I’ve gotten a lot of requests from new writers asking if I have any recommendations for writing tools (websites, software, etc.) that can help improve their writing.
And while I DO NOT recommend any content spinners or article generators (for obvious reasons) there are a few tools I employ sometimes because I find them useful.
I’ll begin this list with the one’s I use most often…
If you’re looking for just the right words to make your writing come alive, then you should never underestimate the power of a thesaurus.
There are plenty of online thesauruses you can choose from. And while I haven’t tried them all, I’ve tried more than a few and found this one to be one of the better ones.
It has a simple, straight forward interface, without a lot of distracting bells and whistles. And it has a comprehensive database full of synonyms, antonyms, definitions and examples of each word.
When it comes to clarity, using simple words and phrases can make your writing easier to read, and more easily understood by your average reader.
The Hemingway app is based on the writing style of Ernest Hemingway. And it can help you eliminate (or at least cut back on) things like adverbs, passive voice, and hard to read sentences.
You can paste your text directly on the website. Or, for a few dollars you can buy the desktop app and use it offline. (last time I checked, the desktop app was PC and MAC only. They didn’t have a smartphone app yet)
Want to know if your writing is easily readable by the average person? Then check out webfx .com
They have a whole suite of tools (free and paid) for things like SEO, blog post idea generators, and other marketing tools. But since we’re here talking about writing, I’m only linking to the text readability tool.
Simply copy and paste your text into the interface, click “calculate” and it comes back with stats like the Flesch Kincaid score, Gunning Fog Score, SMOG Index and a few other readability indexes.
It also gives you a quick overview of word count, percentage of complex words and a few other metrics.
Wordweb is an offline dictionary and thesaurus software I use when I don’t want to be distracted by going online. (Sometimes when I’m writing, I avoid the internet so I can focus on the task at hand).
There’s a stripped down free version (I linked to here) that will give you a basic idea of how it works. But to really get the benefits from it you’ll want to buy the the add-on dictionaries, or the full “PRO” bundle version.
I have the full pro version 7 from about five years ago. I think they’re up to version 8 as of this writing, but I don’t know what’s new or improved, because the version I have still works fine (so I haven’t had the desire to upgrade)
Anyway, if you’re looking for a comprehensive dictionary, and thesaurus, you can use offline, Wordweb is worth the price of admission.