Great Writing Resources: My Recommendations
The best thing about being a writer in the internet age is the number of great writing resources that we have at the click of a button. The internet is full of helpful articles and great tips to help you write! Plus, you have Amazon at your fingertips, so you an get the best ebooks and writing aids. The chances are that you know all of this already, though! You are reading a resource right now! That being said, one of the main problems with having so many resources is knowing which to choose. All of them look good, don’t they? But you can’t use them all! If you try, you might end up spending more time ogling at all the choice you have and not enough time writing.can
So it’s a good idea to find the best writing resources and have them all in once place for you to choose from. That’s where I come in! I’ve spent a long time going through books and websites that promise to help you write. I’ve come out of the other side with a bunch of great things for you to use! Some of them help you to plan. Others are more about helping to cure writer’s block. There are even some in there to help you with layout and other style stuff.
So stick around and I’ll make your writing journey just a little easier.
Grammarly is a must for any writer. If you could only get one of these writing resources, I would say it has to be this one, for sure! You see, we are all human and we all make mistakes when writing. And even though mistakes are 100% understandable, they do make you look quite unprofessional in the grand scheme of things. And as I’ve said in another post before, why should I bother to read your story if you didn’t take the time to correct your spelling and grammar? You clearly don’t care enough, so I’m not going to either.
Ok, that’s probably quite unfair. There are lots of writers who have awesome ideas but are dyslexic or English isn’t their first language. But there are so many stories to read out there. I’m going to pick the ones that I can read easily! That’s why Grammarly is such a great idea! It’s nothing like the usual Word spellcheck. It’s much ore accurate and works so much better! It actually takes your whole sentence into account, for one. Plus, you can change the purpose of your writing and it will adjust the way it checks your work.
But don’t let my obsession with grammar scare you off! If I’m honest, most of your readers are only going to notice when you really mess up. So the free Grammarly service is the best for anyone who wants to make sure no one can call out the worst of their errors. I will make your story much easier to read! Of course, the paid version is even better, but you can still improve if the premium version is out of your budget!
Title Capitalisation Websites
One of the things that will turn me off a story as quick as you can blink is poor capitalisation. It sounds like such a petty reason to drop a story, but when you don’t put capital letters in the right places, it tells me that you did it for one of the following reasons:
- You haven’t spent enough time learning about how to present your writing properly.
- You turned your Word check off.
- Presentation matters so little to you that you didn’t even think about it.
- You know where you should put capital letters but you don’t care.
None of these look good for your story. They make you look just as lazy as not getting simple grammar points right.
This could be in the title or in the summary. In the title, people will often forget to capitalise the parts of the sentence that they should. In the summaries of their stories, some writers will make every single noun or verb have a capital letter. Both of them look so childish or unprofessional!
But I get why it happens. In fact, I make mistakes with my titles from time to time, too! That’s why it’s great to have a writing resource that takes care of all that capital letter stuff for you. You can sit back and type what you want to type and make your work look great without you having to do too much yourself. I use Capitalize My Title. It works wonders for me, even though I’m not one for American spellings. You can even fit it to the style you’re writing in!
So it’s been over 6 months since I made my last post on notebook.ai. Since then, so much has changed! The format looks better. There are new additions that make looking over your work a dream! You can tag articles in other articles. This is an essential resource to add to your writing repertoire. Bookmark it now!
Other than family trees and timelines (which I am sure will be added in the future), this has everything you could possibly need for your planning process. The free version lets you plan characters, worlds and items and put those in the universe you’re writing! The premium plan comes with way, way more. Either way, the free plan is a great way to start and gives you more than enough to get going. It’s really only if you’re trying to do lots of complex world building that you’re going to have to upgrade. Until then, you’ve got everything you need. And if you do need to world build, you can still see your premium articles even if you go back to the free plan! Plus, it’s saved onto a cloud so that you can access your work from any computer.
This will help you with the planning process and will guide you through writer’s block when you get it. It asks you questions to help you to pad out your characters and settings. This can be the best thing when you don’t know where to go next. Sometimes all you need is to think about your work in a new way!
So do yourself a favour and get on notebook.ai. You won’t regret it!
Rory’s Story Cubes
This one is great for writer’s block and short exercises. It doesn’t matter how many stories you’ve written! It’s always a good idea to take some time off from your epic story and just do some short exercises. They’re fun, they take you out of your comfort zone and you can do them with friends. Plus, you never know! You might end up with a story you love and you want to continue!
I use Rory’s Story Cubes when teaching EFL classes because they get the imagination flowing. They make my students want to try to use English when they’re usually self-conscious if they don’t know a word. The same can be true of native speakers when we’re writing stories! We can get so caught up in what we know that we can forget how important it is to challenge ourselves to get better. These story cubes don’t care about that/ They’re not going to fall on a picture we know how to write about just to suit us. And if you use them properly, you might be able to cram a bad boy into every story, but you’ll have to work hard to do it! That extra work will train your writing skills.
There are so many uses for story cubes. That’s what makes them such a good writing resource! You can roll them to make a story. You can roll 3 and make a character profile. Heck, it works great for making unique art scenes, too! The beauty is that it’s made for writers, but it doesn’t have words. That means it can be used in any language and you can use your imagination to turn the dice into whatever you want them to be. We’re all different! Use that to your advantage!
