I’ve amassed a lot of resources over the years – here are some of the best ones I use both for copywriting and fiction writing. Some you’ve seen in previous posts; some are new!
I sometimes refer to Evernote as my best friend. It’s a notebook program you download to all your computers. I add a note from work, and when I get home, there it is. I have separate notes for blog post ideas, prompts, story ideas, daily life to-do lists and more. All bundled in one notebook and accessible with one click. This program saved me from sending myself email notes all day.
A simple online timer. Set it for any amount of time, and it alerts you with three gongs when the time is up. You can use it to block out time for writing, cleaning, whatever. I use it to remind me to look away from my computer screen every hour or so.
Finding the Right Word or Phrase
I love MS Word, but its synonym tool isn’t very good. This online synonym finder is far better. I use it several times a day.
If you are specifically looking for a simpler or shorter version of a word, this is the thesaurus for you. I sometimes use it for writing Google or Facebook ads (which have tiny character limits).
Enter a word and get a list of common phrases in which the word appears. Another tool I use daily, mostly for writing headlines. But it could also be used for story, novel, and chapter titles as well. Anything that requires a play on words (change the original idiom slightly to give it a new and witty meaning).
This tool does several things, but I mostly use it for the rhyming dictionary and the “words that start with” feature. I use it mostly for writing headlines, but I imagine it would be super useful for poetry.
This user-generated slang dictionary is 90% crass. However, you can use it to ensure a word or phrase you are using doesn’t have a secondary meaning that is negative or disgusting. If the term you search does come up with a bad meaning, check the number of user votes it received. If there are more thumbs down than thumbs up, you’re probably still okay to use it.
Fun & Inspiration
A long list of fantastic words. People submit their favorites, usually with explanations why. I chiefly use it for naming projects.
Enter a word, it scrambles the letters into other words. Use it to come up with names or aliases of characters or places. Or just type in your own name for a laugh. I’m Anti-Sheep, apparently.
Inspired by the story Hemmingway reportedly considered his best (For sale: baby shoes, never used.), this site allows users to submit their own six word stories. The good ones get posted on the main page. Read for inspiration – and submit a few of your own.
Rules & Grammar
This blog will grow your vocabulary and improve the way you use it.
Quick and Dirty grammar lessons. I go here when I can’t remember the difference between affect and effect.
The free online version of the writer’s bible, penned by Strunk & White.
Answer a few yes-or-no questions on behalf of your main character, get a detailed outline of his personality traits. So insightful.
To name all those characters!
Helps you find a literary magazine to publish your short stories.
A literary agent ruthlessly tears apart query letters submitted by her readers. She’s no longer snarking, but the archives are a gold mine for those looking to learn how to write a good query.
The savior for those bereft of Miss Snark, this lit agent is still critiquing queries with gusto.
A database of literary agents with an easy-to-use search that makes it easy to build your submission list.
The site writers have long relied on to ensure agents aren’t con artists. Look up your agents here before querying.
What are your favorite online resources? Share in the comments!