In a world where it seems like a new writing tool comes out every week (most of them using some form of generative AI), it can be hard to sift through the noise to find the right tools for your writing process.
Well, I'm happy to do it for you. In this MasterWriter review article, I'll go over this tool (which has been around for a while, by the way) to help you determine if it's one that should go in your writer's toolbox.
- Features a 10-day free trial
- Has a number of different tools to help creative writers choose the best words for their needs.
- Is easy to use.
- May help some writers focus.
- Streamlined search functionality
- Subscription pricing – no lifetime purchase option.
- Must be connected to the internet to use.
- The tools on offer may not be worth the price for some authors.
The Bottom Line: MasterWriter will probably be a godsend for certain writers who are prone to distraction or spend lots of time trying to find the absolute perfect words for their project. Other writers who only need to access a thesaurus or dictionary on occasion probably won't find enough value to justify the price.
- What MasterWriter is.
- Who MasterWriter is for.
- MasterWriter pricing.
- What I like and don't like about this tool.
Table of contents
- What is MasterWriter?
- Who is MasterWriter for?
- MasterWriter Pricing
- MasterWriter Features
- What I Like About MasterWriter
- What I Don't Like About MasterWriter
- MasterWriter Review: Conclusion
What is MasterWriter?
MasterWriter is essentially a thesaurus on steroids. Only this isn't the whole story. It has a number of tools for pretty much any situation you come across in your writing process. It can help with word choice, research, speech types, and phrases. It can even help you rhyme.
However, it's important to note here that MasterWriter is not an AI writing software. It won't do any writing for you. It won't generate text. You're still in full control of the writing process.
And while to some authors that's a good thing, it may actually be a bad omen for the future of the software, if MasterWriter isn't able to keep up. AI can read context better, so it can do much of what MasterWriter does. However, MasterWriter is a bit cheaper than many AI tools, so it has that going for it.
A Brief MasterWriter History
MasterWriter was crafted back in 2000 as a tool to help songwriters during their creative process. Emmy and Grammy-award winner musician and composer Barry DeVorzon was instrumental in developing the tool.
According to the website, Kenny Loggins and Trent Reznor are among many other big-name songwriters who've endorsed MasterWrite's songwriting tools.
While the tool started as one for songwriters, it has since expanded to include a suite to help the creative writing process in general. To this end, the company offers two different tools. One for songwriting, and one for creative writing. In this article, I'll be focusing on the creative writing version of MasterWriter.
Who is MasterWriter for?
Have you ever noticed how really good writing has a flow and cadence? Your eyes seem to flow effortlessly across sentences and down paragraphs. There's a pleasure in reading this kind of writing.
When you notice this, it's not hard to see how a songwriting tool like MasterWriter could be useful for authors. The same kinds of tools that can help with lyric writing can also help with finding the right word combinations for your novel or short story.
But anyone whose aim is good writing can benefit from this creative writing software. Whether you write marketing copy or blog posts, MasterWriter could help you. If English is your second language, this tool can also be a big help.
Whether it will be worth the monthly price is something only you can answer for yourself. So let's get into the pricing now before I describe some of the features and what I like about this tool (along with what I don't particularly care for).
MasterWriter operates in your browser, meaning it doesn't matter what kind of Operating System you have, as long as you're connected to the internet.
MasterWriter is a subscription-based tool, so you pay monthly. As far as I could find, there is no lifetime purchase option. However, they do offer three different pricing tiers. They are as follows:
- Monthly Subscription – $9.95 per month
- Yearly Subscription – $99.95 per year ($8.33 per month).
- 2-Year Subscription – $149.95 for two years ($6.25 per month).
Is There a Free Trial for MasterWriter?
MasterWriter does offer a free 10-day trial, although you won't find the offer if you simply go to the main MasterWriter website.
Still, a simple Google search can get you to the free trial page, or you can simply follow this link to sign up for your trial.
MasterWriter is a searchable reference library of the English language that helps you pinpoint the kind of word or phrase you're looking for. It takes a little getting used to, but it's not all that hard to master. There's a helpful video tour to get you started.
That said, here are some of the features I think are the most useful for today's creative writer.
The word families function is like an expanded thesaurus, giving you a wider variety of synonyms than you would get when Googling the word you're trying to change.
If you overuse the word quick or quickly, you can put it into the search bar. The tool will then give you common usages in the right-hand menu, helping you narrow down the usage of the word.
