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6 Apps and Programs That Could Upgrade Your Writing Process

Ashley Grant

There are many platforms available to write for free. Microsoft Word, Pages, and Google Docs are all great, free programs that allow you the opportunity to write without any of the complications or frills of more advanced platforms. And using these sometimes costly programs may now be feasible for everyone. But if you want to upgrade your writing flow and maybe make your process a little easier, there are some options available.

Scrivener. For many writers, this is the be all end all of writing programs. With added features such as a corkboard, pre-sets ranging from manuscripts to novels and plotting/outlining sections. Although it takes some time to learn the many available functions, once they are mastered it makes the whole writing experience indescribably easier. Available both as a download for your computer or as an app for iOs devices, Scrivener is a bit pricey. For $45 you get a lifetime code for the program, but there is also a free trial available to test it out and see whether or not you feel it is worth the price. Ulysses. If sorting and organizing your many writing projects is an issue, Ulysses may be the answer to your problems. Much like Scrivener, Ulysses properly formats your projects for the type of project and ultimate publication type. So if you plan on self-publishing or publishing your work in an e-book format, this could be an extremely helpful tool. The nice part about Ulysses is that it is an app, so you can download and sync it to take your projects anywhere you go and on any of your devices. Although there is a free trial of the app, payment options fall under a monthly or yearly tier dependant on your country. Hemingway. Grammar, syntax, and sentence structure are a struggle, then Hemingway may be the best move. This app does much of the editing process for you. Unlike Word or Pages, Hemingway dives deeper into the elements of your writing that can be fixed. It highlights different words or phrases in colors coded to a specific issue. For example, adverbs that may take away from your sentence are highlighted in blue and purple highlights mean that the word can be changed or removed altogether. You can use the program for free on their website, or to use it in another word processing platform it costs $20 for a desktop download. Grammarly. Very similar to Hemingway, Grammarly also revises your writing to identify potential edits or errors. Grammarly does nearly all of the same things as Hemingway, but it is free to download. There are a few premium add-ons that you can purchase, but for the basic grammar, spelling, and sentence structure elements it is at no cost. Dropbox. For many writers, computer storage space can become a serious problem. Dropbox is the answer to this issue. Dropbox provides the security and ease of backing up your work without having to worry about your cloud getting hacked. This program centralizes all of your content and allows for an easy organization so that you do not have to fear losing track of your work. It also allows you to share your work with others which makes finding the work for beta readers and editors incredibly easy to access. Living Writer. One of the newest programs available to writers, Living Writer takes the plotting and organization elements of Scrivener and Ulysses but makes it simple to navigate. If you’re new to professional or novel writing or are still trying to figure out your personal planning technique, this could be an extremely helpful program. One unique aspect of Living Writer is that it comes preloaded with story arc structure for specific types of writing, such as the Hero’s Journey and Three Act Story Structure. It also has example structures to help outline your work, including how J.K. Rowling structured the Harry Potter series. It also automatically backs your work up to the Amazon Cloud so that there is a record of your project in the case that your laptop fails or breaks. There is a free trial for the program, but the cost for the whole download is about $10 per month.

Although these programs may help increase your productivity or make the writing process easier, it is important to remember that they are not necessary to be a successful writer. Free programs get the job done without the extra costs. And you shouldn’t feel like any less of a writer for either not wanting to use the expensive programs or simply not being able to afford them. But if you have the expendable income, or simply want to invest in yourself and your writing, then these apps may just be perfect for you.

Original author: Ashley Grant
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