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Dear #Writers , What Technology Can’t You Do Without? #writing

By 08/06/2015March 5th, 2016Uncategorized

 This blog is on a hiatus. For my blog with current updates, visit Damyanti at Daily (w)rite.
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When I started writing a few years ago, I was all for writing by hand. It kept me distraction-free, in touch with paper, and I could change the color of pens or the texture of paper as and when I wanted

Damyanti's technology suggestions for writers
Technology for Writers

While this was all very good when writing short stories, I balked at the thought of writing 100k by hand. So whether I liked it or not, I switched to writing first drafts on the laptop.

Now, there are sites I use: Google for (some of the) research, Thesaurus.com for when I need the right words, Dropbox for when I need to switch between devices.

I use Scrivener for my novel, the Pages app for when I’m writing on my iPad (it has a bluetooth keyboard, and is lighter to lug around). I use the Notes app to write down everything from recipes to new writing thoughts or sentences.

I’d of course be lost without email (betareads, mentoring, crit exchanges, and online writing forums).

In this article, they talk about a few of the other apps that a writer may use from grammar, spell checks, writing advice and connections to the marketplace. Check it out– it’s worth your time.

I’m still looking for a good text to speech app (for those days when I’m just not able to read my work aloud), and a speech to text app (for days when my back won’t let me sit up and write). I’ve tried Siri, but she doesn’t understand my pronunciation. Any and all suggestions welcome.
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What about you? What are the technologies and apps you use to make your life as a writer easier?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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19 Comments

  • Mark Murata says:

    Thanks for the article that gave the tip on the reverse dictionary.

  • For fiction, I write in longhand–not everything I write ends up in the book, of course. I feel freer to just freewrite around a scene or plot point than i do on the computer. And i discovered long ago that transferring the raw text from handwriting to computer gives you an amazing extra edit. But for nonfiction, I write online because it's just plain faster.

  • wildfire8470 says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I've heard of Scrivner but that all. Do they have an app for Kindle Fire HD or android?

  • I need to learn about these Apps.
    My only complaint is, no sooner have you mastered one, then there are five new Apps out…
    At heart I'm still a pen-and-paper-gal!

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  • marit31 says:

    technology is good, but i'm afraid i'll spend more time learning to use the tools rather than writing. i still need to "touch" the words with a pen and paper–they seem more alive this way–, but save and print from computer.

  • No apps, but I'd still be lost without the laptop.

  • Whatsup Guy says:

    Wow I am going to use a lot of the ones mentioned mashable. Thanks for sharing. Scrivener seems really really cool, though not something I need right now.

  • Lexa Cain says:

    I don't use anything fancy. But I'd be lost without MS Office auto-correct and spell check 'coz — dang! — I make a lot of typos. 😉

  • Arlee Bird says:

    Yeah, like Gary said, except I don't have any dog to take over for me.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

  • klahanie says:

    Hi Damyanti,

    I'm not that much into technology. I keep it as simple as possible. Too many applications just confuse me. As for a link that offers me writing advice, no thanks, I like doing things just the way I do. Either that or get the dog to take over my blog.

    Lovely seeing you, Damyanti.

    Gary 🙂

  • Nice 🙂 I love technology and am terribly distracted by it. I also prefer to write longhand on days when my creativity has been killed by the internet. On others I simply use my laptop to write on – in Word or text edit. I use my iPhone for remembering ideas – notes. And that's it. I actually have to switch my internet off so that I can write. Wish I was more disciplined. I am however intrigued by these apps – like Dragon – for reading my writing out loud. I think that's an excellent tip.

  • I need to check the application which helps one in writing. I remember writing in a note book but the downside is unlike Microsoft Word, one cannot delete stuff. I agree when it comes to writing novel, technology is better in contrast to reading.

  • A.J Sendall says:

    I find text to speech much better than reading aloud myself, as it doesn't auto-correct the way the writer does. My favourite is Loquendo, from Nuance –

    http://www.nuance.com/for-business/by-solution/customer-service-solutions/solutions-services/inbound-solutions/loquendo-small-business-bundle/tts-demo/index.htm

    – It has some great voices and a simple app that I paste into.

    Speech to text can be more difficult. I know a few writers who use Dragon Naturally Speaking, and love it. I prefer the in-built Windows 'Speech Recognition'. Whichever STT app you use, it is essential to spend considerable time training it, and then correct mistakes until it learns your voice. It can take many hours of use to get it used to your voice, but when it does, it is a great distraction free way to 'write', especially for dialogue. I find removing the physical task of typing allows a deeper level of thought.

    Good luck.

  • Birgit says:

    I can't help you one bit but it seems you are getting good advice and hope you find something that helps

  • Jo says:

    An author friend of mine who lives in Australia uses a text to speech programme for a while now. If you email me at Prideth @ rogers.com I can give you her email address.

  • Caitlin Lane says:

    I prefer GoogleDrive over Dropbox, and I also utilize Google's Keep app. It's easy to make lists and quick notes from your phone, and it syncs with the app on your computer. Both make my life so much easier.

  • shelly says:

    I stick to the basics with technology. Too many apps confuse me. Less is more and just enough. When I'm out and about, I write in my notes on my iPhone and email myself.

  • I've had an iPad since day one and couldn't live without it now.

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