We all know the importance of â€œshow, donâ€™t tellâ€ in regards to writing.Â We want to share a wonderful, intriguing story, but we donâ€™t want to bog our writing down with too much detail that bores and prevents readers from infusing it with their own mental images. Writing is successful when it draws readers in and makes them think and feel. Indifference is no friend to a writer.
I have read and heard many opinions about what it takes to be a good writer. There are some who believe you are either born with the ability to write or not. I think some people are predisposed to enjoy writing and working with words, but I donâ€™t believe it is impossible to learn to write well IF a person is willing to work at it and practice, practice, practice.
Iâ€™m a huge fan of the Internetâ€™s ability to bring people together to share ideas and information. Writers have a unique ability to learn about their craft online from other writers and the multitude of over-growing resources available.Â Still, these opportunities donâ€™t just fall into a personâ€™s lapâ€”you must seek them out.
Here are a few tools worth consideration:
Scholastic Writing With Writers
Aimed primarily at students, they offer free workshops designed to help develop skills in writing book reviews, myth writing, news writing, descriptive writing. and others. Students even have the ability to submit their work on-line and receive feedback, You donâ€™t have to sign up for anything to read through the material.
Write Or Die: Dr. Wickedâ€™s Writing Lab
I first learned of this site from a published writer on Twitter who says she uses this free web application to cure writerâ€™s block.
The user inputs a word goal (number), selects a time goal which ranges from 10 minutes to two hours, and a grace period before things start happening if they stop writing, depending on the mode selected, (Gentle, Normal, Kamikaze or Electric Shock). Itâ€™s meant to be fun, but its purpose is to keep you writing. All of the functions are clearly explained on the site. You can copy and paste the writing you do there into your own file afterward.
The Name Generator
This is a fun, free tool capable of generating over 463 billion different first and last name combinations. Simply pick a gender, and hit the button. You can select other options such as starting or ending letter, maximum character length, or â€œsounds likeâ€. You can even add tags to generated names.
yWriter5- A free to download novel writing software.
From the web site:
â€œâ€¦it's a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes. It will not write your novel for you, suggest plot ideas or perform creative tasks of any kind. It does help you keep track of your work, leaving your mind free to create.â€
Of course, these apps, or any others, cannot do the work for you. There is no substitute for 'butt in chair, nose to the grindstone'.Â When we stop telling ourselves all the reasons why we cannot write, something wonderful happens.
I''d be interested to hear of any apps or tools others find useful in their writing, as I know what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
I look forward to your submissions, and have a great weekend!