Whether you’re racing against the clock to get a late-term research paper done or finally getting ready to tackle that novel you’ve been putting off for years, there’s no doubt that writers face a lot of obstacles. Articulating your thoughts onto paper is a tough gig, and there’s a reason why writing is so often associated with the sort of hair-pulling frustration that leads many to want to punch a hole right through their laptop monitor.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are a bunch of tools at your disposal to make the whole process not only more tolerable but actually enjoyable. And when you like what you’re doing, you’re going to put out your best work. So take a break from trying to hammer out that prose and learn about the eight tools that can make your writing life much easier.
We all get enticed at the idea of just sitting down at the computer with no pre-planning and knocking out page after page. But unless you’re a one-in-a-million writing wizard like Stephen King, that can be pretty risky business – and if you read some of the endings to King’s books, you’ll see that even the horror master himself gets into trouble. The simple fact is that although the planning stage can take extra time, by putting together an outline you’ll have a far better chance and write something that’s structurally cohesive and not have to worry about running into the sort of roadblocks that will force you to go back and change significant chunks of what you’ve already written.
Think of the outline as your navigator, a tool to guide you through the literary wilderness so that you don’t have to stop every five minutes to wonder what you’ve actually written so far and where you’re going. And the truth is that while most sites on writing will advise you to create an outline in order to keep everything coherent and fluid, many also point out that the time you take to put together the outline, will save you way more time when you actually write your project.
2. Grammar & Style Guides
So your killer story about radioactive vampires battling 30-foot tall Martians is so amazing that you can’t be bothered with little things like grammar and writing style, right?
Your writing is intertwined with the story. It’s the vessel that carries it to the reader, and if your writing is weak or just so-so, guess what, your story will be too. The simple fact is that too many grammatical errors and/or lousy writing style will distract or annoy your readers to the point that they’ll give up on your story long before the thrilling, bloody conclusion.
Thankfully, by getting yourself a grammar & style guide, you’ll have an easy-to-use tool that will help you write in a polished way that will keep your reader locked into your epic monsters vs. Martians struggle and anxiously awaiting your brilliant werewolves vs. Martian’s sequel.
3. Writing Services
College is a massive investment. You’re spending a whole bunch of money and giving up a tremendous amount of time in hopes that it will all lead to a big payoff in your post-academic career. Unfortunately, real life is still unforgiving and so are a lot of your professors. And when a deadline for that monster research paper is looming and the pressure to get a good grade is making the back of your neck get tight, you sometimes need to get some help. Enter professional writing service.
The simple fact is that with your all-important GPA at stake, the risk of getting a bad – or even mediocre – grade is too high to turn in sub-par work. But by hiring a professional writer through an online writing service, you can take that thousand-pound anchor of stress off your back and look forward to presenting an essay that will give your GPA a very nice boost. Because the cold truth is that while you might very well comprehend the subject matter, writing – particularly good writing – takes time, the time you just might not have between the moment the cold sweat really starts to hit and the due date.
4. Study Writing You Enjoy
By far the most abundant and easily accessible tool to solve your writing problems is to examine the work of an already successful author. From big name writers like Tom Clancy to more obscure, but still very successful self-published authors like Michael J. Sullivan, you can learn an awesome amount simply by examining the sorts of sentence structure, plotting, and descriptions that make up a good writer’s work. In fact, one of the best sources for aspiring writers is Stephen King’s book, On Writing, where King breaks down exactly what goes into great writing and the tools you need to achieve it.
5. Hemmingway Writing App
Struggling with style is a big problem for a lot of writers. Lots of run-on sentences, constant passive voice issues, disorganized structure. Thankfully though the Hemmingway Editor is a fantastic tool to eliminate these issues and seriously improve the boldness and clarity of your writing. By judging the grade level of your text, Hemmingway can help filter out tedious sentences which then allows you to make changes that will make your work much easier on the reader’s eyes.
6. Articles by Experts
Everyone love help from the experts, the question is, who are really the people you want to be getting advice from? Writepls solves that issue by selecting only the best articles on writing and shooting them directly to your email.
7. Use An Online Reverse Dictionary
Writing involves words. Lots and lots of words. And sometimes we have an idea as clear as crystal in our heads, but we don’t have the terminology to express it. An online reverse dictionary fixes that. All you have to do is describe a concept and you will instantly be provided with a list of words and phrases connected to that concept.
8. Writing Software
When you think about what a novel really is, it can seem pretty staggering. You’re creating the world in your mind, complete with characters, their motivations, countless lines of dialogue, numerous locations, plot points, and of course lots of adventures.
It’s a big task to keep track of and that’s why that first novel breaks a lot of writers before they can get anywhere near finishing it.
But as with constructing a skyscraper, if you plan it out piece by piece and keep those building blocks nice and organized, you won’t be overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the project and you’ll have a much better chance of finishing the thing. Even better, if you use a software program to keep your individual scenes, characters, plot points, and locations in one clean, simple to access place, you’ll never feel like you’re drowning in the ocean of your own creation.
9. Writing Groups and Classes
Writing can be an isolated existence. When it’s just you and your laptop, you can get a little stir crazy as you try to scale the literary mountain while at the same time wondering if you’d be better of socializing with other members of our species like most humans seem interested in doing. But writing a book doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself off from humanity, and in fact, there are many great writing groups and classes you can join that will give you the kind of critical and moral support that will make the whole writing journey more effective and enjoyable. Because whether it’s a meet-up group or an online class, exposing yourself to like-minded people also traveling down the same ever-challenging writing road will allow you to receive valuable input and experience a comradery that you’d never get going it all alone.