Writing tools – updated Sept. 2020

This post is a collection point for all kinds of writing-related tools, websites, and resources — anything I find interesting, useful, or even crappy. It also includes things that were recommended to me or that I know about but haven’t checked out or used yet. I’ll add to it over time.


Tools of the trade

  • Vintage mechanical typewriter
  • Notebooks
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Sticky notes
  • A contractor’s clipboard (storage clipboard)
  • iPad

Tools & software

  • Scrivener – advanced software with a learning curve
  • Trello – Online Kanban board (Michelle uses for plotting)
  • Storyboarder – an easy to use digital storyboarding tool. I tend to visualize my story as if I were watching a movie so this tool might help me describe what I’m envisioning.
  • Jutoh – ebook publishing software
  • ISBN numbers – getting them via Bowker Identifier Services
  • Vellum – ebook formatting tool

Online editors

  • Hemingway editor – highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors to help you tighten up your writing. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Grammarly – a plugin for Chrome that scans and helps you improve your words nearly anywhere you write on the web. Haven’t tried it yet
  • IA Writer – A simple, stripped-down text editor. Used to use it on the iPad but haven’t for a long time. No rating yet
  • The Most Dangerous Writing App
  • Write or Die – highly configurable writing motivator (spiders!)



I reviewed both of these books here: Book Mentions: Tinkering & Troubleshooting

Newsletters & mailing lists

Writing exercises

  • Pimp my Plot – a brainstorming exercise that’s often a tradition at National Novel Writing Month kickoff parties. Participants respond to plot dilemmas using index cards.
  • Writing contests and competitions

Branding and platform

Publishing platforms


Things I’m not impressed by

I had a category here for things that “don’t impress me much.” I’m happy to say that the two things I’d previously listed are now defunct!

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