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Tag: WRITING

Byword for Mac is a simple, minimalist app for writing

Byword for Mac is a very simple application designed to let you do one thing, and one thing only: write. To achieve that, it's incredibly clutter-free, and it really doesn't get in your way at all. In fact, it's one of those apps that's almost entirely invisible -- by design. When you open it, the only thing you see is a clean full-screen interface that lets you start typing right away. There...

Oneword.com helps get your creative juices flowing

Writer's block is a drag. You just sit there staring at the full-screen, distraction-free editor that you spent forever tweaking so it would be just right. You're all set up to write, and ... nothing comes. Blank. The cursor blinks, the clock ticks by, and everything you can think of just seems trite and boring, like a stereotype of a story rather than the story you wish you could write. Of...

Authonomy is a creative community for budding authors, backed by HarperCollins

It used to be that when you wrote a book, you just sent your manuscript off to a bunch of publishers, and waited. Or if you were lucky, rich, or connected, maybe you had an agent who could help you and pitch the publishers for you. Today, it no longer has to be like that. Authonomy is one website that aims to change the process -- and do it in style. HarperCollins is effectively using the site to...

Scrivener writing application now available for Windows, just in time for NaNoWriMo

Scrivener is a long-form writing application with a pretty strong fan-base on the Mac. And now there's finally a beta version for Windows, too! This release of Scrivener comes just before NaNoWriMo, which is the National Novel Writing Month that's due to begin at the start of November. The Windows Beta is free to use (until the full version comes out), while the new Mac version (Scrivener 2.0...

[Updated] Wrttn.me is an awesome Web notepad, supports Markdown

[UPDATE:] As it turns out, wrttn.me is a clone of wrttn.in. I have now amended the links in the screenshot to point to the original tool, after verifying the fact. The review below is still valid for the original tool (all the more so, in fact). Thanks to alert commenter nuttendorfer! When I first laid eyes upon Wrttn.me, I couldn't help but notice how spartan it all was. There was nary an...

Man leaves his very large message on the world with GPS "pen"

A lot of people have used map software to trace out messages across the world's roads, but Nick Newcomen is the first to actually drive the routes and map them with a GPS. Newcomen traveled over 12,000 miles around the US, starting from Texas, to spell out "Read Ayn Rand" across the American landscape. His work is now the biggest piece of GPS writing ever recorded. Whether or not you like Rand,...

Write Attack! uses tough love to break through your writer's block

Write Attack! is a very neat writing tool. You set a timer for your session and specify how many words you'd like to write. Once you write the first ten words, the timer starts counting back. You now have X number of minutes to make that target and write as many words as you decided to write. While the timer is running, you cannot save your file, and you can't copy your text elsewhere. It's...

1HRmail lets you send inexpensive snail mail anywhere in the world

1HRmail is a beautiful, slick, and modern website, which lets you do something that is very old school: send a snail mail letter. You start off by specifying the addresses (both yours and the destination). You then click "Write Letter," and an in-page Rich Text editor "slides" out from under the envelope, where you can write your letter. The only language supported is English, but you can upload...

IdiomDictionary helps you hit the nail on the head, even if you're not the sharpest tool in the box

IdiomDictionary has a killer domain name, because that's exactly what it is: a dictionary for idioms. I have no idea how much the domain cost, but it appears to be quite clean of advertising. The site claims to explain the meaning of over 5,000 idioms. It does not seem to use an "established" dictionary for the definitions, but the explanations seem to be well written, concise, and...

I Write Like tells you which famous author you write like

Here's a nice way to give your ego a little boost and waste 30 seconds: take a chunk of something you've written, making sure that it's at least a few paragraphs long, and paste it into the text box at I Write Like. Hit the Analyze button, then wait for it to spit out the name of a famous author that your writing is somehow statistically similar to. It's fun, and it makes you feel good in that...

RhymeBrain helps you rhyme, alliterate, and find really nerdy insults

I hereby declare the expression "smarty pants" to be outmoded. No longer will we use such hackneyed language. Thanks to RhymeBrain, we can now say something like "whippersnapper whites." Okay, so maybe that's not the most useful example, but RhymeBrain is actually an awesome website for playing around with words. You fill in a textbox with a word (or several, if you want to alliterate), and you...

How to make spelling errors more visible in Firefox

Firefox has a very nice built-in spellchecker; it's not as nice as After the Deadline, but it still gets the job done. One problem I've had with it, though, is that the squiggly line underneath misspelled words is very easy to miss; it's red, yes, but it's also super-thin and really tiny. If you've had a similar problem and, for some reason, don't feel like trying out After the Deadline, you will...

Writespace converts Word into a full-screen, minimalistic editor

Writespace is like WriteMonkey -- but for Microsoft Word. In other words, it's a full-screen, minimalistic text editor, which runs right inside Word. It's not some half-assed macro which makes the background dark and changes font color; it was developer using Windows Presentation Foundation as a Word add-in, and is available as an installer for Word 2007 and 2003. It's comprehensive. Writespace...

Penzu helps you write your thoughts privately online, but why?

I don't get it. A Web application for "writing in private?" What's the point? Penzu apparently received glowin praise from some of the best-known media outlets on the Web. PC Mag gave it the "Best Free Software of 2009" award. Am I the only one left wondering what the ...? Penzu puts you in front of a neat little paper-like "page" that is lined and everything. You can then write your thoughts and...

After the Deadline now checks your grammar, spelling on Google Chrome!

We've covered After the Deadline before -- from its emergence as a WordPress plug-in to the arrival of the Firefox extension. Now, Google Chrome users can get in on the grammar-y goodness: After the Deadline is now available from the Chrome Extension Gallery. The new extension is loaded with options, allowing you to whitelist certain phrases and websites, automatically check textareas prior...