by Judith Couchman
Recently I ate lunch with Heather, a former coaching client who became a friend. She talked about an app that helps her learn to write better, catching mistakes and suggesting ways to improve. I recognized Heather’s sincere desire to write well, and that impressed me. Many writers new to the craft want to skip over writing principles and dart straight to publishing and social networking.
Heather felt so excited about this method for improving her manuscript, I couldn’t help but absorb her enthusiasm. Later at home, online I researched writing apps. After typing “Writing Apps” into my browser, the results surprised me. Although apps exist for brainstorming, collaborating, planning, organizing, outlining, reading, and timing writing, not many help an aspiring author actually write well.
As a result, below I’ve listed some apps that help with writing and editing your work. Most likely, more apps exist because I didn’t research deeply. Consider this a “starter list” for apps that might meet your needs. I’ve provided website links so you can learn more. Most are free. Check whether an app operates on your phone, tablet, or desktop.
- EditMinion. Edits a manuscript a few pages at a time, checking for mistakes, including clichs. Free. http://editminion.com
- Grammarly. This app does what the name implies: it checks a manuscript for grammar, suggesting the correct wording. Free. grammarly.com
- Hemingway App. Heather enthused about this app. It aims to simplify, tighten, and strengthen prose in the tradition of the famous writer. $19.99 hemingwayapp.com/desktop
- Merriam-Webster. Every writer needs a dictionary. This one includes voice searches. Free. https://www.merriam-webster.com/apps
- ProWriting Aid. ProWriting Aid not only identifies and corrects problems, but it also explains, in detail, why you need to change something. And how to do it. Free for basic; $40 for premium. prowritingaid.com
- Scrivener. A versatile writing app that helps with many formats: articles, books, blogs, podcasts, speeches and more. $40-45. writersstore.com/scrivener
If you’ve found another app that improves writing, please inform us in the comments section below. Thanks!
Judith Couchman is an author, speaker, university professor, and occasional writing coach. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com