Top 10 Apps That Every Aspiring Writer Needs To Have
To become a writer is not an easy task. Most people think writing mostly revolves around inspiration and ideas. But to be a good writer takes much more than that. Practice, practice, practice. A good writer spends his time perfecting his craft, practicing turning ideas and inspiration into words until it becomes perfection. Luckily, there are many tools for aspiring writers these days to help them improve their writing process. Apps. Some of them are free to download. Some of them need to be purchased. In today’s blog, I will suggest a few mobile apps which I think are great for aspiring writers.
1. The BRAINSTORMER
Available for: iOS, Cost: $1, 99
Writing is hard. There’s a term to prove that, “the writer’s block”: The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. The Brainstormer helps writers to combat creative blocks, spark new ideas and summon up quick subjects for doodling, sketching or journaling. By manipulating the wheels or do a random spin, you generate combinations that make fantastic creative prompts for writing. According to Jurgen Fauth from The Huffington Post, “it’s great for quick prompts or a new impulse.”
Why you need it: The Brainstormer can help you to get your creative juices flowing again. Sometimes getting stuck in one place makes a writer lose his enthusiasm. Even if you don’t use the scenario suggested by the wheel, these material is the beginning place to help your brain come up with a brilliant storyline and get your inspiration sparkle again.
Available for: iOS, Cost: $9, 99
MindNode is a mind mapping app that creates a visual representation of your idea. It allows you to brainstorm, organize and share your thoughts in an intuitive way. The clean interface allows you to generate and connect thoughts together, no matter how big or complicated. Being able to see your ideas in front of you makes it much easier to visualize them and connect otherwise unrelated topics. This app also allows you to color code, highlight and customize the branches.
Why you need it: This map allows you to organize your ideas in an easy-to-follow format. A great app for visual thinkers.
3. LIST FOR WRITERS
Available for: iOS and Android, Cost: $2, 99
If you usually have difficulty coming up with ideas for your brainstorming sessions, then this app is great for you. This app delivers list after list of prompts and ideas for creative writing: names, character traits, plot lines, occupations, obsessions, action verbs and much more! Another feature of this app includes dictionary support, which is super-convenient for writers. You can look up most words without leaving the app.
The Notepad feature is also available for users to collect interesting list items for your writing, edit them or print your notes.
Why you need it: Running out of ideas suck! Sometimes a little help is needed to provide a spark of inspiration and help re-ignite a writer’s passion.
More importantly, this app lets you look up words without needing to leave it and go on Google!
Available for Android and iOS, Cost: subscription $9, 99/month
Spotify allows you to get access to millions of songs without an Internet connection. You can create your own playlist or get access or choose a ready-made list or get personalized recommendations.
Why you need it: Music is the muse, a great source of inspiration for creative writing. Have you ever listened to a song and try to get into the mind of the character? Or even craft a character based on your own inner world and imagination?
Music is great for writers because it can provide them an insight into the characters that they are building.
5. STORY TRACKER
Available for iOS, cost: $8, 99
A must-have for freelancers. Story Tracker makes keeping track of your submitted stories, novels, poems, scripts, and articles easy. Many magazines, journals, or other markets for your work don’t allow simultaneous submissions. It’s easy to forget where you had submitted your work when you are dealing with hundreds of stories. Not only you can keep track of your submissions, you can also view the total income earned for each story and add details for each market, including title, genre, editor, deadline and more.
Why you need it: If you submit hundreds of stories to different publishers, it can be pretty overwhelming to keep track of all of your submissions. The Story Tracker app helps you to manage your submissions and avoid submitting the same story to the same publisher twice.
6. A NOVEL IDEA
Available for iOS, cost: free
Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to organize all the tiny details in your story, especially if you’re writing the next great detective novel. This help can help you break down the aspects of plotting and develop your story elements including characters, locations, scenes, and novels and then link them together to create your story’s plot. With the idea feature, you can take note of your ideas and then link them to your story elements. Plus, the app is easy-to-use, all you have to do is drag and drop your ideas into place.
Why you need it: It’s not always easy linking ideas together, especially if you’re writing a 500+ page novel. In this sense, A Novel Idea will help you create your story plot more easily by rearranging your ideas.
7. SELF CONTROL
Available for Mac OS X, Cost: Free
We all know how easy it is for us to lose focus these days, with temptations from the outside world such as notifications from social media like Facebook and tons of other distractions from the Internet. As a writer, you need focus to be able to dwell into the depth of your imagination and inner world. If you are someone who has the tendency to check Facebook notifications every 15 minutes, this app is a must-have. If you cannot control yourself, let it do the job for you. What it does: It will block your ability to access a list of websites of your choosing for a time period you specify. This way, all you can do is to sit and write. Even when you restart your computer or delete this app, once you click “start”, there is no way you can access the blocked websites.
Why you need it: Focus is detrimental to a great work. If you cannot stop yourself from being distracted by social media and the likes, let Self Control take care of that! That way, you will have only one choice left: sit and write.
Available for web browser, cost: free
It’s not easy to master the English language and we all make mistakes at one point or another. This app highlights long, complex sentences and common grammatical errors. With the use of colors, it makes the corrections crystal clear.
Why you need it: Every word counts for a writer! Unnecessary vocabulary will only add confusion and serve no purpose in your writing. So if you need maximum clarity and a helping hand with English grammar, this is a great tool.
Available for Android and iOS, cost: free
No wonder why the Evernote app is placed in the productivity category. According to The New York Times, “use Evernote as the place you put everything… Don’t ask yourself which device it’s on – it’s in Evernote”. The app allows you take note whenever and wherever an idea comes to your mind, create-to-do-lists, and save things you find online into Evernote.
Why you need it: This app is a game-changer for anyone who wants to get works done. Easy to share content with friends on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or share the URL to clipboard. Not only that, it syncs all content and updates between your phone, tablet, and computer automatically.
10. WRITE OR DIE
Available for iOS, cost: $9, 99
The name says it all. Write Or Die is the app that will help push you through your writer’s block by applying consequences if you procrastinate, ranging from a disapproving cat staring at you, to disastrous with Kamikaze mode. The Reward Mode of this app offers you rewards when you complete a certain number of words.
Why you need it: Sometimes to get yourself to work, you need a little bit of push and severity!
In conclusion, to become a great writer is no easy task. It takes a lot of times and practice. After reading this blog, you already have a list of tools that can help you to sharpen your writer’s sword. Use them wisely.