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Software For Writers

Updated on June 26, 2011

Even the most talented writers need a little help now and then, when it is time to polish and perfect their work. Typically, that is the job of an editor, but what if you don’t have an editor? What if you are just getting started writing; have tons of ideas and no system for organizing your potential masterpiece?

Fear not my creatively disorganized friend!

There are many resources available for just this purpose. The following are just a few software products that may be exactly what you need to boost your writing to the next level.

White Smoke

You may not believe me when I tell you – there is software designed to improve your writing, which actually works. It doesn’t just clean up your spelling and fix your grammar errors. It will help you improve your choice of words by giving you alternatives and allowing you to quickly replace a dull word with a strong word that conveys your meaning with clarity. This is thanks to White Smoke’s context-sensitive thesaurus that is driven by an artificial intelligence system. You need to be connected to the Internet when using White Smoke, as it automatically sends your text to White Smoke’s AI system.

Additionally, it provides the user with an advanced dictionary and translator, a proofreading tool and over 600 writing templates.

White Smoke makes a software solution for every writer. Word enrichment depends on context, so there are various categories to choose from, such as: business, legal, medical, creative writing and general writing. Prices range from $79.95 to $125, but look out for the occasional sale price.

Writers Blocks

This is an excellent aid for the organizationally challenged writer, swimming in sticky notes both on their computer and physical desktops. They call this an idea processor because it aims to organize your many ideas and allow you to view them in blocks that can be rearranged by dragging and dropping them into place. This is extremely useful for organizing and structuring bits and pieces for a large project, like a book, allowing you to see the big picture. Prices start at $119

Style Writer

Style writer aims to polish your work like a professional by clarifying style and language problems in your text. It is more powerful than a grammar checker and helps you learn to write in a clear and uncluttered fashion, enabling your readers to get the point, and get it quickly. Prices start at $150

Wizard of Words

This software will create the structural layout of your book, article, dissertation or query letter, or any of the many daily projects of a writer. Prices start at $75

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    • profile image

      Edit 

      7 years ago

      I used this software that really helped me. It’s called Ginger software. The automatic text correction feature they have is real easy to use and is always right on the money. It also has some other nifty features such as text to speech which has American and British accent options. I am having a blast listening to my own texts as if they are read by a BBC announcer.

      http://www.gingersoftware.com/

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks grammarchecker - I appreciate the update!

    • grammarchecker profile image

      grammarchecker 

      8 years ago from NJ, USA

      I just received an email from WhiteSmoke about WhiteSmoke T-Gen., the newest version of Whitesmoke that will be launched soon. You can find more detail of this version from http://www.whitesmoke.com/lp/tgen.php

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Sheena, I bet you don't need whitesmoke that much, but it can be helpful in polishing your writing! Do check out all recent reviews of it before buying - they have some issues with thier service department.

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I think, I badly need white smoke. Interesting and very helful article. thanks very much.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi MissJamie! Please research the current edition of White Smoke carefully and read more reviews of it! I have heard many recent complaints regarding their support (and have trouble with their customer service myself). I'm going to update this hub soon with the latest info.

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 

      9 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      White Smoke sounds like a dream come true:) I'm always paranoid because my vocabulary isn't as extensive as I'd like it to be, awesome:) Thanks so much for sharing, awesome hub!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Katherine, thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I have to admit that I have recently had some trouble with White Smoke myself, and have found their customer service to be absolutely useless. I do hope that you are able to get a refund from them. I think I will have to re-write this hub and highlight a different software company that is more attentive to their customers.

    • profile image

      Katherine Wood 

      9 years ago

      I'd take a good look at the 2009 program. I've had nothing but problems and the Customer Support/ Technical support are just awful. First they didn't let me download the version I purchased- the Creative Writing version. I had to use the General Version. After four days it just shut down. Every time I tried to access the program I got an Error 60 and the program would close.

      My efforts to contact Customer Support and Technical support, once got me an auto-email that someone would contact me in 2-3 days. I never got an email or a phone call. The email regarding the Error 60 was never responded to even by the auto-email program.

      So I requested a refund. I faxed in the request as well as emailed them. They have completely ignored me. I'm going on 30 days of this frustration. I guess 2007 was a great program. 2009 is junk.

