Writing Help

I decided to create a page full of writing resources and tools that I find useful and use regularly, in the hope that it might be of benefit to other writers out there.

GENERAL

  • Grammar Girl is a great site that posts articles that simply teach and explain the difference between affect and effect, whether to use single or double quotation marks, whether to capitalise after a colon—and a slew of other common and tricky grammar rules.
  • English Language & Usage is a forum-based site where users post grammar and English language questions, word definitions and etymology, to which other users are able to chime to explain and comment on. They have a wide variety of writing questions that can be difficult to Google, such as whether to use “dreamt” or “dreamed” or whether to capitalise titles.
  • Archetype: the Fiction Writer’s Guide to Psychology is an awesome site filled with articles and resources you can use to make your characters feel real to the reader. Kaufman’s book has been on my To Buy list for a while, but I just keep forgetting! Until then, her website is like a how-to guide to making your writing just pop! There’s a body language cheat sheet that I’ve referenced quite a bit that’s helped me when I write dialogue so that I can include all those subtle things. After all, speaking makes up only 10% of communication.
  • Medical Mondays is a wonderful demystified source of medicine and illnesses.
  • The Write Practice has a ton of great articles, as well as writing prompts. Joe Bunting has also created Story Cartel, which is something of an online writer/reader community where you can upload your books and have readers give you an honest review.
  • Writing Teen Novels is not just for writers of young adult fiction! Their articles are penned by a variety of different writers; all of which have great advice for fiction writing of any genre.
  • So You’re a Writer? has an awesome series called “A-Z” that compiles lots of advice for the writer all in a lovely alphabetized list.
  • Text Corpus is a really useful tool in, basically, finding words. You can find and access many different corpora, depending on what you’re looking for. In my writing, I like to use the British Corpus from the Google Books Corpora because it catalogues words from as far back as the 1800s—which is where I draw a lot of influence from in my writing. I like to use variations of modern words, eg. “dreamt” was more popular; or words that have fallen into disuse (if they fit right, of course).

THINGS TO DO

  • Write or Die! will shoot down writer’s block as it stands!
  • Character Profile (I got no idea how to insert it so you can download it like Rebecca Berto’s done) Originally found through NaNroWriMo forum.
  • Myers-Briggs Typology Test was the unexpected kick-start to an awesome creative burst of energy. (Never a bad thing). It helped me get a better handle on characters I thought I already knew, which helped me see weaknesses in my writing relating to character consistency.

SPECIFIC TO MY WRITING

  • 18th Century Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is an awesome compilation of colloquial and slang words. Some I laugh at or my eyes just bug out, but others are very useful in adding to my writing vocabulary to create a richer and more authentic feel to my story’s world. It’s available for free E-book download thanks to the Project Gutenberg (history on the Project available here).
  • 18th Century Dictionary Guide is my second go-to before I look for an 18th century word that I might be able to use. It’s set up differently to a dictionary, in the way that words are explained in more detail, often accompanied by background information.

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