There’s a fine line between writing software being the ultimate writing assistant and writing software taking over your job as a writer, especially since we are, according to many, in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution.
However, to think that artificial intelligence would ever be able to develop the innermost and sometimes just plain weird workings of a writer’s mind is unfathomable. Nothing can replace that level of originality.
It’s thus safe to say that individuality mixed with originality remains uniquely human. But, does that mean we can’t use artificial intelligence (AI) to our utmost advantage?
The most crucial part of writing is actually the thinking; the rest of the process is just getting it on paper. There’s no reason why writers can’t use AI to make their job easier.
Lose all your inhibitions and dive into the wormhole below that will transport you to some ingenious and some rather quirky AI writing software that is currently available.
Why AI Is the New Best Writing Software
The first attempt at an AI software-written novel, aptly named The Day a Computer Writes a Novel, was written in 2016 by AI writing software created by Hitoshi Matsubara and his team. Sounds riveting, doesn’t it?
AI has its place in writing software, but it’s definitely not to oversee the whole creative process.
So, how and where does AI fit into writing software in such successful ways that it can literally make writing a breeze?
Firstly, because AI is designed to be like a human brain or at least as versatile in its functionality, it can be applied to numerous aspects of a writing process that are relevant to different genres of writing.
AI also didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere in 2020; there have been signs of AI activity in earlier versions of existing and updated programs that have been here for quite some time. An example would be Grammarly.
What makes 2020 different is that there are now a lot of reputable competitors that provide a diverse range of functions to fulfill every writer’s want and need.
The Relevance of AI in Writing Software
Consider how AI can be highly influential in the following aspects of the writing process:
Let’s call it “smart proofreading,” shall we? For proofreading software to be functional and of high quality, it needs AI’s algorithmic functions to pick up repeated mistakes and view language contextually in order to make sensible corrections.
Writers’ block is real, and so is a plethora of new AI writing software that can help you fight it. Whether you need to block your social media, the whole web, or you may need software that constantly keeps track of your writing progress, there are some super-smart and even fun options available.
- Content Assessment
There is AI writing software that can give you an assessment of the quality of your content. This assessment is definitely not as in-depth as the one you would get from a fellow writer (or editor), but it points out valuable issues regarding readability.
Are your paragraphs too long? Is your page splattered with wordiness?
Using AI to do a preliminary check can save you time.
You Want AI? Here’s 4 Best Paid and Free Writing Software Options
Depending on your writing wants and needs, there are some pretty fetch AI writing software out there to help you do your job with ease. But don’t choose one blindfolded—we’ve looked into them on your behalf.
1. LibreOffice Writer
Starting off with a freebie, LibreOffice is your go-to if you don’t have any basic type of paid writing software like Microsoft Word. LibreOffice has earned a reputation as one of the best alternatives to paid word processing programs, which means it’s presumably the best free writing software currently available for all of your basic word processing needs
One of LibreOffice’s best features is their Open Document Format (ODF), which is an ISO standardized file format that is fully open, meaning you will have access to your files and content in this format forever.
You can also encrypt the file with a password if you want to be the only one having forever access to what’s in an ODF file. It’s the best of both worlds; nobody can steal your idea and you have forever access to it.
Also, by using ODF, you can ensure your files are compatible and transferable to any other type of paid word processing software and operating systems without the hassle of license fees or vendor lock-ins. Here are the different file formats you can use with ODF:
- .odt is your text file extension
- .ods is your spreadsheet extension
- .odp is all things presentation
- .odg refers to graphics and illustration files.
LibreOffice also comes with a plethora of downloadables you can choose from that range from spellcheckers, graphics, doc formats, documentation, and templates. So, while new developments keep popping up, you can start building yourself a free, customized, super word-processing machine.
Although this option contains basic AI functions, it is a free option and considered one of the best alternatives to Office as a word processor. You can still save Microsoft file types on LibreOffice, and to create a cloud storage space, just connect to Dropbox.
2. Dragon Naturally Speaking
This AI software is taking the writing out of writing without skimping on the writing. I know what you’re thinking, text-to-speech is not worth it because of its inaccuracy, but with Dragon Naturally Speaking, you actually go through a process where the software gets used to your accent and the way you talk.
This software is created for individuals who cannot (or don’t want to) use a keyboard but still want to provide error-free documents or books. There are just a few steps you need to take so the Dragon can get to know you better.
All the Dragon needs to do is listen to you reading a few paragraphs while you have your headset on so it can pick up on the natural nuances in your speech. It uses Nuance Deep Learning technology to transcribe text three times faster than typing with a proven 99% recognition accuracy.
