Useful Resources

My Top Resources for Writers

I don’t know about you, but I’m particularly fussy with how I spend my time. Time is one of the most precious things to us writers, and we can’t just magic more time to write; we have to make time. We set our alarms for 5.30am. We work weekends. Lunch breaks. On the train. In the bath.  Any crumb of time we find, we usually cram it with writing/editing/learning/reading.

So, when it comes to the people I follow for advice, I can be quite picky! There are so many amazing individuals giving tips and advice on writing, but I just don’t have the time to follow them all.

Below, I’ve listed the people/companies who’ve inspired and helped me personally. But feel free to comment on the people you follow in the industry. I would love to check them out.

1. Live Write Thrive

I discovered Suzanne at Live, Write, Thrive, early on in my writing journey, and I am so glad I did. The amount of free and useful content she gives away is incredible.

Suzanne takes a very practical approach to constructing a novel, and in the early stages, I found her ’12 Key Pillars to Novel Construction’ book very useful. I would certainly recommend it to newbie writers looking for a functional and easy-to-follow guide on how to craft a novel.

2. Chuck Wendig

If you’re not already following Chuck, then you need to be. This guy knows how to write. I become fan-girly-giddy when his emails hit my inbox, like a twelve-year-old at a one direction concert.

He’s a successful author in his own right, and the thing I love about him is he ‘gets’ writers. We’re a weird bunch and so is he!

Some of my favourite blog posts of his include:
100 Random Storytelling Thoughts and Tips 

25 Reasons I Stopped Reading Your Book

25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character 

As you can see, I’m a fan of the list post!  His tips are not only incredibly useful but also smart and funny.

Be warned, there is swearing, adult discussion and also, spider monkeys.

3. Query Shark

If you’re at the stage where you’re ready to query agents, then please don’t do it until you’ve checked out Query Shark!

Writers can submit their queries to the query shark, Janet Reid, for critique.

For those writers who are brave enough (and I am not one of them), this is an incredible service. For the rest of us wimps, we get to see the before and after query letters, which is especially useful!

A word of warning, Query Shark certainly lives up to her name. She is honest with each writer. If she doesn’t like your query, she’ll certainly tell you!

4. Grammarly

Grammarly is a useful tool for checking your grammar and spelling automatically. It looks at the grammar, spelling, sentence structure and style of your content. It suggests alternatives for repetitive or ‘weak’ words, and can even check for plagiarism.

Grammarly can also check your work as you go–handy for work emails written in a hurry or class assignments!

I was shocked at how many errors it picked up from my work. I’ve always been dubious of automatic checking systems, but this one certainly works! I use it as a handy second pair of eyes over my work!

5. The Power Thesaurus

If you can’t find that word you’re looking for, then head over to the Power Thesaurus! The Power Thesaurus is my favourite online thesaurus. It’s the only one that helps me when I just can’t think of the right word, which happens to be a lot!

6. The Punctuation Guide

The Punctuation Guide is a comprehensive list of American punctuation. It explains how to use punctuation with easy to follow instructions and examples. Including the dreaded en dash and em dash, which always manages to confuse me!

It’s worth noting that this is an American punctuation guide, although it does detail the differences in British punctuations here. Luckily, the differences are minimal.

So there you have it. As you can see, I’m quite selective with who I follow. It’s always difficult to balance learning and doing. So, I recommend you follow a select few people who you love, rather than lots. Otherwise, you could spend your life learning without doing much writing!

I would love to know who you follow or what online resources you use. Just list them below.