Word Count and #Writing Task Tracking: Handy #Apps

I have been trying to find an easy way to track my progress, not just in terms of word count, but all the tasks which go into writing. As I was loitering in the iTunes store, I noticed these apps which you may find helpful. If any of you have others to recommend, please let me know!

This first one would be useful if you want to see where you repeat words, overuse adverbs etc.

2014-01-03_13-27-49Text Analyzer is simple and feature rich application that allows you to calculate various useful statistics of a given text. It can extract and find different types of data(parts of speech, numbers, links, addresses e.t.c). You can also calculate count of words, characters, sentences, paragraphs e.t.c. The full list of features are as following:

* One touch words & character count and frequency calculation:
With One tap you will have all count and frequency information for every individual word or character

* Extracts and find following data from the given text including
i) Words, Characters, Sentences, Paragraphs, Lines
ii) Parts of speech: Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Pronouns, Determiners, Particles, Numbers, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Interjections,
iii) Other data: Classifiers, Idioms, Sentence Terminators, Quotes, Word Joiners, Paragraph breaks e.t.c

* One touch stats summary: with one tap, it will generate all the stats and count of the above mentioned data.

* Search & Find: locate and find the matches of a given data within the text.

* Sort: sort summary & frequency data alphabetically or by frequency.”


2014-01-03_13-30-43Word Tracker: “Keep track of how FAST you wrote, WHEN you wrote and WHAT you wrote. Then you can look at how many words you’ve written today, how many hours you’ve spent writing and a whole host of other stats. If you want to track your writing, there is no better tool.

Here are a couple of the stats you can view:

- Total Hours
See how long you have spent on the entire project. A very useful stat to have for anyone who values their time!

- Percentage Completed
It’s great to watch as the percentage creeps up and up. Having an actual value for how much you have written is a great little piece of information to have.

- Best Words Per Hour
See how quickly you were writing at the fastest point during the project.”


2014-01-03_13-35-07“Word Count Dashboard is a fun and motivational tool to help you reach a writing goal. Part word count tracker, and part vision board, Word Count Dashboard lets you keep track of your progress as you write your project.

Features:

- Create a writing project with a target word count that you’re going to aim for.
- Enter your project’s new, total word count at the end of each day to keep track of your progress.
- Earn bronze, silver, and gold stars for your project depending on how much you write.
- Add a picture to the vision board (e.g. a mock-up cover for your novel) to help you visualise your goal.
- Give yourself from as little as a week to 999 days to achieve your target.
- Use the Word Count Dashboard reports to see the progress you’re making towards your target.
- See how much you have left to write as well as how much you need to write each day to reach your target.

Word Count Dashboard is designed to be a quick, and fun way of keeping on top of your daily writing targets.

Word Count Dashboard provides the same functionality as, but is not compatible with Word Count Dashboard for the Mac.” Sold separately. Batteries not included. ;-)


Goal Setting & Organisation Apps

I love these two:

opusdominimobilepro1024x1024-u4301Opus Domini for Mac, iPhone and iPad: “Opus Domini is as easy as writing a list on paper, but powerful enough to get you where you want to go. Instead of getting frustrated with endless task lists, our planner views will ensure no overbooking, completed items will keep you motivated and information on uncompleted tasks and goals will help you make adjustments & reach your goals.”

They have a section for goals, vision, mission statement, fitness goals and it will sync with iCal. I love it!

img_visualIf you have multiple books (which are projects) with individual tasks for each, use this one: iScope. Don’t let the “project management” label put you off: you can make it as simple as you like. The interface is beautiful and it’s cheap.

If you work on your own, get iScope 1: https://www.iscope2c.com/solo/

“Easily add new projects to iScope and edit their information.
- Manage your projects with the level of depth you need, some from the surface, some others with more details.
- Every project has an automated dashboard that updates as you add more tasks and content.
- Drag and drop project folders to re-order them.
With iScope, you can import files from your camera roll, dropbox account and iTunes Shared Folder
- Import all kind of images. PDF and MS Office documents (doc, xls & ppt)
- Export your attachments, by email or print them with AirPrint
- Works with Dropbox and Cloud technologies.”


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Computer Use: Minimizing the Strain on Your Neck

I can spend fifty hours a week at my desk easily. My work depends on it; then when work is done, there are the usual tasks such as paying bills online and keeping in touch with distant friends and family. Quite often a day has flown by and I haven’t moved position much. That not only strains my eyes, but it is a risk factor for back and neck problems.

