I love tools… (well not the walking and talking kind.)

Edited Public Domain Swiss Army knife photo- Original image credit: Petr Kratochvil
Edited Public Domain Swiss Army knife photo- Original image credit: Petr Kratochvil

So for those of you out there who’ve decided you’re going to finally take the plunge, and write the world’s greatest novel, I decided to share some of the tools I’ve found to get the job done, and best of all, most of them are free!

Topping the list are the two I use most. Although not free, they are affordable. First up is Scrivener: it’s a project management system as well as a word-processor by those clever folks at Literature & Latte. Priced around $40.00 US, it’s packed with features that can make almost anyone a Hemingway. What makes it unique, is the binder feature. Instead of creating one long document, you can set up each scene as its own document, you can slide them around, change their order, or write a different version without losing the first to see which one you like best.

Scrivener screenshot
Scrivener screenshot

As you can see from the screenshot, it can be used for more than just story telling. I also use it to keep my media campaigns  organized. But wait, I haven’t even told you the best part yet. Do you  fear Smashwords Meatgrinder? Well, fear no more. Scrivener exports just about every file-format you’ll ever need.

Another sweet little app the Literature Latte folks have come out with is called Scapple ($14.00 us.)

This is a free-form note taking program
the can also do double duty as a mind mapping tool.

But unlike similar programs, you aren’t forced to make connections. This is true brainstorming software.

scapple screen shot
scapple screen shot

Okay now on to the freebies!

thesage
TheSage screenshot

I’m not going to mention the obvious (Gimp, OpenOffice…) because plenty of people already have… Oops, I guess I just did.

First up is … wait for it… TheSage English dictionary and thesaurus. This little gem from Sequence Publishing has more tools than I have time to mention.

We are linguists. Our interest in this project is academic, not commercial. TheSage is free.

So head on over and grab a copy. Soon you’ll find words and relationships that you didn’t even know existed…

Then there’s  online thesaurus’:

Erotic Thesaurus This site has a great list of words to steam up your romance and or smut. They also have some very funny as well as informative articles on writing smut.

Onlook Reverse Dictionary.  Know what you want to say but can’t find the word? Just enter a concept and it will hunt it down. This is a cloud source thesaurus that’s connected to the world’s premier dictionaries.

Want all your tools in one place? Check out these resource portals.

Refdesk This a portal site filled with specialized search engines, dictionaries and news outlets. It has tools, converters and widgets galore.

Libraryspot is another useful portal site.

The Book Designer — Practical Advice to Help Self-Publishers Build Better BooksThis site is filled with tutorials, legal advice and other resources.

Linguistic resources:

Dialect Blog: Don’t know how y’all say things over yonder? These guys even have recordings so you’ns can hear it rightly.

Dictionary of southern Appalachian English..  Hillbilly obviously… not a joke site. This is a strong academic and well researched site.

North American Dialects this site isn’t the prettiest, but it has all kinds of maps, recordings and historical articles.

Well that’s all I have time for today… so until next week, smoke’m if ya got’m .

Free Education Resources !

Talk to me, dammit!

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