7 terrific websites for word nerds and writing geeks

Rating systems, word finders, and even an anti-procrastination tool—all are available to help you spin keystrokes into gold. Or brass, at least.

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When Julie Andrews sang to the von Trapp children about her favorite things, she mentioned whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up with strings. Not me. I’m all digital. My favorite things are great websites and cool tools for writers.

Here are seven of the best:

1) Want to know the grade level of your writing? I’m obsessed with readability statistics, and although they can be activated in MS Word (check your help menu for directions), you can just as easily bookmark this free Online Utility and get all your stories rated here. This site is better than the Word version, because it tracks five different indices (Word restricts itself to the Flesch Kincaid) so you can see how your writing ranks in a number of measures. Gunning Fog and SMOG are usually the most stringent. You know you should be aiming at grades seven to nine, right? This is not because your readers are stupid; it’s because they’re busy and distracted.

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