Www-writing resources!

Let’s start with where to go for inspiration.

Technovelgy (a portmanteau of “novel technology”) features inventions and ideas from the Science Fiction genre. Their news feed about real-life science and technology developments is another good resource for worldbuilding. A comparable online resource for the fantastical is Encyclopedia Mythica, were you can find thousands of articles on the beings in mythology, folklore, and religion.

Why dig for inspiration? Get writing!

One Word will give you a daily prompt and one minute to write. Tip: Give yourself another fifteen minutes offsite to expand on what you wrote. See how far you can go!

Write or Die program by Dr. Wicked is a punishment tool. That actually makes sense when you try it.

Double-check your word count at WordCounter.net.

What is good grammar?

Guide to Grammar by the late Dr. Charles Darling remains my favorite reference.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips is current and fun. Use the search! The site isn’t the easiest to navigate.

Which sites host good forums for writers?

Absolute Write Water Cooler offers forums for discussions and critiques. It’s one of the oldest and most well-known writers’ forums.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing project, but you can find support for almost any long writing project in their forums.

SFFWorld is one of “the best in sci fi, fantasy, and horror” for writers and fans of speculative fiction. Participation is really low. Full disclosure: The reason it’s on my list is because I’m registered there.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a professional association that offers help to writers at all stages of their professional development.

Twitter! No, that’s not a joke. Hashtag chats and advice threads on Twitter are great for quick shares of information when you understand site etiquette.

 Are you on Twitter? Find useful lists of tweeters (@writeramlynn).

Participating in a big group of writers can be enlightening.

Inkygirl shares writing-related cartoons (see above) and inspiration from impromptu art that reveals hidden wonders in the world.

Where can you learn about markets for publishing stories?

Absolute Write’s Index to Agents & Markets in the Water Cooler forums replaced the old go-to, Writer Beware, for help identifying publishing frauds/scams.

Duotrope’s Digest provides listings of fiction & poetry publications.

Ralan Webstravaganza offers market listing for Speculative Fiction and Humor.

The (Submissions) Grinder for “milling your submissions into something useful…”. Like Duotrope, this site also offers a story tracker. Unlike Duotrope, it’s free to use.

An agent takes on much of the market research for books. Find ones looking for your manuscript at Manuscript Wish List. The online QueryTracker can help with organizing submissions to agents.

Who provides design tools for visual marketing?

Self publishing is a better option for some stories. Authors either need to hire help with marketing or handle their own marketing. Below are a few tools that might help with self-promotion.

Images for Commercial Use

Public Domain Images: Pixabay is a free site for sharing or downloading photographs and vector images. Many of these images permit commercial use, which means you can use it them for book marketing without getting into legal trouble. This is also a easy tool for looking up character or setting references that you may share publicly.

Stock Photos (Free): Librestock scans and indexes photos from several sites. Most of their stock is available with a CC0 Creative Commons license.

Stock Pictures (Paid): Depositphotos offers millions of royalty-free photos, illustrations, vector images, and videos. Watch for sales of inexpensive packages.

Design Programs

Basic Design Tool: Canva is based around a free graphic-design software used by non-designers as well as professionals for web and print designs. The website also provides access to templates and over a million inexpensive images and fonts.

General Image Editor: GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is cross-platform freeware. The learning curve to use this editor is fairly steep, but online videos tutorials help answer questions.

Vector Design Tool: Experienced graphic designers might enjoy using Vectr. It’s “a simple yet powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool to bring your designs into reality.”

Page Last Updated: July 17, 2018