Other important things you should know about the Dragon:
- When using the software, you need to “speak” in your punctuation in order for it to appear on the screen. For example, when you’re finished with a sentence, say “period.”
- You’ll need a microphone with a headset to use this software - the higher the quality, the better.
- The latest, ultra-advanced version of Dragon Home goes for about $150 (at the time of writing).
Dragon is the ultimate AI (non)writing software for you if you like sitting with a glass of wine in one hand and an hors ‘d oeuvre in the other while doing your most groundbreaking work.
3. Write or Die
If you’re a procrastinator and you often sit until the wee hours of the morning working on a deadline due that day, then you need Write or Die in your life. However, keep in mind that it’s not going to be nice to you if you don’t write when you said you would.
To make things even scarier, Write or Die, a desktop writing software, was developed by a dark individual that uses the pseudonym “Dr. Wicked.”
While looking at the perks of Write or Die, keep in mind that you need to conduct your writing in the desktop app itself to experience its effective scare-tactics and then just save or copy-paste it over to whichever doc you are working on originally.
So essentially, this AI-inspired software is created to keep you focused and productive in the most unconventional of ways.
Here are a very important few functions to set up when you start your Write or Die session:
- Word goal
- Grace period (the amount of time you are allowed to pause between typing)
- Choose whether or not you want to activate Kamikaze mode
The timer, word goal, and grace period will enable the software to determine how many words you’re supposed to type on average per minute.
If you stop typing while your timer is on and you exceed your grace period, you will be deafened by an alarm, the screen will turn red, and you will have to start typing again for your computer screen to systematically go back to normal.
If you’re feeling specifically daring, you can always try Kamikaze mode. When activating this mode, the words you typed start to erase themselves if you stop typing for too long.
If you like the idea behind the software but not the scare tactics, Write or Die now also has a stimulus mode where you can create a writing setup that is more focus-oriented or calming while still using the main features like the timer, grace period, and some soothing background noises.
So, what Write or Die wants you to achieve is to keep on writing, no matter what. It is a very effective tool for writer’s block, and while it sounds kind of daunting and counter-productive, the new stimulus mode might just put you in your zone if you don’t like jump scares.
Write or Die is a paid writing software option. You can get the app for your iPad for $9.99 or a desktop version for Microsoft, iOS, or Linux will require a payment of $10.00 (prices are correct at the time of writing).
This software is very much like everyone’s go-to Grammarly, but it’s more affordable. With all the AI features you want in writing software for identifying errors and patterns that can help you improve your writing, ProWritingAid got you covered.
ProWritingAid is advertised as a grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor all in one. The software is designed for any type of writer or writing profession. First, when it comes to grammar, this is what it looks for:
- Grammar issues
- Style issues
- Spelling issues
These are the three issues the program neatly underlines and provides individual explanations for. This means that, if there is an error in your text, it will be underlined in a certain color, and when you click on it, there will be an explanation of the error and examples of how to fix it.
What makes ProWritingAid AI supreme is that you can pre-set your writing style. If you’re used to writing contemporary romance novels but today you need to write a business proposal, this may come in handy to keep your writing style in check.
Here are your options:
These different algorithmic functions will steer you in the right direction by looking at your word choices, use of adjectives and adverbs, and sentence structure.
This clever writing software also has functions that check homophones and homonyms, enables you to be more original in your writing by allowing you to check your cliché and redundancy reports, and you can even conduct an “alliteration analysis.”
Don’t be shy - you can ask ProWritingAid anything!
ProWritingAid is part of our best writing software picks because it can do all this, and you can either take a free subscription or a paid one at a fraction of the price of other software like Grammarly.
You can choose between $20 per month, $79 a year, or go all the way with a lifetime subscription of $399, which is the most popular option and includes all future updates (prices are correct at the time of writing).
It’s the best of the best when it comes to paid writing software and free writing software.
In Summary: Where do I Find Other Great Software?
Our brains are still the best writing software there is. With AI, there is nothing new under the sun. In our minds, we have the ability to create something original in every literary endeavor we undertake, and we should celebrate that.
However, we can use AI-powered writing software to our advantage to work faster and smarter by making the software do the time-consuming and dirty work in a fraction of the time.
This is how technology benefits writers; it allows the creator to create intellectually and then, by the flick of a wand or the push of a button, the creation is there.
When you’re out and about looking for the best writing software that provides a tailor-made solution for your writing needs, always remember to thank your brilliant brain.
You can also keep in mind that, if you want to give your brilliant brain a rest or feel the need to collaborate with other real and non-AI brilliant brains during your literary endeavors, you have come to the right place.