In an office setting ergonomics has become a buzz word we have developed an immunity to. There are policies, handbooks and sets of rules which have been put together so we don’t hurt ourselves. We know they are there, but may not be using them. It is easier to rely on our subconscious habits. Being aware of and breaking out of those habits can save you chronic pain, or potentially more serious long-term problems.

To cut a very complex science down to a few basics, below are useful tips to remember when using a desktop computer, laptop or tablet device. These only cover neck and back strain. More information is available online on keyboard heights and other body strain issues.

  • Keep alignment in mind. Your back, neck and head should be as straight as possible, at all times. If you stay aligned, you are not fatiguing and stressing your spine. If your shoulders aren’t relaxed, your position is wrong.
  • Don’t cradle phones between your ear and shoulder; use the speaker phone button, a head set or put the phone down for a time to free both hands. This will save your neck.
  • Have lumbar support for your back on chairs.
  • The top third of your computer screen should be level with your eyes. iMacs have screens which adjust up and down easily. Similar set-ups make it simple to move the screen whatever your height, or if you need to stand up. That will save you crouching back down to read the screen. Also, make sure your chair is at the correct height for your desk.
  • If you need to repeat tasks over and over, make sure you take frequent breaks or alternate tasks, so you can get up and move without feeling you are wasting time.
  • ideas eatenDon’t sit in awkward postures for more than a very short time.
  • Use laptop risers and iPad stands which conform to the rules above. If you are unable to, or still find your neck aches when using mobile devices, minimize their use and/or take frequent breaks.
  • Keep heavy items such as reference books, between shoulder and waist height.
  • Make sure that objects you use frequently; such as staplers, the phone and pen holders, are within easy reach so you aren’t over-reaching to pick them up.
  • If you need to use paper documents as you work, a document holder which is attached to your monitor, or free-standing, may decrease neck strain as you aren’t looking up and down repeatedly. Even slightly bending your back and neck can create pain at the end of the day. It is repetition which creates the strain.
  • Learn to touch type so you need to look at the keyboard less.
  • Software companies make programs which will pop up on your screen, reminding you it is time to stretch, move and give your eyes a break. That will also help your spinal joints.

2013 first-ac-header

This post is an expanded excerpt from “Avoiding Back Pain: A Simple Guide.” This is free e-book you can download here. The file is a 700kb .pdf file which will work on any computer or tablet device. It is protected so you will not be able to print or copy from it, but please, pass it on freely!

REBLOGS WELCOMED

This article / blog post and the book cover are Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2012. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

No images on this blog may be copied, captured, or altered for your own purpose without the consent of the originating owner. Where images are marked as being iStockphoto.com images, they are paid for and licenced to Cate for use on this blog. If you take them, iStockphoto.com has the right to take legal action against you for Copyright Infringement.

Please see the Blog Content and Image Copyright page of this blog for further information in regards to Guest Posts, other images, Cate’s checks on infringements and Liability.

Choosing a Book Cover by Lissa Bryan

They always say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but frankly, it’s what readers do, and the judgment is made in a split-second. Likely, their first encounter with your book will be to see its cover shrunk to a thumbnail size, on a page with dozens of others. Your cover has to catch the reader’s eye as they scroll by, making them curious enough to click on the link.

I’m fortunate enough to be with a publisher who values their authors’ input on cover design, so I’ve been involved in the process every step of the way, from picking the concept to approving font choices. It’s always an interesting challenge because there are so many aspects to consider.

Introduce Me to Your Book

Your cover should tell a reader something about your story. Genres tend to have certain styles of covers that tell the reader at a glance what type of story to expect. Look at covers in your genre, and then play around with the ideas a bit.

Simplicity is Best

Lissa-Bryan-Ghostwriter-Front-Cover-Webres

Your reader is likely going to see your cover on their screen as an inch-tall rectangle. You want your central image to be clear, even when the image is tiny. One of the reasons why the covers for Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey have become iconic was their stark, uncluttered simplicity. They are instantly recognizable, even at a distance or as a tiny icon. Focus on one central theme or concept that speaks about your story.

