Struggling As A Writer: Eye These 8 Online Writing Resources
I don’t know how I spelled anything before spellcheck. Wrong, I guess. I miss Clippy too. Microsoft Word’s application tour guide was a pest and more than a little needy. But, it was nice to have him around once and a while. He had my back.
I needed back up too. Writing is hard work. Writing well takes a ‘rinse and repeat’ campaign of editing and rewriting. Any support you can get can only help. Even if that support is only a cartoon paper clip that is little too eager to help. Writing is lonely. Some of these websites offer ways to interact with real living people over the internet. Sometimes you need some ideas or direction. Sometimes you just need some help.
Well, good news. Help is on the way. The following are some useful websites that have helped me out of some jams. This list is far from exhaustive. But sure to improve your writing.
Grammarly is like Microsoft Word. If the world's best linguists helped develop it. This is the case for Grammarly. This application claims to find over 250 different writing mistakes. In my experience, Grammarly does this well. These errors include grammar, spelling, style and more. Grammarly has free Chrome and Word extensions. And for a fee, Grammarly can help with style issues and do plagiarism checks. Check out Grammarly here.
The super fun to use Hemingway Editor is a great app, it's like Grammarly. It rates your draft for readability. A fifth-grader would find this paragraph easy to read. It also highlights long sentences, adverbs, passive voice issues and better word choices. A Windows or Apple app is available for $14.99. See Hemingway in action here.
Nothing can help an early draft of a novel more than having someone read it and offer opinions. Wattpad and Amazon’s Write On do just that. You can write on these platforms or upload a draft of a chapter and have readers tell you what they think. You can learn a lot from reading other people’s works also. And they appreciate your feedback. These platforms are a great way to build an audience as well. Both services are free. Catch Wattpad here and Write On here.
For $9 a month you can join this more advanced writing community. Litreactor, like Wattpad and Write On, is a service to request feedback from other writers. You can comment on other writer's work as well. This website also offers writing courses and essays from accomplished authors. Other features include a fun gamification system and writing contests. You can earn badges for submitting work, critiquing work, and commenting on articles. With a supportive and active community, Litreactor is sure to advance your writing to a polished, well-written draft. Make some friends on Litreactor here.
Litreactor: Are Writer's Workshops For Everyone
Working on the great American movie script? Working with a partner? Tired of exchanging drafts of your masterpiece with your collaborator? WriterDuet is the solution. This service offers real-time script collaboration on story outlines and scriptwriting. Along with a free version, WriterDuet has a paid service with an offline desktop app. The paid version is priced at $7.99 per month or $139 for a lifetime. You and your writing partner can make Hollywood history on WriterDuet here.
Online Writing Courses
An MFA in Creative Writing is an expensive undertaking. Here are three sites that offer online writing courses on everything from grammar to fleshing out characters to query letters. Gotham Writers Workshop’s website, writingclasses.com, lists an extensive line-up of classes. Writer’s Digest conducts its Writer’s Digest University courses at writersonlineworkshop.com. Visit Writer’s Workshop (thewritersworkshop.net) and writers.com for even more educational choices. Take a writing course and explore the craft.
Gotham Writer's Workshop in Bryant Park
Sometimes Word’s interface can be distracting. Draft, a distraction free writing platform, includes many useful tools to improve your writing. Those tools include version control, collaboration, copy-editing service, and integrated cloud services from dropbox and google drive. This website is more than a writing platform. You can use it to transcribe videos and develop presentations also. You can investigate this service's other features at draftin.com.
Blog Title Generators
Thinking up great blog article subjects and titles wear me down. I’m sure that other bloggers feel the same way. It’s hard to stay consistent and creative. I used these services to title this post. Some that didn’t make it: “Five Reasons You Should Fall In Love With These Writing Resources”, “8 Resources That Every Writer Needs Know”, “What The Amish Can Teach You About Writing Resources”, “Shhhh... Listen! Do You Hear The Sound Of Writing Resources?”, and “8 Ways Writing Resources Will Improve Your Sex Life.” These websites make the process of creating ideas fun: headlines.sharethrough.com, seopressor.com/blog-title-generator, tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/index.php, portent.com/tools/title-maker, and impactbnd.com/blog-title-generator/blogabout.
Keep on writing. The best way to improve your writing is to write. Everyday. Without fail. The resources listed in this article are powerful tools but, they can’t write for you. One more time with feeling, keep on writing.
Don’t neglect old fashioned draft improvement methods. A quality proofread and professionally edited document from a human editor can be the difference between perfection and mere hackery. An editor or just a friend can suggest changes, tell you your article or story is boring or just exclaim, “WTF!” You can use meetup.com or craigslist to find writer’s groups. Community colleges offer writing classes for modest costs. Even though large web developers are writing web articles using algorithms, real folks are the best way to improve your writing. You’re not writing for computers after all.
There are more resources floating around the vast expanse of the internet. The sites on the list are but a few that I like. Give them a try. Your writing will only soar. And keep putzing around the web, digital writing help is out there. I’m a believer.
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