Thursday, October 8, 2015

Online Writing Resources

What are your favorite online resources for writers, and why do you find them effective, inspiring, etc.?

Frank Edler: I always like to run my work through very helpful at picking out complicated sentences, over use of adverbs and extra wording in general.

James Bojaciuk: The two resources I use the most are on the extreme opposite ends of the sliding scale between "professionally austere" and "likely designed by a teenage girl."

For the professional in all of us, you owe it to yourself to check out Celtx. It's not the most useful thing for the novelist, but if you find yourself hard at work on anything from a script to a comic book to a audio drama, Celtx is invaluable. Thankfully, it's also free.

For the corner of your soul that's in love with Disney sitcoms, there's Written? Kitten! It's like Write or Die, except rewarding you with fluffy balls of purrs instead of deleting your work. The keen thing about this site, though, is that you can immediately edit it to reward you with whatever you'd like. Dinosaurs, explosions, Arnold Schwarzenegger, you name it.

Gordon Dymowski: For writing drafts, I use LibreOffice Writer. (LibreOffice is a free, open source alternative to Word). I like the fact that Writer is a little old-school, no frills, and allows me to concentrate on drafts before performing a final polish. (I do have Microsoft Office, but I tend to use that for freelance work documents, and LibreOffice helps liberate me creatively.

For motivational reading, the blog Write to Done. It's a little bit more professionally-oriented (meaning that it can sound a bit spammy), but contains some great pieces of advice on moving through difficult pieces, focusing on efforts, etc.

Great podcasts on writing include both Perry Constantine's EXPLODING TYPEWRITER and WRITING EXCUSES. The latter can be a bit too dry, and feels much more lecture-oriented, but it's short enough (20 minutes) that it's more of a diversion. Exploding Typewriter' goes into greater depth and contains more "practical" advice on writing.

Rebekah McAuliffe:
It really it depends on what kind of writing you're doing. For nonfiction, I definitely recommend Purdue OWL -- Online Writing Lab. It has everything you need from structure to citation. But for fiction, personally I just go with the flow. The resources I use are mainly research based. For example, when researching ALPHA, I used everything from my university's library to YouTube.

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