Whether it’s for an academic essay or your first novel, the writing process is often long, grueling, and filled with equal amounts of writer’s block, procrastination, and caffeine. Luckily, I’ve compiled some resources that will help you write and edit efficiently.
Random First Line Prompts: Exactly what it sounds like. Generate a random first line to kick off your story.
StorySpark: Randomly generates crazy story plots.
Read high-quality writing: Sometimes a good story or poem is all it takes to refresh your creativity. Plus, reading quality writing on a regular basis is the best way to improve your own writing.
Do nothing for two minutes: Close your eyes, take a break, and let your worries melt away. When your mind is calm and clear, you may find that writing becomes a breeze!
Read some inspiring quotes: Learn from all the writers before you, and know that if you’re struggling, you’re not alone!
ZenPen: A minimalist online writing zone that allows you to quickly get writing without distractions.
Written? Kitten!: One of my personal favorites! This website will display a picture of an adorable kitten for every 100, 200, 500, or 1,000 words you type, depending on your choice. You’re motivated to write more and those kitties will make your heart melt. It’s a win-win. If you’re not a kitten guy/gal, there are puppy and bunny settings too! :)
Typewriter: This app silences your inner critic by not allowing you to use the backspace tool. You can’t delete
miskates mistakes, only strike them out. So instead of worrying about fixing things and rewriting a sentence seven times to make it perfect, you can focus on just continuing to write. It’s perfect for first drafts.
WordWar: You’ll need a friend for this one! This website allows you to hold a virtual race with other people to see who can write a first draft the fastest. Great if you and a pal both have a dreaded essay you’ve been complaining about for weeks.
Write or Die: Finally, for the most extreme one of all… This website puts pressure on you to write by threatening you with consequences if you’re writing too slowly, such as unpleasant sounds, terrifying images of spiders (*shivers*), or even deleting what you’ve already written if you stop. If it sounds extreme, that’s because it is, but it’s also remarkably effective at getting you to pound away at those keys.
These tools are best suited for first drafts, not for conducting your entire writing process. The idea is to get a rough draft done as efficiently as possible, because that’s the hardest part. If you have a first draft, however crappy, making it better is all downhill from there. Editing and rewriting should be saved for your regular Word/Pages/spider-devoid word processor of choice so you can fix your writing as carefully as possible.
GET IT RIGHT
EditMinion: Copy and paste your writing into this website and it’ll point out common mistakes, passive voice, and clichés in your writing. It even shows words of Greek, Latin, Germanic, and/or Shakespearean origin, if you’re
a total nerd interested in that.
Hemingway: Similar to EditMinion, but it’ll highlight sentences that are hard to read or unnecessarily complicated so you can make your writing more clear and succinct. It’ll also calculate a readability score, estimated read time, and character/letter/word/sentence/paragraph count.
And that’s it! With these tools, you should now be able to fight off writer’s block and write an awesome finished piece.