Resources For Writers

This list is a brief compilation of resources I have gathered from my experience, online research, and others’ input.

Websites

Dictionary.com

Picture this: you’re in the middle of writing a climactic scene when you realize you might have used a specific word wrong. You have two choices: go on with the scene and worry about it later or worry about it now and check. Either way, this site is one of the most used online dictionaries. Type a word into the search bar and you can have the definition in front of your eyes without ever leaving your keyboard. The website also has a thesaurus, so looking up a word with a stronger connotation to make that scene more impactful.

Complete List of Literary  Terms and Devices

Learning how to write better and don’t understand what a particular term means? While Dictionary.com can give you the definition of that word, this site will tell you what that term means in a writing senses. You can also find other terms there you might not find in a dictionary, like the many characters archetypes or a certain devices writers used to enhance their story.  

Grammar Girl

You can find many things on Quick And Dirty Tips, from home repair warnings to parenting advice columns. You can also find Grammar Girl, the founder of Quick And Dirty Tips whose gives advice on, well, grammar. Looking around her part of the site, you will see many articles that give guidance of the thing that drives editors crazy when done poorly and drives writer’s mad when contemplating. I suggest looking at this article on punctuation use and this article on some common grammar myths.

Industry Scripts’ Character Archetypes

While technically aimed at writers whose craft lies in scriptwriting, this list of over one hundred literary archetypes is good for anyone who wants an idea of how a certain character would align in their story. You could also use this list to learn about interesting archetypes common in literature and film and ones that aren’t as common.  Knowing where your characters fit in a story can help with determining how their arcs play out.

Live Write Thrive

This is the blog of a woman who teaches writing in San Francisco and has been working in the publishing industry for several years beforehand, with several published novels to her name. She has several online video courses, but her website has tons of amazing article on the writing craft and how to improve it. I recommend this article on setting and this article on adverbs and “weasel words”.

 

Books

Brave The Page by Rebecca Stern And Grant Faulkner

This book is specifically for those who do, or plan to do, National Novel Writing Month (or NANOWRIMO) but with its collection of writing advice, inspiration from published authors like Marissa Meyer, it’s a great book to read if you’re struggling with getting that story in your head down on paper or on a screen.

The Lies That Tell The Truth by John Dufresne

A guide on writing fiction, aimed at any writer who needs encouragement, wisdom, and perhaps a good laugh. The author draws upon the wisdom of those who came before him and his own personal experience. New writers and veterans alike can learn and be entertained by this book.

Self-Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

Have you finally finished your novel, after wading through plot holes, self-doubt, and one too many sleepless nights? This book is for you! Both authors of this book have worked as editors for years before coming together to write about polishing your story.

On Writing by Stephen King

Written by a popular horror writer, this book ends up on plenty of “must-read” lists not because writers of said lists are lazy but because this book is that good. It’s part memoir, part advice book that gives a writer guidance while also giving them a lesson in what it means to be a writer.

 

Writing Software

Word

From writing essays to the next great American novel, Word is one of the most popular- and most used- word processors. You can buy it outright for $140, get it through your school (if your school allows it), or buy a subscription to Microsoft 365 and get it for 6.99/month.

LibreOffice

Don’t have the money to buy Word or don’t want to have yet another subscription to deal with? Trying using LibreOffice, a free alternative to Word that updates frequently. It has most, if not all, of the same features without the price tag.

Scrivener

Need to organize your novel, its research, and the various notes you have written about the characters or plot? Scrivener is ideal for that. Unlike Word, there is no subscription plan and you pay $49 for a lifetime license which can be used on multiple computers.

Dabble

A paid alternative to Scrivener, Dabble integrates with NaNoWriMo every year so that you can keep track of your word count without needing to go to the website and input it manually. Dabble also includes its own cloud storage, so you don’t have to worry about syncing with another service like DropBox or Google Drive. Pricing starts at $5/month or $399 for a lifetime license.

SmartEdit Writer

SmartEdit is a free alternative to both Dabble and Scrivener. It’s simple, easy to use interface is customizable with different themes.

 

Other

ProWritingAid

This grammar checking tool helps with comma usage, passive voice, and more. You can buy a monthly subscription for $20, a yearly for $79, or a lifetime license for $299.

iAWriter

A minimalist note taking app with both a desktop and mobile version. Great for writers who want to jot down character details or plot points on the go then accessing them when you sit down to write.

Emerging Writer Membership- Authors Guild

 This membership is for those who don’t meet the criteria or the premium membership. With this membership, you get access to seminars on writers, a Facebook group with other writers, a resource library, and much more, including upcoming advice on market and social media resources.

Fantasy Name Generator

Struggling to figure out a name for your elf character? What about your castle or the country it dwells in? From names for Dungeon and Dragon characters to name based on various foreign origins, this website is for you! And it’s not just fantasy names! You can find regular names as well.

 

Know of any other resources for writers? Leave them in the comments!