25. Great Dialogue Software
An interactive database that provides 101 techniques and samples of dialogue for different situations. (At press time, Great Dialogue Software was for Windows only).
Best for: Writers who want examples and techniques for writing believable dialogue.
User-friendly, open-source eBook creation software that offers both a user-friendly “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface and code-based editing.
Best for: Writers who want to create an eBook without having formatting/coding experience.
User-friendly software that creates various types of eBooks, video/audio projects, magazines, educational materials, picture books, and photo albums. Includes photo rendering. Can also translate your project into different languages.
Best for: Writers who want to easily create and publish eBooks and other video and audio projects.
28. eBook Maestro
User-friendly creation software for eBooks, magazines, guides, reports, educational materials, galleries, and presentations.
Cost: $12.95 for standard; $19.95 for pro
Best for: Writers who want to upload projects to the web with password protection, create trial periods for their readers, and promote author branding.
Bare-bones word processing software (for Windows).
Best for: Writers who just want to get the words onto the page with little distraction.
30. Libre Office Writer
Word processing software with many of the features of Microsoft Word, including templates.
Best for: Writers who want a less-expensive word processor option.
Word processing software with built-in grammatical and usage/sentence structure suggestions aimed at simplifying and tightening your writing. Highlights passive verbs, unwieldy sentences, adverbs, or unnecessary complicated words.
Cost: $19.99 for Windows and Mac; free web-based app
Best for: Writers who want to edit their work for maximum comprehension and clarity.
Software that enables you to instantly block access to specific websites and applications, with a strong, irreversible “Force Mode” to prevent users from bypassing the blacklisted sites. Also allows users to only block sites for certain amounts of time and provides analytical data to show how much time users spend on each site or app.
Cost: $9 per month, $29 per year, $119 lifetime
Best for: Writers who severely struggle with social media or web-browsing distractions.
Text-to-screen word processor that lets writers get their ideas down. The program takes over your computer’s entire screen to avoid distractions. Also includes spellcheck, auto-save, some formatting, alarms, and goal-setting targets. Not intended for the editing/revision process.
Cost: Free (though requests a tip)
Best for: Writers who want to block out online distractions but also want the ability to bypass.
34. Writer’s Blocks
Divide your manuscripts into blocks according to idea. Each block is a separate word processing document, and all blocks remain on the screen for easy organization.
Best for: Authors who work on longer projects or manuscripts who like nonlinear organizational structures and dislike excessive document navigation.
If you’re a writer who prefers plain old pen and paper, more power to you. But if you’re among the rest of us who prefer using a modern computer, check out these tools to save time and help you write more efficiently. Your work-in-progress may be all the better for it.
K.L. Romo writes about life on the fringe: teetering dangerously on the edge is more interesting than standing safely in the middle. She is passionate about women’s issues, loves noisy clocks and fuzzy blankets, but HATES the word normal. Her historical novel, Life Before, is about two women separated by a century who discover they’ve shared a soul. Web: KLRomo.com or @klromo.