      Just be aware that if you get it, you might not get a refund if it stops working. Apparently they fired their customer support staff, or they are getting so many requests for refunds they can't deal with the email stack.

      Katie Wood

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi John, the general / basic version worked just fine for me. I think it depends on your needs. The executive version comes with a lot that I didn't need. Thanks for reading and let me know about your experience with Whitesmoke.

    • profile image

      John 

      10 years ago

      Hi Amy, do you recommend the executive version or just the general version of whitesmoke?

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Sally! You made me laugh, yet again! Who knows what will be next :) I would like to be able to move my thoughts from my brain directly into my computer and have them appear on the screen. This idea was inspired by Dumbledore in Harry Potter. I love the way he can store his memories in the "penseive." Aside from saving me the typing time, it would clear out some of the cluttered up spaces in my head!

      Hi Marisue, thanks for reading and commenting!

      I also forgot to mention in the article: if you are a Mac user (like me) White Smoke only offers a web based version at this time. I find this to be slightly troublesome, but this is just a personal opinion.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      Good information - I'm going shopping!  Marisue

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Another great hub, amy.  I had no idea these products were out there either. Maybe someone will invent software to create a hub at the click of a mouse. You just type in the title, click, and the appropriate text, allied images, and properly specified affiliate capsules, RSS feeds, and links appear.  Wouldn't that be fun?  :)

      Oh, and you get to pick a voice, too!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hey Dorsi, I have the same issues! Grammar just doesn't come naturally. It has never stopped me from writing, but I do find I have to work a little harder at it. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      This is very good to know- although I have good "writing chops", I sometimes sruggle with my grammar, and need help with some aspects of my writing. I am going to invest in one these programs to help me.

      Funny thing when I applied for college I was off the charts as far as my writing skills went but really sucked at my grammar...lol..

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      kashifmahmood, thanks for commenting - and you are welcome!

      Hi Rob, anything to make the job easier is worth a look :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      10 years ago from Midwest USA

      Always interested in helpful tools. Thanks for doing such a nice job of research for us struggling stylists out here. :)

    • kashifmahmood profile image

      kashifmahmood 

      10 years ago from Web

      Thanks for sharing this info.I always though I could use a little help to double check my grammar mistakes .Thanks again.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Prasadjain, I agree that nothing can match human talent in writing creatively, but I think these products (particulary my favorite, WhiteSmoke) can help the process go a little smoother and help even a creative writer refine their work. Many writers are oozing with talent but lacking training in the techinical (and boring) aspects of writing.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      LDS Nana, that was my first thought when I came across these different software options! I need that! Thanks for reading and commenting :)

      Thanks for stopping in Zsuzsy, glad you found it interesting!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Blogger Mom and Mystic Biscuit, thank you for reading and commenting - you never know when these things may come in handy - like to compose that great novel that has been in your head for years!

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 

      10 years ago from Tumkur

      Well , that may be useful. But such mechanised things may be enough for writing project papers, reports, etc, but may not be of much for creative writings like literery essays, poetry, biographies, etc.Can anything match human talent?Thanks for the information.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      This is a great hub full of info. I'm amazed at what technology is coming up with.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 

      10 years ago from Southern California

      I think that maybe I should go get me some?

      tDMg

      LdsNana-AskMormon

      Thanx for the info!

    • Mystic Biscuit profile image

      Mystic Biscuit 

      10 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Great hub - I also had no idea! I'll have to check these products out. Thanks, Amy Jane!

    • Blogger Mom profile image

      Blogger Mom 

      10 years ago from Northeast, US

      Amy Jane, I had no idea about any of this - I'm pretty new to writing so I can't see myself buying any of this just yet, but it's so cool that it exists! =)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Steph, I was surprised to find this software existed too! It's like having an editor at your service - well, almost.

      LOL, Peter! I have full size sheets of paper littering my desk and every now and then my 1-year-old comes over and pulls everything down on to the floor. She is just tall enough to reach her little fingers up to the edge!

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      10 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      My mouse is getting hung up on sticky notes all over my desk as I'm scrolling down reading this hub...literally. LOL. Nice hub.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Wow - I didn't know this software existed! White Smoke, huh? I'm going to check it out. Just don't think I'm willing to part with some money yet...

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