My first cover was for a novel about a woman who moves to a haunted house on an isolated island. The beach plays a central role in the story. As soon as I saw the image of the girl standing at the edge of the waves, I knew it was perfect. It’s a bright, clear image that retains those attributes even when shrunk to a thumbnail size. As person scrolling by can make it out easily, but it’s only on closer examination that the ghostly reflection beside her is apparent. I’ve seen it in action when I was at the Texas Book Festival. People who saw the photo glanced at it and then gave it a second, closer look.

Original Image Taken By Amanda Spitz

Original Image Taken By Amanda Spitz

For my second novel, I chose a very stark, simple image. Since “post-apocalyptic romance” isn’t exactly a genre, I was sort of on my own with this one. I found the image when I was looking through a friend’s vacation photos, and it grabbed me instantly. “The light at the end of the tunnel” encapsulates the message of my book beautifully.

We created a mockup version so we could show the graphic artist what I had in mind. Adding in the figures holding hands introduces the romantic element. The graphic artist took it a step further, making the image gritty and Impressionistic because it’s not the typical romance novel.

The resultant cover, I think, distills the story down to one visual statement that is simple and uncluttered.

lissa2theendofallthings

Invest in Putting Your Best Foot Forward

You will lose more money having a cheesy or poorly-executed cover than you will “save” by not investing in a good graphic artist. Like editing, this is not an area to try to cut corners. This is your first introduction to readers and you want to make sure it’s a good one.

~.~~.~~.~~.~~.~~.~~.~~.~~.~

Lissa BryanLissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot … though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Her first novel, Ghostwriter, is available through The Writer’s Coffee Shop (which is the least expensive option), Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo. Her second novel, The End of All Things, is available through TWCS, Amazon, and iTunes. She also has a short story in the Romantic Interludes anthology, available from TWCS, Amazon and iTunes. Her third novel, Under These Restless Skies, is scheduled for release in spring of 2014.


This blog post is Copyright Lissa Bryan 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without the author’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-use if it is for a commercial venture.

Clear Covers: Making Your E-book Identifiable at Thumbnail Size

Designing book covers is a challenge. If you have a print book, there are geniuses out there in the publishing houses, who can bring themes together which make you go “wow.” (Watch this presentation on TED talks to see the “wow” factor come alive. It’s incredible!) Whether you like the book topic or not, you want it for the cover! The advantage they have is, there is much more space to play with. E-book authors don’t have the same space! Covers that look great in a normal size, Photoshop, or on your blog or web site, can come across as totally unfathomable on a mobile device or online e-book catalogue. This is a problem for me when I’ve just bought the book; or forgotten I have bought it and can’t remember what it is about!

Please take these great cover examples from Amazon’s newly released list.

I can see what they are about and the title. Mood enhancing and decorative elements that would only work in print, are not on these covers so they work well as e-book thumbnails.

The worst covers I have ever seen come off DIY sites where they give you a limited selection of backgrounds and fonts. They are just image and text thrown on top. They make you look completely pathetic.

It does pay, as many say on a regular basis, to take the time to ensure your cover is professional. In short, that means:

  • Cover design is based on the genre of your book. If it is about a cowboy working in the big city, have him in an office wearing boots and a cowboy hat. Don’t get philosophical and put on a picture of a zombie. That will confuse the reader, even if your storyline is about how working in the city destroys you! Readers cannot quickly grasp intricate messages which are contained in the depths of your story.
  • Cover design is appropriate to the reader; ie. if it is a young adult book on vampires, don’t put the victim in an erotic, gothic outfit or make it too gory. You will be getting letters from parents who aren’t very happy!
  • Ensure your text is clear, doesn’t disappear into the background image and fits the genre. Beware curly, or antique-type lettering which may be hard to decipher on e-books, or special effects which are lost on e-book covers.
  • CRCF4Dim CoverEd2Don’t try and put too many elements or any small details on your covers. Not having a back cover makes cover design more limited. When I designed the covers for my Four Dimensional Characterisation Series, I had a lot of trouble getting that logo in. I knew that while I needed it as a series identifier, it would have to either be totally sacrificed, or I would have to allow it to be almost unreadable, thus putting the emphasis on the title. It drove me crazy trying to make it work! In the end, I shrank it smaller than I would have wanted and just had to live with the compromise. I ensure it is legible in promotion on my blog and web site, to make up for that deficit. It’s not easy!  You can’t always get what you want.
  • Remember, you only have a nanosecond to get the reader’s attention. Make it count by being clear.

Take your time when designing, have a good look around and collect a scrapbook of ideas and good luck! Your hard work will pay off.

