I have been wanting to write this blog post for months! I’m glad that I’ve been holding off too because I’ve only found more and more things to add as time’s passed.
As I’ve been writing Space Dog and prepping for Skarlit Magic, I’ve stumbled upon many websites that have helped me along the way. If you do have time, you should definitely consider checking some of these resources out. Some of them have been established and are being run by friends of mine, others are just things that I’ve happened to come across.
And so, without stalling any further, I present to you a few writer resources. Take and leave what you want. If you know of any other good websites or programs then please drop them in the comments!
(These are presented in no particular order)
If you want some serious feedback on your poem, short story or novel, then this is a place to go! Sure, you’ll get the common “That wuz reeeeeelly g00d. Post mor plz!” that you get on FictionPress, but there are also some serious writers in this community. It works like this: you’re given a few “credits” to start out with, usually just enough to post an average-sized short story or chapter. Your story is placed in a queue and you wait until it becomes public alongside other stories. Once it’s public, members will post short comments, or in many cases, critique your work. You’ll be critiqued on a lot of things from the plot, characters, voice, and flow. People will even weed through your story for grammatical errors. One of the best features is that people can critique your story line by line. They can cross out passages and lines Stories that are not commented on are placed at the top of the queue for consideration, assuring that you will get some feedback. The catch? If you want to continue posting on the site, you are required to critique others’ works. The longer and better your critique, the more credits you’ll receive, which is why you can pretty much count on getting feedback. It’s a great way to get opinions on your writing and also hone your own critiquing skills that are almost essential if you want to become a writer yourself.
Similar to Critique Circle, but still very different. This is for young adult writers who are serious about being published. It’s run by HarperCollins in hopes of searching for some breakthrough YA writers. Like CC, you post your short story or novel, but you don’t have to have credits. The minimum requirement to post anything is (I believe) 10,000 words. People will comment on your story and can add your story to their watch or pick lists. The more lists and comments that your story has, the higher your story’s rank goes. The goal is to be in the top five at the end of the month. Every month, editors from HarperCollins will read and review the top five stories which could very well lead to a publishing deal in the future. From what I’ve seen and experienced, the comments left on this website aren’t all trash. There are a lot of helpful people who will help to smooth out those wrinkles in your story. And it’s a very friendly environment, despite the fact that you hope your story beats out everyone elses’. 😉
Authonomy is the exact same as inkpop from what I can tell. It is also run by HarperCollins, but unlike inkpop (which is specific to YA literature), Authonomy welcomes all literature. I have not used this service myself.
Looking for advice on properly writing your characters? Do you have issues when it comes to showing and not telling (I know I do!) What about questions about publishing and marketing? I’ve come back to this website time after time. They have a large collection of articles and guides that are written by authors who actually have experience! That’s right–you can stop reading everything I have to say and read what an experienced writer has to say! (But come back, please :D)
When publishing, you have to consider digital media these days. What does that mean? Author Mark Jeffrey finds out in his vidcast, Bibliotech. He’s featured and interviewed several notable people and discussed topics from Podiobooks to the Kindle. If you’re planning on going into the publishing business, I highly recommend making time to watch some of these episodes.
A 24/7 online radio station about writing and publishing–complete with its own podcast.
Get Published TV
Again, if you’re planning on publishing your work in the future, this is something to keep an eye on. Hosted by Australian native, Dale Beaumont, Get Published TV gives you access to tons of online videos that discuss the publishing process. Beaumont touches on many, many, many topics from the printing to your book to designing the appropriate cover. He’s also interviewed several authors, getting their ideas and experiences in book publishing.
From what I hear, Scrivener is incredible when it comes to organizing your notes, outlines and writing your novels or screenplays. Unfortunately, it’s for Mac OS only, so I haven’t had the chance to try it. I have tried out Liquid Story Binder XE for Windows. It’s pretty good, although a bit confusing at first. As far as a Scrivener alternative, it’s probably one of the best on the market right now.
If you’re looking to burn through that word count in a timely manner, then Write or Die is for you. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Write and don’t stop, or your precious writing will simply die. (This is great for reaching that NaNoWriMo goal!) Also, if you’re in a hurry to come up with some quick names, this is the name generator that I use. When it comes to Space Dog and Skarlit Magic, most of the names I use are thought out. But when I just need to create a small identity for a stock character, a generator like this works perfectly.
If you’ve read my stuff, you might have caught that I LOVE to use anagrams. If you’re in the same boat as me, the Internet Anagram Server may come in handy for you. 😉
Those are only a few that I’ve stumbled on–trust me, there are more. If you find anything then please feel free to leave it in a comment.