Resources are invaluable when it comes to any writing process – from the first draft, to the editing, revising, beta reading, editing again, other revising, planning, outlining – well, if you’re a writer, you know what I mean! There’s a reason we’re all pretty insane, right?
So I wanted to share my favorite bookmarks for writing resources, and I’ll put them in categories to help you find what you might like to add to your own bookmarks!
First off, these don’t really have a category, just things I love having:
- Absolute Write Forums – questions, answers, information, beta readers, critiques, query and synopsis help, connecting with other writers, basically every question you’ve ever had about writing, or if you’re trying to connect with other writers, this is the place to register and visit often
- Wordle – I find this really useful when editing, revising your manuscript because it shows you the words you use the most, and for some people, like me, who are visual, this is really helpful. The way it works is that you paste your text into a box, and it’ll generate an image of your most used words. The bigger the word appears in the image, the more it’s been used
- Writer – whenever I don’t feel like writing as much, or I need that extra push to write more in one day, I find that this website does the trick for me. I’m not sure why, but there’s just something about the sound of a typewriter that makes me write faster and longer. Another neat feature is that you can change the text and background colors to something that works better for you – I myself use a black background with a lilac text
- Pro Writing Aid – I used it for a while before I decided to buy it and install it directly on Microsoft Word. I love this thing. It’s not a replacement editor for everything, I mean, you still need to read over it yourself, have some Beta Readers check it out, and all that, but it does help as a first editing tool. I especially love it directly installed in Word because I get to see my whole manuscript highlighted and can change the recommended words directly in text.
- First Readers, Revising, & Publication – A fantastic blog page with so many resources, suggestions, all well categorized and easy to follow! Looking for information about everything writing-related? Bookmark this page!
- Polish your Prose: An editorial cheat sheet – After I’ve usually done a full manuscript analysis with the Pro Writing Aid, I manually go over the list on this page to further edit, which I think make the manuscript really shine!
- editMinion – I love this website particularly for its ability to catch weak words and passive voice – a fantastic tool and it’s free!
- 20000 Names – This one is particularly fun for its special categories (Butterfly, dragon, dream, evil names, etc.)
- Baby Names – Standard search with a ton of names in database, but I find some searches are limited when it comes to name meanings
- Search Baby Names – This one is my favorite because it has many names from so many different countries, cultures and languages, and a ton of varied name meanings
- Ambient-Mixer – I love this website more than I can describe. Sometimes, I really want to get in a scene and I find that listening to an ambiance that sounds like what’s going on in your manuscript really helps get into it. There are so many different ambiances that I’d be surprised you can’t find the one you’re looking for. What’s even cooler is that, say for example, you’re listening to the background noise of an amusement park, but the screaming of people is annoying you, you have the option to lower the screaming or mute it completely while still keeping the other sounds! Best part? It’s all free!
- Noisli – Feeling less productive than usual? This website is for you! Apparently, the sounds they’ve picked out here helps people gain motivation to be more productive. I was a little skeptical at first, but when I got stuck on an assignment, I decided to use it for fun, and behold, an assignment finished in about two hours (which got an 80%). Try it out!
- How to write a 1-page synopsis – if you haven’t found this website yet, you’ll want to keep it, hold it tight against you and bookmark it. You’re a writer? You want to publish traditionally? You’ll have to write a synopsis, and you’ll soon find that condensing your 200-page something manuscript into one single page is torture. If there’s a hell, it’s people writing synopses and queries all day long with no chances of publication
- Signing with that Agent: questions to consider – I’m not here yet, but I will be one day *crosses fingers* and I think this is a great page for questions I hadn’t even thought of asking. The publishing world is full of things most writers don’t know about, so websites like these are a great help!
- What to Look for in Agency Contracts – Another great resource for understanding publishing, and, as the title suggests, what to look for in agency contracts
- The Big Ol’ Genre Glossary – not sure what’s your manuscript genre? More complicated then you thought? Oh yes. *nods* There are a lot of websites that explain genres, gives you lists, etc., but I love this page in particular because it also highlights the differences between genres that sound alike. It also gives a lot of information about subgenres (because just genre wasn’t complicated enough, right?)
- Defining Fantasy Subgenres – This ones focuses on Fantasy subgenres (like the title suggests), and I found it explained in clear details the differences between all of them. This is really helpful since there are so many in the fantasy subgenre!
Finding an Agent:
- Literary Agency Links – Links to great resources as well as agencies with the genres they represent
- AgentQuery – Great for searching agents and publishers
- Query Tracker – Same as above
- Manuscript Wish List – While I do love the idea behind this website, the only thing I have an issue with is that say, for example, I’m looking for agents you represent ‘paranormal’, well, I put it in my search, or I click on a tag, or even click find in my browser and some (many) agents will have written something along the lines of “Not interested in paranormal”, which means it’ll still locate the tags, and I still have to fish through and find the ones who don’t have the “don’t send” in front of what I was looking for. Another issue I have is that when looking for genre representations, I’d find a few, click on their names, go to their websites, and it says there that they don’t represent what I just searched for, so it either has wrong information, or isn’t updated regularly. Still a good website to find extra agents, but just make sure you double check the information!
- Thesaurus – Basic, but really useful to not use the same words over and over
- Synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English – sometimes, we don’t notice the words that repeat a lot because we hear and use them so much in every day life. I found this pretty useful since it also suggests other words (as the title states)
- “Very” and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever – there are many websites that give suggestions for the replacement of “very”, but this one is my favorite
- Ten Writing Tighteners – These tighteners are awesome for every writer! Seriously, just check it out!
And finally, last but not least:
- Writers helping writers – my favorite website EVER for everything you’ll ever need to make your story shine! I’m not kidding, the thesaurus on there goes beyond anything I’ve ever seen before, helping you to write about the weather, physical attributes, color, texture, and shape, setting, etc., plus, the three books you can buy will help in the show vs. tell and will make a story sound its best! There are writing tools, resources… Just seriously, if you’re a writer, bookmark this page and take a whole day to explore in its wonders! It’ll probably even motivate you to keep writing, I’m not kidding!
I hope this helped at least a few writers!
Good luck with whatever projects you’re working on, and remember: keep writing!