Smatterings A Writers Home Page

Free Open Source and Freeware Writer's Craft Tools

Online guides to polish and teach writing

Computer Adventures, The Secret Art a guide to writing computer adventure games.

Plot Whisper for Writing and Readers Plot tips for writers.

Poetryexpress Takes you through the steps of writing free verse poetry.

Roy Peter Clark's Twenty Writing Tools: Sentences and paragraphs, language, special effects and structure.

Writing Center by the University of Richmond covers brainstorming, writing for specific disciplines, and the nuts and bolts of grammar, cliches, transitions...

Characterization online help

How to Detect Lies A study of common traits of a liar including body language, emotional gestures, verbal content and context...

Online References with word choice, spelling, grammar and structure.

The Blue Book of Grammar Grammar rules based on the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is used many book publishers and writers.

Guide to Grammar and Writing 427 references to both the Guide to Grammar and Writing and Principles of Composition.

A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices Help from the ancient Greeks on writing with clarity and style.

The Tongue Untied Online college prep course on grammar, spelling and punctuation according to the Associated Press Style.

Free Browser Grammar Checkers

After the Deadline Chrome and Firefox add-on. checks spelling, misused words, style, and grammar using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Works in comments and tweets.

Free Online Grammar Checkers

While trying to write Go Fund Me Pages on Facebook, explain to social workers, lawyers and judges as I try to settle my parent's estate while being injured, I often have trouble operating a keyboard. All these sites have been blessing. Each grammmar checker finds different errors I cannot see otherwise. But still get people to proofread your writing if possible. Sometimes, after checking my copy with every checker, I still miss words, write incomplete sentences and did not mean the word posted. Yes, it's a real word but not the one I intended.

EditMinion Online grammar check. Highlights adverbs, weak works, passive phrases, and cliches. Lists the most frequently occurring words, average sentence length, and the longest sentence.

Hemingway App is a free online grammar check where you delete their text and copy and paste your own. Tried an 11 page chapter. Looks for over use of adverbs and passive sentences, phrases that can be simplified, and complex sentences. Pasted correct results into my word processing software.

Slick Write Online grammar check with style flaws, a tool to analyze structure, another tool to help with word variety. Yet another tool helps analyze flow.

Free Browser and Online Grammar Checkers

Grammarly is a free browser add-on that automatically checks the grammar and spelling written in text boxes like your status in FaceBook, Gmail, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr and other cool places to hangout on the web in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. The free version of Grammarly checks for hyphenated words, two words that really should be one word, missing articles, capitalization and commas.

Language Tool is Firefox and Chrome add-on proofreading text boxes with the press of a button for American, English, French, German, Polish, and more than 20 other languages. Allows you to highlight website text to grammar check your web page, and add your own words to your personal dictionary if needed. Online grammar check on their website. Disable Grammarly is it is installed in your browser when using Language Tool website. Copy and paste your text to check spelling and grammar. Timed out after doing 7 pages out of 11 on my 11 page chapter test but the 3rd try was a charm. Checked for open and closed quotes, normally hyphenated words and words that sound similar but are spelled differently.

Scribens Firefox, Safari and Chrome add-on. Proofreads for over 250 grammar mistakes. Right click the box the text is written in. Clicking on Scribens opens a new window. Automatically enters the text into Sciben's online grammar check. Allows you to correct the grammar if needed by must manually move corrected text into the box you are posting from. Must delete original text to use the corrected one. Scribus Online version proofread my chapter. As in MS Words grammar check, I did not agree with every suggestion. Scribus is set for a more formal writing than dialogue in a fictional story.

Online Writer Aids

Plagiarisma Free online plagiarism checker for students, teachers, scholars, educators, scientists, essayists, and writers.

Word Counter Online reading level- and word count-- copy and paste your article, essay, report, story, book, paper, into the box at their website and get feedback on word count, reading level and word density. Designed to work with Grammarly installed.

Word Doctor Online writer aid that suggests other words next to your cursor and define the word you chose. Paste your prose into the editor box, (300 word limit for unsigned in) (1000 word limit if you log in) to analyze text. Both are too short for a typical chapter. If your text is short enough, a female voice can read it for you. Under the tools tab, Document stats produces a Flesch Readability Score, the length of time to read the text and tells word count. A typical chapter for me is about 3000 words. Click on the background page to close the data generated about your prose. Analyze Text starts a Document Analysis which gives feedback on word density, writing style and phrases used for imagery. Sentiment tagging enabled a chart which decided my text was more negative in tone as opposed to positive.

Desktop Writing Craft Software

Grammar Checkers

Style and grammar checkers are excellent ways to learn what different editors look for while they are evaluating your prose.

Caution: If you decide to utilize a style or grammar checker add-in written for MS Word, recheck your formatting after you convert back to your normal settings. You may have to select all in your edit tab and reselect font type, and reset double spacing.

Language Tool Plug-ins Language Tool Plug-ins exist for OpenOffice, and LibreOffice and they offer a stand alone version. All three versions require installing Java.

Scribens Must have Chrome browser installed. Add to Thunderbird, Windows and Mac Office 2016, Microsoft Office, Excel and Word Online, Open Office, LibreOffice, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. Corrects over 250 types of grammar mistakes and detects stylistic elements such as repetitions, run-on sentences, and redundancies. Languages: English, French. Spell checker suggests synonyms.

Open Source and Freeware Grammar Word Macro

Roger J. Carlson Writing Help Tech Tips features MS Word 97-2003 macro's to edit out adverbs and overused words.

Reading Level-- Open Source Freeware

Flesh Java application quickly analyzes plain text and rich text files document and display the difficulty associated with comprehending it. Useful even if you use MS Word, because you don't need to go through a complete grammar check to get the readability statistics. Windows, Mac and Linux versions.


AutoREALM A Windows map making program for sci-fi and fantasy worlds. When you write a story with multiple locations it is good to be able to map it out. Once mapped out you may wish to change some of the story's details.

Text to speech free software

Someone else reading your work out-loud can illuminate some of the most deviously hidden mistakes.

D Speech Converts text into clear voice. The default sounds like a deep voiced male who can read incredibly fast or slow. Downloadable alternate voices.

NaturalReader is software that converts any text into clear, high-quality voice. The voice used in the free version sounds robotic, but almost every word is understandable. Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista 32.

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