P.S. If you are interested in presenting your book jacket in a 3D form for promotion, try this web site: http://www.3d-pack.com/ It’s easy to use and you can buy the software. An example is just above.


Books featured in this post:

Hidden (A Bone Secrets Novel) by Kendra Elliot

A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child

The covers are Copyright the authors of those books. I have and make no claim to them.

This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2012. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

No images on this blog may be copied, captured, or altered for your own purpose without the consent of the originating owner. Where images are marked as being iStockphoto.com images, they are paid for and licenced to Cate for use on this blog. If you take them, iStockphoto.com has the right to take legal action against you for Copyright Infringement.

Please see the Blog Content and Image Copyright page of this blog for further information in regards to Guest Posts, other images, Cate’s checks on infringements and Liability.

App Heaven for Writers Part 2: Writer’s Block Smashers!

This is the promised part two, featuring idea generating apps, writer’s block smashers and writing prompts. All these apps are for iPhone, but many can be bought for iPad and Android. As apps are added to the iTunes store all the time, you may like to do a search to see what’s new. Nothing here is over $10AU.

R.I.P. Steve. We will miss you for a very long time.

I have not tried most of these apps, so it’s buyer beware and I am not responsible for the quality of your experience, or any problems you may have with your devices after installation and use; no I am not getting paid to promote any of these and I don’t expect to etc. If the software vendor, Apple or Android are not kind, then I am very sorry, but I am unable to help you and I am not liable. I hate having to say all that!

If you search in the iTunes store, you will also find that you can get “Writing Magazine” and “Writer’s Forum Magazine.” I like Writing Magazine, I save $8.00AU per copy and have the option to only download editions I want. Plus, I love reading in bed on the iPad. (Not to mention the space saving benefits…) These magazines not only keep me in the industry loop, reading other writer’s stories give me inspiration and ideas. Have a look and enjoy!

Part one, featuring organising, tracking, editing, research and writing apps can be found here: http://wp.me/p1H1Zj-sA
Cate


Prompts, Idea Generators and Block Attackers

Writing Prompts By 21×20 Media, Inc.

This app comes from the highly competent people at Writing.com, thus it has four star reviews. I discovered it in researching this post, and I’ll be buying it! It is also available for Android. “Our writing prompt generators use current events, scene elements, words, sketches, colors, genres and writing types, unleashing endless random bits of fantasy to fuel your muse. Plus, we’ve included our database of 600 creative writing prompts so you’ve got them right at your finger tips, online or off!” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writing-prompts/id417683378?mt=8&ls=1

Character Prompts by 21×20 Media, Inc.

Another writing.com app. “Character Prompts gives you 19 different profile characteristics filled with randomly generated information. We take the process of character development to the next level by adding thousands of character twists and 150 thought provoking questions for your character.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/character-prompts/id493346374?mt=8

WriMuse By Rasmus Rasmussen

“WriMuse generates creative writing prompts at the push of a button. With 4 different modes, it can give you a few keywords to get you started, or a full prompt, a visual prompt and even an essay prompt.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wrimuse/id416219275?mt=8&ls=1

FantasyMuse

If you are a fantasy writer, Rasmus Rasmussen has though of you too. “FantasyMuse generates content for fantasy writers, gamers and game masters with the tap of a button. Millions of possible …
+ Character outlines, for quick NPCs or side characters.
+ Factions, groups and organizations of good and evil.
+ Quest seeds, to put your heroes to work!” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/fantasymuse/id457403478?mt=8&ls=1

Writer’s Muse By 2009 Positive Alliance, LLC

“Having a bit of trouble coming up with a great idea for your next novel? Stuck on how to get your characters to meet? This handy app will help you pick characters, scenarios, outcomes, any item or detail you need to inspire your writing. Use the predesigned Character, Plot and Resolution details already in place and SPIN! If you have some ideas and need to create your own choices, you can do that! The pickers are designed to edit and personalize for your creative needs.
Still stuck? The Muse has some great tips, cures and strategies to help you get past any block.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writers-muse/id405049708?mt=8&ls=1

Writer’s Block Buster By Socially Conscious Software LLC

This app has low ratings, but you never know, it may have features that suit you. “Writer’s “Block Buster is everything you need to free yourself from the pains of a bad case of writer’s block. Writer’s Block Buster gives you the ability to search through its large database of questions and explanations for different things that may be causing or lead to a cure to your writer’s block.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writers-block-buster/id329389227?mt=8&ls=1

