Saturday, March 13, 2021

Writing Resources I Can't Live Without

I'm pretty sure that I'm supposed to choose ONE resource to share this week, but if you've read any of my posts, you know that I'm a list maker and a list giver, so you're going to get FIVE resources instead of one :) Hey, five is great considering that I could list at least a dozen. I do want to say that Thesaurus is probably the resource I use the most, and though I didn't list Jami Gold's website because someone else already did, know that her spreadsheets are, well, a gold mine for writers. What other sites do I recommend?

  1. K.M. Weiland's Website: Or, more pointedly, her series on story structure, which I linked. I highly recommend new writers (and even seasoned ones) peruse this site and take time to study the info K.M. provides. In my editing life, the two main issues I see the most are the lack of understanding story and scene structure. And I get it. It's difficult to implement even once you grasp the concepts, but I return to her site any time I need a clear example of how a particular plot point needs to work. It helps me figure out where to go next in my own stories.
  2. Grammarly: You can use the free version or spring for the paid version, but either way, Grammarly can teach you a lot of basic grammar rules and help you clean up and tighten an MS. The important thing to remember is that it's software, and therefore it isn't always right. You have to examine each instance and decide what to do. And while I know that is kind of tedious work, if your grammar game isn't strong, you can use Grammarly to learn hands-on. 
  3. Purdue OWL (Online Writer's Lab): More grammar help. If you don't know or understand a grammar rule, you can probably find it here along with excellent examples. I lived on this site years ago when I knew I needed better skills.
  4. I write historical fantasy, the kind where the real world blends with the magical or supernatural. This means that I have to make decisions on word usage, often based on etymology. When did a word first come into use? Did it have a different meaning in the timeframe I'm using it in my story? Trust me, when you're writing a novel set 300-700 years in the past, this website helps so much.
  5. Fantasy Name Generator: I love this site. I use it to get my brain going when I need ideas for names of pretty much anything. They have an enormous database for fantasy names and real names. You can even find name ideas for mountains or rivers or continents or villains. Wildly helpful for those moments when you're staring at the screen trying to come up with something unique.
What's your favorite resource? What did we miss?