’s design gives writers a visual representation of the strength and directness of their writing.
Additionally, you can see a writing score based on the average grade of the reading level needed to understand the writing.
The writing score is a must for content creators who are looking to target a wide range of reading levels – especially non-native speakers.
Content creation can serve a number of functions from building your brand through blogging and social media to improving your website to help visitors through your sales pipeline.
Content creation is integral when you want to find a job during a recession, depression, or crisis.
You can use Hemmingway as a training tool.
Much like you would use any software designed with gamification principles at their core, you could attempt to write as clean a manuscript as possible (adhering to the Hemmingway principles of no adverbs, no passive voice, and simple and direct sentences) while targeting a reading score of your choosing.
ProWritingAid is a platform that can be used as a Chrome extension or desktop app.
It boasts that it is a “grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor” all in one simple-to-use package.
What’s great about this tool is that you can select the type of editor you want to use among creative writing, business writing, and academic writing.
The software checks your writing for a number of key aspects:
- Grammar and spelling
- Variety of sentence structures used
- Readability grade
- Passive vs active voice
- Emotional tells
They also offer users a variety of resources to help them improve such as articles, videos, and fun quizzes.
What sets ProWritingAid apart from similar editing software is that it aims to serve as a writing mentor as well.
And depending on how you choose to use it, the software can be quite effective at racing its aims.
Much like Scrivener, Ulysses is an all-in-one pro writing software package. It allows writers to organize bigger projects in a simple, more coherent fashion.
It provides tools aimed to help writers eliminate distractions and hit their word count targets.
In addition to editing and proofreading functions, Ulysses is quite useful in formatting and transforming your finished draft into a visually appealing PDF, eBook, or blog post – among other options.
With Ulysses, integration with WordPress or Medium is simple and effective. Writers who publish on these platforms find this feature especially useful.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re working on the next great award-winning novel, running a blog, or turning out screenplays, the chances are high that you could benefit from being better organized with your work, having a competent and precise editor on hand 24/7, and having a meticulous proofreader constantly checking your writing.
This is exactly what these tools are designed to offer.
You can still sit at your typewriter and bleed (or your laptop), but now you can bleed and have perfect grammar and spelling while you have your work edited and proofread as you write, too.