Diving For Pearls

Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck


Ingrid Bruck is an editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. Her column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 

Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor



May 2021

Word Play Apps

Playing with words is the work of writers and poets. By playing with words, the writer can discover word possibilities. 


Good word choices enrich writing. They can add music and muscle to language. Word games can help a writer create new word juxtapositions, form a resource list of word-sisters and near-rhymes, or develop new word pairs for future writing. 


Word manipulation with a generator APP can be fun and productive. Experimenting with words broadens your word experience. Playing with words can lead to new word associations. Using new word combinations can you can add elements of surprise, modernity and mystery to writing.


The best way to start word-play would be to select an example of your own unfinished writing. It could be a paragraph of failed prose with promise. Or the text of a poem that short-circuited. What you develop might launch a new piece of work. Or revitalize and revision some old writing - that alone makes it worth doing.


Plenty of online word play generators are available for free. I recommend the following seven online word generators:


Mesostic Poem Generator 

A mesostic is a poem or prose that contains a vertical phrase and intersects lines of horizontal text. It is similar to an acrostic, but with the vertical phrase intersecting the middle of the line, as opposed to beginning each new line.  http://mesostics.sas.upenn.edu/


Acrostic Poem Generator

An acrostic is a poem where each line is generated by each letter of a name (or word). You fill into the template related words to the selected name. The acrostic generator takes information about your topic and looks up related words to form sentences beginning with the letters in your chosen title. https://www.poem-generator.org.uk/acrostic/



Word Cloud 

The word cloud APP presents a visual and colored representation of the text inserted. The size of text goes from large down to small, in relation to frequency of word use. A Word Cloud display provides a relational image of repeated word usage. Or a writer can pick and pluck words to create new word pairs from the visual display. A writer can use this APP as an editing tool for work in progress. Or to create new word pairs that add muscularity or greater lyricism for future work. https://worditout.com/word-cloud/create



The N+7 Machine

The N+7 procedure, invented by Jean Lescure of Oulipo, involves replacing each noun in a text with the seventh one following it in a dictionary. (In French, it is also referred to as the 'S+7' procedure.) Here you can enter an English text and 15 alternative texts will be generated, from N+1, which replaces each noun with the next one in the dictionary, to N+15, which takes the 15th noun following. You type in your own text into the generator.  http://www.spoonbill.org/n+7/



Minison, an abbreviated form of the Classic Sonnet, is a derivative of the Classical Sonnet forms: Petrarchan, Shakespearean, Spenserian & Miltonic. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-are-the-different-types-of-sonnets-4-main-types-of-sonnets-with-examples#what-is-a-shakespearean-sonnet


A “minison” can be written in two forms: 1- A fourteen-word variant. Example:  Seymour Mayne’s word-sonnets. 2- A poem with only fourteen letters total. Example: Michael O’Brien’s collection of minisons).


For more minimal sonnets in word and image form, checkout this online journal, The Minison Project:  Shakespeare's sonnet reimagined. https://theminisonproject.wordpress.com/about/


Language is a virus

This site is my favorite for poetic word generation. It contains a rich variety of tools, gizmos, games, and online generators for words. Checkout Language is a virus for Text Manipulation, Poetry Generators and its Sonnet Generator. http://www.languageisavirus.com/reverse.php#.YIsjDi9h2X0


Poem Generator

To write an automatic poem with Poem Generator, you select a type of poem and input some keywords. The program creates a poem and an image. The site contains generators for several poetry forms. Examples: free verse, haiku, tanka, sonnet, quintain, villanelle, couplets, narrative, love poem, concrete poem, acrostic and limerick. I enjoyed playing with the concrete poem - insert your text and the generator arranges text in the shape of the image expressed in the poem (Example: tree, cat, house).  Poem Generator

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