Once you select the appropriate usage, you get a collection of words in the same family. You also get a number of other tools in the toolbar to help you narrow your selection even further.
You can do things like filter by adjectives, adverbs, or nouns only. You can also widen your search under the word type filter, selecting Primary, Extended, or All as you see fit.
You can even filter words by how many syllables they have.
The phrase function will bring up a collection of phrases that contain the word you've entered in the search bar. This can be useful if you simply can't think of the phrase you're looking for or you want to give one of your characters a unique speech pattern by having them say certain phrases.
The Rhymes function is just what it sounds like. You enter a word and the writing software will come up with plenty of possibilities that rhyme with your word. But it won't just come up with rhyming words. You can also get more specific by searching for rhyming phrases or sentences where only the last word rhymes.
MasterWriter will default to the closest setting, “Perfect”. This will give you only the words or phrases that rhyme most closely to your search word. However, you can choose other settings, such as “Close,” “Wider,” and “Widest”.
I don't know about you, but I sometimes have trouble coming up with similes and metaphors that aren't hackneyed (not to mention remembering which is which). This is where the Speech Types function comes in handy.
But it's not just similes and metaphors you can search with this feature. It also includes these speech types:
The other features included in the tool include a dictionary (The American Heritage Dictionary) and a traditional thesaurus to help you find descriptive words under the Synonyms section. You would simply use these like you would other dictionaries or thesauruses.
There's also a function called The World, which allows you to search people, places, or things that exist in our world. This function also includes a searchable Bible.
What I Like About MasterWriter
Here are a few things I like about MasterWriter, in no particular order.
May Help You Focus
There are two ways to use this tool. One is to use the built-in word processor to write directly in the tab of this web-based tool. This allows you to keep your current work in progress open on the same screen as the tool, preventing the need for you to jump to other browser tabs to do your research.
If you're the type of writer who gets distracted when doing your research, then this could be beneficial for you. However, the word processor is extremely barebones and not something I personally would enjoy writing in.
The other way to use it is to simply keep it open on the tools without the word processor open. This will allow you to switch over from your preferred word processor (mine's Atticus) to access MasterWriter's tools in your browser whenever you need them.
The Collect Words Function
Another thing I like about this tool is the Collect Words function. You can create your own personal database of words, phrases, similes, and metaphors right in the tool. If you want to create a list of intense descriptive words to use in your writing, this function is a great way to do it.
Easy to Use
While this is no AI tool, it is very easy to use and intuitive. The quick seven-minute introduction video is enough to get you started. Even without the video, most people with basic experience navigating the internet will be able to get the hang of it quickly. This is a plus when it comes to any tool.
No Repeat Searches
The final factor in this “likes” section is all about streamlined use. If you search for a word under one section, you don't have to re-enter it in any other section. You can simply click from one feature to the next and the tool will show you what it has for whatever word you put in the search bar. This is certainly a great way to save time in the program.
What I Don't Like About MasterWriter
Like the things I like, these are in no particular order.
For the cheapest price of $6.25 a month (when you pay upfront for a two-year subscription), you'll want to know for sure that you'll get your money's worth out of the tool. If you're the type of writer who can quickly jump over to a Google search, find out what you need, and get back to writing quickly, this tool may not be for you.
But don't forget that they offer a 10-day free trial. Try writing for ten days with the help of MasterWriter and see how it goes. Then you can decide if purchasing a subscription will be worth it to you.
Must be Connected to the Internet
MasterWriter is a cloud-based browser-only tool. This means you have to be connected to the internet to use it. If you disconnect from the internet to do some distraction-free writing, this could be an issue. But for most authors, this may only be a minor annoyance if it's an issue at all.
MasterWriter Review: Conclusion
With a powerful rhyming dictionary, a thesaurus, and a collection of speech patterns used in the English language, MasterWriter can provide plenty of inspiration to help you make writer's block a thing of the past. It can also be very helpful when you're editing, helping you perfect your short story, manuscript, or article.
This certainly is a useful tool, but it doesn't really offer much that a good Google search can't uncover, although this method may take a little longer than using the MasterWriter software. And that lost time can certainly add up, depending on how many times you have to do a search in a given writing session.
So if you're the type of writer who often gets stuck thinking about or searching for the right word, this tool could certainly be worth the cost!