Whether you are beginning your journalism career, an aspiring novelist or a veteran of the field, undoubtedly you want to continuously improve your writing. We’ve compiled a list of great apps that might encourage you to write every day (a general rule of thumb from all the “great writers”), help you organize your ideas, keep you focused or help improve areas such as syntax and phraseology.
“Writing Prompts” by Writing.com
Writing.com (21 x 20 Media) has a number of apps, that can be used on iPhone and iPad, as well as on Android. For example, the “Writing Prompts” app ($1.99) provides various starting points or ideas to trigger your creative writing juices. The app offers five different types of generators, including the “text” option which features at least 600 different scenarios and “Words” which features at least 400 different assortments.
On average, people glance at their smartphone 150x per day. Journalists hit that quota by noon. #EIJ14
— Amy Cherry (@acherry13) September 6, 2014
“Writing Challenge” by Literautas
Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, Literautas’ “Writing Challenge” ($1.99) is also a writing prompt generator but with a fun, ‘quick-fire’ twist. You are challenged to incorporate new criteria into your story step-by-step, except each step must be completed within a limited timeframe.
“A Novel Idea” by Shawn Svacha
“A Novel Idea” (FREE or $2.99 to upgrade to Pro) allows you to jot down your ideas whenever or wherever inspiration arises, as long as you have your iPhone or iPad handy. You can write your thoughts under tabs like “ideas,” “scenes,” “characters” and “locations”—subcategories help you flesh each of these categories out—and you can eventually group them together or link them to one of your “novel” projects. This app might come in handy for other complex writing assignments too like feature articles and essays.
“Writing Aid” byBenjamin Mayo
“Writing Aid” ($0.99) for iPhone is not just a dictionary and thesaurus. It also has a “reverse dictionary,” helpful for those times when you know what you want to convey but can’t quite remember, or have yet to discover, that perfect word.
“Hemingway” by Ben Long and Adam Long
You may have been told by your writing mentors to first master writing simple, clear and effective sentences; then you can advance to using your own voice and flourishes. If you abide by this school of thought, you might be interested in the Hemingway app. It identifies sentences that are difficult to understand, passive voice (which it encourages you to avoid) and more taboos. You can copy and paste your text into the web app or purchase the desktop version, which doesn’t require Internet access, for $6.99. Of course reading one of Ernest Hemingway’s books can also help you master this style–did you know he was a journalist/newspaper reporter before he was a novelist?
Update – 9/08/2014
Here’s some additional tools for Journalists that came out of the #EIJ14 (Excellence in Journalism) conference coverage.
— bengarvin (@bengarvin) September 6, 2014
What apps have you found helpful? Let us and our readers know!