Monday, September 9, 2013

What's Your Go-to Writing App?

By Pamela

I was probably one of the last holdouts in getting a smart phone, but when my dumb-phone finally conked out on me--okay, I did kinda-sorta drop it--I upgraded to an iPhone. And I feel bad at times about how much I love it. I mean, I really love it. Even though it was the 'free with a two-year contract' version and not brand-spanking new technology, I love-love it.

But it occurred to me today that I don't use it much for writing--other than jotting down ideas on the notepad. What's out there that could possibly be helping me in my writing? What deliciously wonderful tools are waiting for me to discover? Here are a few iApps (for iPhones and iPads) I found that I've yet to try but, after some research, look worthy of a download.

The AP Stylebook 2013 ($24.99)

Probably one of the pricier apps out there, but when my online subscription for this runs out, I'll be signing up for this mobile version. Need to know whether healthcare is one word, two words or hyphenated? This is where to look. Is it OK or okay? How about ob-gyn or OB/GYN? These issues may not trip you up too often but as a magazine writer (who sticks to AP Guidelines), it's my punctuation/style bible.

*note: If you can't afford the app you can follow them on Facebook and post questions which they'll answer--but not always in a timely fashion.

Practice English Grammar 2 (free)

Definitely a rudimentary grammar app, but if you sometimes get hung up on lie/lay and gerunds are rarely your forte, this might be an app worthy of your downloading. On the flip side, taking the random tests can help you feel like a freaking genius.

Writing Prompts ($1.99)

I just downloaded this and can't wait to take it for a test drive. Promising an "endless supply of creative inspiration," this app features five prompt generators: News, Scenes, Sketches, Texts and Words; along with 600 text prompts. Shake your device or swipe your screen to generate new ones. Writers' block begone!

A Novel Idea (free) --Pro upgrade is $2.99

Touted at the "premier tool for plotting your story," this app's simple interface allows you to create characters, locations, scenes and more and then link them together to create your story's plot. The 'Idea' feature lets you jot down your moments of genius and then link those to your story's elements. You can rearrange scenes, add the objectives, tension, etc. I like this app A LOT! Let me know if you do, too.

Werdsmith (free) --Upgrade is $2.99

This clever app turns your iPhone to iPad into a portable writing studio and syncs the devices so you're always working on the most recent document. Added features include a place for writing goals, ideas and cloud backup. I've yet to try this one but the reviews are stellar. Check it out.

For more ideas, go to the iTunes store and search for 'writing' and look for apps that are labeled 'productivity.'

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