I mentioned this in my first ever blog post and it still works just as well now! Personality tests can be the best unusual resource to get your writing juices flowing. You see, you can only fill out a test like that if you know enough about your characters! If you don’t you’re going to get stuck very quickly. Or, you might fill in the gaps as you go along (in which case, it might be a good idea to keep a piece of paper with you or open notebook.ai in another tab to help you). You need to be able to think about the test answers from the character’s point of view, which is going to help you do that later in your story!
Plus, if you choose the right test, you’re going to get even more great info to help you write your character! A good personality test is going to give you a good idea of some strengths and weaknesses that your characters might have, or even who they might be compatible with in your story. Of course, you don’t have to listen to every single piece of info you get! None of us fit these tests 100%. It’s not about that! It’s about giving you an idea of what you could do with that person if you’re stuck. Or, at least, it might help you put words to a trait that you knew the character had but didn’t know how to explain.
I would choose 16 Personalities for this purpose. It’s free, fun and gives you loads of info. Plus, my favourite part is the celebs and other fictional characters in the same personality group that you can compare your character to! Trust me: you’ll be at this one all day.
A Good Style Guide
If you want to make your writing look consistent and professional, you’re going to need a good style guide. This writing resource makes a huge difference to spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as the layout and look. A good style guide makes you look like a professional writer and helps you to answer your burning questions like “where do I put the capital letter in this sentence” or “do I use a z or an s in that word?” You don’t have to scour the internet for the answer and get 400 different responses. All you have to do is know that you’re following that style and the book will do the rest.
It is really worth getting a good style guide. Like with grammar, getting layout and punctuation right can be done pretty easily. There is a right answer! That sets it apart from the other things like characterisation or plot. That means it’s a great way to get quality points for your story. If you can get these things right, why wouldn’t you? It gives people one less thing to complain about in your story.
I personally use the New Oxford Style Manual because it is both cheap and comprehensive. You aren’t going to be spending a fortune, but you will get way more information than most other guides out there! Plus, it’s also combined with a huge dictionary-like book at the end that goes into words you might have issues with. It looks great on a shelf and does a great deal for any writer who wants to be treated seriously. Although if you’re in America, it costs so much! Stick to the free one instead. It’s not as good, but it will work for now.
Great for writing exercises, writer’s block and silly competitions, random generators can be a great resource! They’re fun, funny and full of great prompts to help you through your tough points.
You see, when you have writer’s block, the worst thing you can do is stop writing. You lose momentum and it will take you a little while to get your groove on again. It’s like going 2 steps backwards with your writing quality. I know, I know. That sounds like the last thing you want to think about when you’re stressing about not being able to continue. Well, you don’t have to pour over that story you’re stuck on! You can take the time to write something silly and different that you have no obligation to keep writing.
And of course, you can change the prompt up as much as your want. The generator isn’t going to feel bad if you only use parts of it! So you can just use it as a springboard to make something fun and different. Just make sure that you don’t get stuck in the trap of making the same old stories as usual. Take your black as a. vacation from your usual style! Write something completely different. It’s not like you have to publish it!
Plot Generator is my favourite. There are poems, song lyrics and story blurbs that will have you in stitches! This is a great way to make writing a joy again.
Writing forums are a great resource for any budding writer. They give you the chance to meet with like-minded writers and get all the help and advice you could use. You can find people who are looking for stories like yours so you can build up your audience and they are always full of great discussions for you to take part in. Plus, you have the chance to do research into what your target audience is actually looking for. Either they’ve already been talking about what they’re sick and tired of seeing in stories, or you can open up a thread yourself to ask them!
The great thing about writing forums is that they encourage you to talk to other authors. Writing can seem so lonely if you don’t get out of your bubble! So it’s a good idea to take any chance you get to make friends with other writers. You can egg each other on and (even better) you can force each other out of your comfort zones when it comes to writing. One of the best parts of spending time on forums for me was trying to help others. They asked questions I never even thought about and it made me more aware of the way I write! Plus, a little bit of healthy debate always helps. Even if no one’s minds are changed, you get the chance to look at other people’s points of view, which can help you make very different characters,
If you’re a Wattpad user, you probably already know about their forums. They’re great and I would recommend them to anyone! We are also making our own forum at ShanniiWrites for all of our users to chat, though! So we’d love to see you over there!
The ShanniiWrites Website
Of course, we are always here for new writers, trying our best to pump out more advice. It’s growing at the moment! We have a quiz, some checklists and lots and lots of blog posts that are all there to help you. We’ll be writing reviews with writers in mind and give you info on the best books to read as a budding writer.
If you want to test out the quality of your man character, check out my Mary Sue Quiz! If you’re looking for bad romance tropes, we have a post for you, too! And we’re updating new stuff every week! Stay tuned!
As a Grammarly Affiliate, I earn from sign-ups.
Even if I already use most of these resources, having them all in one place is definitely helpful.
Also they’re just super good resources 😀
I don’t actually use things like Grammarly, which I really should. It’s not that hard to use it, and it has surprisingly good information and can check a lot. I absolutely love personality tests and random generators, because they help with planning and developing characters by coming up with things that I wouldn’t think of or pushing on the characters. I tried out notebook.ai, but I think that I always try to use things like that too early in the process, and I don’t have enough information to put in. The story cubes look really interesting, and I haven’t heard of them before, so that was really cool to learn about.
Grammarly is a great resource! The best thing is that it combines seamlessly with Forums, too! So, it makes roleplaying on the ShanniiWrites Forums a hell of a lot easier! Yeah notebook.ai can be overwhelming if you use it too early on – especially if you force yourself to fill out every single section! I just usually use the information I need, to be honest!
I really appreciate all of the things that notebook.ai has, but it’s definitely a lot