Keeping it Reel

5 Tools Every Writer Should be Using


One of the perks of being a writer is that you need practically nothing to create. While your peers lug around bulky cameras and equipment or are tied to a computer to do their work, you can create anytime, anywhere. All you need is something to write on and something to write with.

That being the case, it seems like there wouldn’t be much technology out there to aid a writer. I mean, the most you can do is buy a cool pen and get a suitable writing program on your computer, right?

Well, you might be surprised. There are actually a lot of tools available that address some of the biggest challenges writers face. Take a look at some of the tools below and find out how they can help you improve upon your writing every day.

 


 

1. Editing Apps, Plug-ins, and websites

If you have ever had to edit by hand, you know how painfully tedious the process is. Spellchecking, finding the right comma placements, correcting sentence structure issues, and eliminating overused phrases and words; all of these things need to be done if you want to create the best piece possible. But when you are in the middle of your writing flow, you don’t have time to focus on not using a passive voice. Editing upon completion should always be done, but do you really want to go back through your entire piece five times to find every little error.

Luckily you don’t have to. Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway do the work for you and are completely free. Each tool has its own pros and cons, but both can be used to help you improve the readability and grammatical sanctity of your writing.

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2. Focus Apps, Plug-ins, and Websites

How many times have you sat down to write only to find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed or tweeting about something completely irrelevant? My guess would be quite a few. With the constant temptation of social media looming over you, how are you supposed to get anything done?

There’s an app for that.

If you are looking for a way to stay focused on your work, try Focus or Self Control. These apps allow you to block specific websites from use for a certain amount of time. All you need to do is plug the URLs of the websites that distract you most into the app and you want be able to access them for however long you choose.

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3. Prompt Books and Generators

If you have ever tried to set a specific time to get writing done, you know that it isn’t easy to just sit down and start writing. Sometimes you just can’t think of anything to write about.

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas during your “writing time,” give a writing prompt generator a try. Some prompt generators provide you with a starting sentence to work off, while others may supply you with things like a character, an action, and an object.

Prompt generators are great tools to use when you are trying to practice writing every day. All you have to do is sit down, click a button to receive a prompt, and start writing.

 

4. Smart Writing Set (Digital Smart Pen and Notepad)

As I discussed in the opening paragraphs, one of the main benefits of being a writer is that you can do your writing anywhere. The only problem with this is when you write something incredibly on the go, you then have to go home and retype it if you want to expand upon it.

Purchasing a Smart Writing Set (which should include a digital pen and notepad) is one way to avoid this problem. With this tool, you can write on the go in a slight journal and transfer your work to your computer at home.

 

5. Speech Dictation Software

Have you ever said something and immediately thought ‘I need to write that down!’? If you have then you might want to check out speech dictation software. Like voice searching on your phone, voice dictation software transfers your spoken word into text. Only the software built into your phone doesn’t do quite as a good a job.

You can use software like this for all kinds of things. it can be used for brainstorming, speech writing, dialogue writing, or just recording your thoughts on a topic.

Good old’ paper and pen are all you need, but not all that’s out there. If you are looking to improve the quality of your writing, these tools can take you to the next level.

 



As you strive to become a better writer every day, it’s nice to have a goal in mind. Download our Film Career Guide below to see what career you might pursue some day. Set your sights towards the future and start working!

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.