StoryForm By Pig-n-Chicken Software

If you can get past the romanticized description, it looks good. “StoryForm is designed to be the ultimate brainstorming app for writers, filmmakers, teachers, and anyone else who can use an endless supply of fresh ideas. StoryForm does the brainstorming for you by thinking up the building blocks of a story, like character personality, profession, and a location. StoryForm will even give you a possible theme and an item that might be important to your story.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/storyform/id394760445?mt=8&ls=1


Just a reminder: I have not tried most of these apps, so it’s buyer beware and I am not responsible for the quality of your experience, or any problems you may have with your devices after installation and use; no I am not getting paid to promote any of these and I don’t expect to etc. If the software vendor, Apple or Android are not kind, then I am very sorry, but I am unable to help you and I am not liable.


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

REBLOGS WELCOMED

App Heaven for Writers: iPhone, iPad and Android

All these apps are for iPhone, but many can be bought for iPad and Android. As apps are added to the iTunes store all the time, you may like to do a search to see what’s new. Nothing here is over $10AU.

Click on the image to visit the Android Community Web Site. This is where this little cutie came from.

I have not tried most of these apps, so it’s buyer beware and I am not responsible for the quality of your experience, or any problems you may have with your devices after installation and use; no I am not getting paid to promote any of these and I don’t expect to etc. If the software vendor, Apple or Android are not kind, then I am very sorry, but I am unable to help you and I am not liable. I hate having to say all that! Any apps that looked totally awful haven’t been listed.

P.S. Part two, which will be idea generating apps, writer’s block smashers and writing prompts will be coming out at the end of this week. There are too many apps to list in one post and by no means, have I found them all! Have fun!

Cate

Getting Organised and Equipped to Write

Aspire Goals

“Aspire Goals is more than just a goal setting application. It has been said that the process of achieving your goals is 80% mental and only 20% activity. Yet most of the apps relating to goal setting focus on the 20% and ignore the most important component – the mental side of things. Aspire Goals focuses on the 80%. It looks not only at what your goals are, but also the reasons why you want to achieve them. Then it takes the next step and looks at what can be done mentally to increase your chances of achieving your goals. And one of those things is visualization.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/aspire-goals/id488685303?mt=8&ls=1

The Author Organizer

“Features:
* track details about each book you are writing
* track details about each chapter you are writing
* records all dates on your iPhone calendar
* email notes for each chapter” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-author-organizer/id422375467?mt=8&ls=1

If you want an personal or writing organizer, do a search for that word under “lifestyle” or “business.” There are hundreds of time management and sticky notes apps. Some are great, some are basic. Try the free versions, if they have one, to see what suits you best. One app I do like for pulling together odd bits of information, e.g. ideas for stories or blog posts, is Idea Store by Spore Tools Ltd. http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/idea-store/id436275897?mt=8&ls=1

Bento by FileMaker, Inc

This is the database I use on my Mac and my iPad. You can also get an iPhone version. It syncs easily between my Mac and iPad by Wifi. It is so easy to use. You don’t need to understand anything technical about databases to use it. I use it to track my articles and blog entries and where they’ve been used. It also comes with great templates to get your started. http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bento/id314638461?mt=8

How to Write a Winning Business Plan

Your writing is a business and if you are selling books or articles in any form, you need a business plan. “This guide will help you prepare a realistic plan that will document your vision, goals and strategy. No business should be started or maintained without a plan.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/how-to-write-winning-business/id328153943?mt=8&ls=1

Proofreader by Operandi Limited

“ProofReader is the on-going project to create a visual guide to markup and copy correction marks.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/proofreader/id343815121?mt=8&ls=1

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is an essential tool. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android and in free or premium editions, which aren’t expensive. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/merriam-webster-dictionary/id478126577?mt=8

Roget’s II The New Thesaurus, Third Edition by Enfour Inc.

“Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus combines the most useful features of a thesaurus and a dictionary; each entry contains a short definition as well as a comprehensive list of synonyms for the headword. This up-to-date database also features extensive, and useful, cross-references.” http://itunes.apple.com/app/rogets-ii-new-thesaurus/id286861782?mt=8

Word Study & English Grammar By blufish LLC

Word Study & English Grammar includes:
-Importance of the Subject
- Nouns, Adjectives, Articles, Verbs, Pronouns, Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Interjections
-The Sentence and The Paragraph
-Common Errors and Rules
-English Grammar

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/word-study-english-grammar/id380240225?mt=8&ls=1

Word Count Log By Tony Jansen

“Word Count Log is a simple productivity tool for writers. It is essentially a logbook for recording the word count on your writing projects.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/word-count-log/id400855560?mt=8&ls=1

NaNo Saga

If you participate in NaNoWriMo (November) “NaNo Saga is the fastest, most convenient way to compare your progress with your buddies’ during NaNoWriMo – the National Novel Writing Month.” This one is free. http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/nano-saga/id399211362?mt=8&ls=1

My Writing By 21×20 Media, Inc.

This app comes from Writing.com. “With some many venues online for writers, it’s hard to keep track of where your works are showcased. Our “My Writing” app solves the problem by giving you a simple place to store the title and URL of your writings, giving you one tap access to each.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/my-writing/id418380810?mt=8&ls=1

Writing Tips By Rich Lowenberg

“Writing Tips is a fantastic resource for both budding and seasoned writers. Written by bestselling author Alice Kuipers, the application provides inspiration, tips, and more than three hundred exercises to suit any available time frame. Regular use of this app will improve the quality and confidence of your writing, and help you have more fun in the process.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writing-tips/id387625993?mt=8&ls=1

BookMidwife

The number of times I have seen bad formatting or spelling errors in an app description worries me. I know the developers are not necessarily the writers, but don’t they proofread? I haven’t tried this app, I don’t know how good it is. There is a free version so you can see if it suits you. This blurb appears exactly as it is on site. I emailed them about their editing and the owner is contacting the developer to fix the problems! “BookMidwife app is for people who are sure they are ready to start their planning. In an easy and accessible format, authors can capture all the important information about their Plan, Notes and Progress. You will get a list of the KEY THINGS TO CONSIDER in your BOOK PLANNING. You will get help making a PROJECT TIMELINE with all of the KEY MILESTONES so you do everything in the right order and don’t forget anyting important.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bookmidwife/id474408137?mt=8&ls=1


Word Processors and Book Writing Apps

Image from Scrivener Site

There is a rumour that Scrivener is coming out as an App and will sync with your PC or Mac. Please let that be so. Keep checking! http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

iAWriter

This is the only iPad/iPhone app that doesn’t leave me screaming with frustration. You can move the cursor within words to make changes as it has more keys than the other keyboards. It is designed to be uncluttered so all you focus on is your writing, then you just email the document through to yourself. Plus on the iPad it’s big and thus, less frustrating. Cheap, simple has excellent ratings. http://www.iawriter.com/

Quickoffice® Pro

If you use Microsoft Word files, this is the app I use. There are probably many others out there. Available for Android, iPad, iPhone & Symbian “Create, Edit, Access & Share Microsoft® Office files with the most connected office suite for on iPhone & iPod Touch. Includes fixes for iOS 5. NEW – PPT® Editor, Huddle & SugarSync access.” http://itunes.apple.com/app/quickoffice-pro/id310723177?mt=8&quantity=1

Pages by Apple

If you are a Mac addict and use Apple’s Pages, this very cheap but adequate version is essential. “Pages is the most beautiful word processor you’ve ever seen on a mobile device. This powerful app has been exclusively designed for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Create, edit, and view documents wherever you are. Pages works with iCloud, so your documents stay up to date on all your iOS devices — automatically” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/pages/id361309726?mt=8&ls=1&v0=www-naus-ipad-appstore-apple-pages

WriteRoom By Hog Bay Software

This is more distraction free software, but doesn’t seem to have the keyboard flexibility of iAWriter. But it does have: “Word Count, Extended Keyboard Row, Search for Files, Custom Line Height, Screen Brightness, TextExpander Support, Automatic & Manual Sync, iTunes Document Sharing, Clean Fullscreen Mode, Print & Email, Startup Passcode, Link Detection, Draggable Scroller, Autocorrect On/Off, Document & Folder Sorting.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writeroom/id288751446?mt=8&ls=1

I Write A Book By DraganCats

The reason I’ve included this is, I haven’t seen many apps where you can have multiple books being written at once. Many apps are one book only. Other than that, it’s basic and distraction free. http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/i-write-a-book/id391119044?mt=8&ls=1

