Saturday, 12 October 2013

4 Top Apps for Writers

As regular Bookaholics will know, not only do I love reading but I also love technology. Today I am combining both into one great blog for writers. I have a lot of apps on my phone, many of which have been reviewed several times in other blogs. However, four I have found to be particularly useful in sparking my creativity. They are also a lot of fun. Who said writing has to be boring.

Spice Mobile

Cost: Free for App. Requires a subscription of either £1.49 per month or £4.99 per year.

Available for:  iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet

This app is designed as a phrase thesaurus with over 22,000 phrases and more being added daily. At first I was a tad confused as I thought it would provide phrases that you could use in your writing just like a regular thesaurus. However this turned out not to be the case. 

The phrases are those from real books. You type in a word and it will give you several phrases which contain that, or similar words. The idea is that it sparks your creativity. Once I realised this I spent a very happy couple of hours looking up phrases and thus making up my own. Not only was this great fun but I now have many different phrases which I can use in my current, or future, books.

I would like to add that this company is genuinely helpful and their customer support is second to none. I contacted them and they had replied within a couple of hours. They answered all my questions and were happy to continue to support me. 

I think this app is well worth the yearly price, especially as it grows and more phrases are added. 

iThesaurus Plus 

Cost: Free

Available for:  iPhone (as iThesaurus), iPad

This is a straightforward digital thesaurus so why have I included it here as a top app. This app is slick and fast. In just a couple of seconds you have a long list of words which can be used as a replacement.

The beauty of the app is that you can take it wherever you go, in your pocket. Prior to this I was using The New Oxford Thesaurus which probably weighs more than a healthy sized new born.

The app does have advertisements, but these are at the bottom of the screen and I have not found them to be intrusive.

So hence my inclusion. A simple app, yet highly useful and effective. No writer should leave home without it.

Lost the Plot? Writing Prompts Generator

Cost:  £1.49

Available for:  iPhone, iPad, Android Phones, Android Tablets

 With this app WYSIWYG. You tap it and it generates a prompt that you can use in your writing. These are a lot of fun, but can also prove useful. Here are a couple of examples.

"After the incident with the otters was resolved I felt a lot better."

I write murder mysteries set in Dundee and would have great fun getting this into my book. Doesn't it just conjure up a lot of images. Mind you knowing the Dundonian's ability for getting up to mischief it might conjure up too many images. For all those from Dundee reading this, the last part was a joke.

"Never seeing her again was not enough. Something extra was required to guarantee it."

I could write a whole book around this one, as, I am sure, could many of you.

I would go on but I don't want to get in trouble form the app makers for putting too many out. I love this app. Another one which every writer should have.

Writing Prompts by

Cost:  £1.49

Available for:  iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet

I have to thank fellow author Chris Longmuir for pointing me in the direction this one. For those of you who don't know Chris, she writes gritty crime books also set in Dundee.

This app is designed to provide inspiration for writers. It is so jam packed with features I am finding it difficult to know where to start. Along the bottom of the app are several areas- sketches, scenes, texts, words and news. You click on one of these and then shake your device. A prompt is then generated.

As an example a scene I was given was :

Place:  Shipyard
Character:  A US Senator
Object:  A digital camera
Time/Date:  Spring 2025

Again I could write a whole book with this one, but if I didn't like it I just shake again. Simple.

How about this text, "Write a short dialogue between two zoo animals about an event at the zoo that day." Now how can I fit that in to my current WIP? I've an idea already.

The news section can only be used with WiFi or 3G as it takes you to an actual news item from the day. Who knows what news item might spark your creativity and get that novel moving.

I hope this has helped all my writer friends and readers. All that help and inspiration for less than £8.00. A bargain as they say. Just one caveat - all prices were correct at the time of writing. These may be changed by the app developers and this is out-with my control. There are no links to the apps here providing them all would have cluttered things up. It is easy to do a search in your preferred app store and download from there.

Have a great week bookaolics. If you are a writer, have fun with the apps. If you are a reader grab a book and get reading. If you are both you have a decision to make. See you again soon on bookaholics.


  1. Hmm! I have a scene set in the small zoo in Camperdown Park in my novel Dead Wood. However, the dialogue is between the animals outside the cage rather than inside! Great post as usual, Wendy.

    1. The scene in Dead wood was very gripping. Glad you enjoyed the post

  2. Greetings from Texas. Thanks for the great post. I am also a writer, reader, and technology enthusiast. (Enthusiast is a mild term. I'm sure your Apps could supply more colorful words.) AS

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Ann. Nice to meet you. We do seem to ahve similar tastes

  3. Thank you for these, I'll definitely check some of them out! The prompts look really helpful.

    1. Thank you Alice. I found them very helpful. Glad you enjoyed the post

  4. Interesting places to get inspiration from, definitely!

  5. Thanks Sascha. There are certainly some interesting things come up that's for sure

  6. I didn't know about three of these. Nice find. I've never been one for writing prompts, but this sort of makes me want to give it a try.

    1. They are quite good fun. It's amazing how one little thing can spark your imagination. I've used a couple. Hope you find them useful

  7. Very interesting! I'll have to check out those prompt apps. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome. The prompt apps are worth checking out as they won't break the bank

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