Writing Tools

Software #

Disclaimer: I don’t personally use all of the software on this page. I’m pretty disorganized and just have a Google Drive along with rigourous folder housekeeping.

Notes & Productivity #

Blogging and Web publishing #

Content Management Systems #

A CMS is used to provide a pleasant UI for authoring and publishing content. They can handle multiple authors, comments, themeing, etc.

  • Publii | Open-source static site CMS with WYSIWYG editor
  • Draft | Cloud-based; offers version control and reviewer service

Wikis #

Some people use personal wikis to keep track of worldbuilding, for running a writing group, a D&D campaign, or anything that involves collaboration. Unlike a CMS, the theme and design aren’t flexible.

  • Bookstack | Self-hosted wiki with a modern UI, PHP backend
  • Wiki.js | Similar to Bookstack but uses Node.js instead
  • You Need a Wiki | Turns a Google Drive into a wiki-like format

Static Site Generators #

SSGs convert plaintext to HTML. Authoring is typically done with Markdown, although you can use AsciiDoc for some. You can find a lot in the web development field. These are specifically meant for bookish texts.

  • Bookdown | Create textbooks from Markdown. Popular for academia and R users

Novel Writing #

Scrivener is considered the commerical industry leader, but these free tools are capable for most needs.

Text-to-speech #

Looking for a natural voice option to read your writing out loud?

iOSVoice Dream Reader
AndroidIvonaAncestor of Amazon Polly
LocalxVASynthUse voices from your PC games such as Skyrim and Overwatch. Obviously for PERSONAL USE only.
CloudIBM Watson
CloudAmazon Polly5 million characters free/month for 12 months (a novel would have maybe 400,000 characters+)

Interactive Multimedia #

  • Twine | Create nonlinear CYOA stories.

Experimental & AI #

  • Cut-ups | Scramble words in a sentence.
  • TextSynth | AI generates text from a prompt. Uses the outdated GPT-2 model.
  • Dreamily AI | AI writer completes the thought.
  • QuillBot | Paraphrasing AI
  • Grammica | Proofreading, plagiarism checker and other text utilities

Scripts #

Hardware #

Keyboards #

AlphaSmart keyboard | Distraction free “dumbboard” with a low-tech screen and no internet connectivity

E-ink #

Tablets and devices with e-ink screens instead of traditional LEDs.

Got any tools? Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.