Manuscript By Black Mana Studios

Being a Scrivener user, I like having index cards where you can store the odd ideas and facts you need to put somewhere easy to get to. This gives you index cards. “Manuscript is a writing application that lets you outline, research, edit and export anywhere between a short story and an entire book – right on your iPhone! Manuscript is not limited to writing stories – you can use it for note-taking, project management, storyboard and much more.
• Create a manuscript from scratch or import from Dropbox.
• Outline your manuscript using multiple levels: Pitch – One sentence tagline.
Synopsis – A more elaborate description of the plot or article, covering major developments. Index cards – Serves as a repository for ideas, character development, reminders and more.
• On top of Pitch and Synopsis, each chapter can be outlined individually. You can create empty chapters, outline them, and then pour content into them in any order you like.
• Use Wikipedia, dictionary and thesaurus from within the app.
• Backup your work-in-progress or export your finished manuscript to Dropbox as an RTF, TXT or HTML file that can be read by both Mac and PC.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/manuscript/id339910826?mt=8&ls=1

My Writing Spot By PT Software Solutions

Another writing app with decent features. “My Writing Spot is also handy for keeping track of To-Do lists and notes. Struck with an idea while you’re away from your computer? Capture it in My Writing Spot! Since you can have as many documents as you’d like, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/my-writing-spot/id332503036?mt=8&ls=1

Writers App By Thomas Sillmann

I like the use of predefined attributes. This could be handy for getting ideas together and getting details straight! Again though, their description editing is poor, but it’s how you use the app that matters. “You’re writing a new novel? You want to capture your ideas and thoughts organized, and from any location at any time? You want a comprehensive sticky note that provides templates by which you can define specific characteristics and attributes of the characters and places? That’s exactly what the Writers App was developed for. It’s no app for writing a novel, but to hold your ideas and thoughts and to structure your story.

The Writers App allows you to:
- Create and organize stories
- Write a synopsis, premise, plot and notes for your story
- Create chapters, characters and places
- Edit the predefined attributes such as age, personality and occupation of the character or appearance and environment of places.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writers-app/id423122863?mt=8&ls=1


For Scriptwriters, but Useful Across Genres

Writer Aid By Redwind Software

“Writer Aid” is a first of a kind iPhone app developed to aid scriptwriters overcome the difficulties associated with crafting new and original material in an increasingly competitive market. Great descriptions can punch your story, article, or script off the page. This library of characters, Script Tips and Comment section enables writers to make notes, develop characters and co-write on the iPhone, iPad or iPod. The database works by categorizing the information according to gender, age, genre and variety. Alternatively just browse the descriptions that come Recommended from Hollywoods established writers. “Writer Aid” will help you craft new and inventive characters using the past as an index.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writer-aid/id345881105?mt=8&ls=1

ScriptWrite By Filter Apps, LLC

“Write an entire screenplay or a quick scene on the go, all with one easy interface. The ScriptWrite Toolbar gives you everything you need, right where you need it, without cluttering your creative space. It’s perfect for seasoned screenwriters, or those new to the craft!

ScriptWrite Features:
- Universal for both iPhone and iPad (also iPod touch)
- Change the name of and duplicate your scripts
- Write Mode and Read Mode in portrait or landscape
- ScriptWrite Toolbar for easy, simple access to script elements
- Ability to change elements after they have been written
- Scene database that provides ‘go-to’ and ‘rearranging’ of scenes
- Character database that provides auto-fill upon import as well as add/delete character names for each script
- Character name auto-suggest
- Smart auto-advancement from element to element as you write
- Smart scrolling so that large scripts do not hang up the app as you are writing/reading
- Settings page that will auto-fill your Title Page
- Quick Start menu provides icon descriptions
- Links to our video tutorials and homepage
- Import and Export files for Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 (.txt), Final Draft 8 (.fdx), and Celtx (.txt) [Not all features of Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 and Final Draft 8 are supported]
- Import and Export via Email, iTunes and Dropbox
- Export scripts in .pdf format (Includes Title Page)
- Print scripts using AirPrint
- Works with External Keyboard on iPad, including Tab Key support for element advancement.
- Superior Customer Service”

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/scriptwrite/id334928503?mt=8&ls=1


Just a reminder: I have not tried most of these apps, so it’s buyer beware and I am not responsible for the quality of your experience, or any problems you may have with your devices after installation and use; no I am not getting paid to promote any of these and I don’t expect to etc. If the software vendor, Apple or Android are not kind, then I am very sorry, but I am unable to help you and I am not liable.


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

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