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The information on these pages is copyrighted by the author with all rights reserved. Reproduction of anything other than actual URL addresses without the author's permission is in violation of copyright laws.
This is a list of resources of interest to writers.
Writer's Resources Topics
Table of Contents:
- Looking for research material? See if there's a FAQ on your
subject at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/
- Webster's online dictionary and thesaurus are accessible from
- A style manual is finally available over the Internet. You
can find it and many other great reference materials at
- How to set your e-mail program to send plain text that anyone
receiving e-mail can read,
http://www.geoapps.com/nomime.shtml. This is very helpful if
you're sharing your writing via e-mail.
- More on story formatting problems and other writing related topics from Kathryn
If anyone has any dictionary, spelling, readability indexing or other
writing related freeware they'd recommend, please let me know. See also, my list of
Open Source Software Recommendations for mention of more interesting software.
- StarDict is a useful, cross-platform dictionary program that lets you search and access dictionary,
thesaurus and encyclopedia entries on your PC. Older versions (both standard and portable) are available at Sourceforge.
I personally prefer the portable versions. With the portable version I'm currently running, it looked like it had some extra files that I didn't need for running it and were just taking up space. I only needed the StarDict directory under the app directory, not in other locations as well. You can customize GTK settings by editing or changing gtkrc in the StarDictPortable\App\StarDict\Gtk\etc\gtk-2.0 directory. Check the StarDict
and XDXF projects at Sourceforge for reference materials to use with StarDict.
- A simple to use DOS spell checker is at
- Hunspell is very popular spell checker that works on Unix, Windows and
other platforms. See
http://hunspell.sourceforge.net for more information.
- AutoHotkey is a wonderful, Open Source automation utility for Windows.
Some of its users have written autocorrection scripts for this tool that will work with almost any Windows application or editor.
For details, see http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/topic8057.html.
You can find links to 2 autocorrection scripts for AutoHotkey here:
- Gnu style and diction utilities for Unix can be found at
http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html. There's a Windows
port available from the GnuWin32 project at Sourceforge.
- A program for DOS that displays the Gunning-Fogfinder readability
index is available from
- A DOS program with source that gives the functionality of wc
plus reabability information can be found at
for wc24 under the freeware and filters links.
- Also search your favorite gnu, delorie gcc or gnuish msdos archive for
wc. It's a word count program that counts lines, words and bytes in a file.
It started out on Unix, but there are versions available for many operating
systems. A copy of wc is available with msys.
- Check out some of the Command Line Interface applications at http://www.jaredandcoralee.com/CLIapps.html for tools that may help with your writing. You'll find file converters like antiword, dictionaries, thesauri, spelling and grammar checkers and more listed there.
- The Free Software for DOS site has other good suggestions for editors, dictionaries and text utilities that will work with some variety of DOS or in DOSBox. See http://reimagery.com/fsfd/index.htm#siteidx
- Here's one way to write a rhyming tool and a link to an online version of it.
- Need to convert your printed writing back to ASCII? If you have a scanner,
you may want to test out this Optical Character Recognition program
Editors and Word Processors
- SciTE is my current favorite programming editor and it's useful for
writing stories too. Check my article on SciTE Tips
for help with customizing SciTE and ideas for using SciTE with your own writing projects, plus information on
where to get it. There's also information on a spell-checker that can be used with SciTE or other programming editors that understand gnu compiler error output formats.
- Lyx is a cross platform 'what you see is what you mean' style editor.
- Scibus is another interesting cross platform 'wysiwym' editor.
- Wordgrinder is a cross-platform console based word processor. See http://wordgrinder.sourceforge.net/
- Pedit is a DOS editor which replaces EDIT and has many features
including a spell checker and thesaurus and column blocking and editing abilities. See
- Libre Office is a full office suite. See http://www.documentfoundation.org
- Abiword is an Open Source word processor. A portable apps version is available for
flash drives. See http://www.abisource.com
- Edwin is a highly customizable editor for DOS. See http://ftp.lyx.org/pub/pc/garbo/pc/editor/edwin15c.zip
- A DOS version of Word is freely available. For details, see http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2005/11/25/free-file/
- A DOS version of the WordPerfect editor is available. It's a no frills, bare bones version of the editor based on the popular DOS word processor. Also check the WordPerfect for DOS Updated web site which includes tips for continuing to use DOS WordPerfect and links to WordPerfect related tools. See
- To print from an old word processor program that no longer supports the latest printer connections (especially in versions of DOS such as DOSBox), output to a file and then send the file to your printer with another application. Some word processors such as WordPerfect let you output to a file in Postscript directly when printing. In some cases, you may need to redirect your printer port to a file using various software. Once in file format, you can:
- Use Ghostscript (there's even an older DOS version available) to preview and print Postscript files to non-Postscript printers or convert them to PDF. See http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/
- Convert a HTML file to Postscript using the From Document to Book method. Then, print as you would any Postscript file.
I've read so many books on writing I can't remember them all. However,
I'm listing some of the ones I've added to my library or found useful.
- The Timetables of History,
by Bernard Grun, ISBN 0-671-74271-X. A reference book for historical
dates and timelines organized in a very interesting manner.
- Webster's Standard American Style Manual,
ISBN 0-87779-033-7. Another nice writing reference book.
- Essentials of English Grammar, by L. Sue Baugh,
ISBN 0-8442-5821-0. Between this and Webster's Style Manual it should
cover most of your grammar questions.
- The Writer's Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats,
by Dian Dincin Buchman and Seli Groves, ISBN 0-89879-293-2. Basic format
submission guidelines for those planning to sell their writing.
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,
by Renni Browne and Dave King, ISBN 0062730465. Tips for writers
who can't find good beta readers or editors and would like to
know what to check for when reading over their own works.
- Getting Published, by Leonard S. Bernstein,
ISBN 0-688-06913-4. Upbeat encouragement for writers and those
who want to write.
- Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, by Henriette
Anne Klauser. Has some interesting writing exercises.
- Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, by Jay Conrad Levinson et al. The most important part of getting your works to readers is letting them know it's out there.
- Life Forces, by Louis Stewart.
This makes a great reference book when you're writing about the paranormal.
There are some inaccuracies, but it's one of my favorite overviews.
- If you're trying to find names for your characters, have a look
at some of the baby naming books in your local library or bookstore or
try the phone book (literally).
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The information on these pages is copyrighted by the author with all rights reserved.
Reproduction of anything without the author's permission is in violation of copyright laws.
All original material is copyrighted:
(c) Copyright 1999 by Laura Michaels
All Rights Reserved
Last Modified: 20130225