• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by williebee 12 years, 9 months ago



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Writing can be hard enough-- Useful, free tools don't have to be.





NameResearch  - What's in a Surname (US)

So, you've named a character, and you are working on backstory.  OR, you just want to name a character.  National Geographic has a cool research tool for writers, teachers and history junkies.   What are the most common surnames where YOUR novel is set?



Wallwisher -


Think of it as a digital version of 3X5 cards. You can layout your story and plot lines and push them around at will.  You can also use Wallwisher to collaborate on stories, plan write-ins, or family reunions.



So let's say you and three, four, or a dozen of your fellow writers are trying to collaborate on a series of stories, or maybe a magazine. You want to get together and talk about what it should look like, what should be in it. Maybe one of you has designed the website, or the magazine layout, and wants to show the others how it works. Maybe you just want to take turns "throwing stuff at the wall"  to see what the others thing. But, you're thousands of miles apart.  Designed for classroom and collaboration, BigBlueButton can do the job for you.  If you've never used one of the paid collaboration projects before, there is a little bit of a learning curve, but not much.  Follow the link and check out the demo. It's cool.



Take your "writer's desk" with you, in your pocket.  Includes a secure web browser, an email client program you can configure to check your gmail/hotmail/etc., a file encryption program to protect your work, a word processing program for writing, and an image editing program for.. well, image editing.  And the whole thing runs on a jump drive. (Sourceforge just rocks.)  Plug the jump drive into a computer, like say at the hotel's workcenter when you've spilled your morning coffee on your morning's presentation or your next pitch, and open what you need on your jump drive.  What you do stays on the jump drive.



A free application (from Microsoft) that synchronizes files and folders between locations on a computer or a local network. IOW (in other words) You have a jumpdrive that you are backing your files up to, or another back up drive location, and you're tired of doing the click drag click drag oh crap I forgot to click drag. This tool will keep your writing folders synced up with their back up copies... all for the price of the couple minutes it takes to download it and tell it what to do.



-- A free, cool brainstorming tool. Easy to install, easy to use.


Check out the University of Wisconsin's Dictionary for Regional English

Because it's not just what a word means, it's where and when it meant it.  For example: if your character was a horse racer in 1890's Kentucky, would your character say his horse ran fast, or that he was "a june-in."



I was sitting at a writer's conference, listening to someone talk about what they'd paid for writing software -- you know, the usual stuff:  simple word processing, spreadsheet, anti-virus, editing, story tracking.....
This led to another conversation about computers -- laptops vs. desktops, name brand vs. generic, and the ever popular debate over Mac vs. PC.  Which led to another discussion; this one about websites, blogs, webrings, web publishing, and publicity in general.


I'm an Educational Technologist by trade; a storyteller and writer by desire. I spend my days working with the same technology questions, for teachers and students.

It was pointed out that I should be sharing this ongoing learning about technology with writers... folks who could benefit from "no cost" solutions to their everyday technology hassles. So, here we go*...

The Technology shouldn't get in the way of the Writing.


This wiki is sorted by writing software, writing research & tools, networking & marketing (including publishing and peer support) and just plain cool tools.

Not sure what the name of what you are looking for is?  Use the search button, enter some nouns that might apply and you'll find it.  Or, click on one of the links below.  You'll find all kind of useful stuff.







Click here for a fairly good explanation of Free & Open Source Software Licensing.
*As in most things that are honestly offered, all items mentioned on this site are "use at your own risk; your mileage may vary"; any suggestions or thoughts expressed are just my  opinion, unlessly otherwise noted.
Questions?  Comments?  Cool tools to share?  Please send me a note:  hughwilson (at) charter.net
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