Writing Resources, Links and Books

I always find it interesting to hear about what writerly resources people find most helpful or enjoyable, so I thought I would throw together a list of some of my favorites. I’m saving it as a page so that it will be available through the top menu for all time — so you don’t have to go look at them all right now! 😉 — but I thought I would post it on the blog-proper as well. I’ll probably add to it over time, but it’s a start.

So here are some links to some neat writing resources and writing-related things, that I’ve found helpful or fun over the years. I hope you’ll find them useful too! (The sites are not mine though and not all the stuff on the sites I link to do I necessarily endorse, so proceed with caution as always… Just sayin’.)

If you have any favorite writing sites or books or resources, feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear them. 🙂

Enjoy!

Resources

Wordcount spreadsheets – free spreadsheets for keeping track of daily/monthly wordcounts (especially useful for NaNo-like goals).

Wordcount widgets – links to some free writing meters for blogs and sites, to keep track of your wordcount.

yWriter – free writing software created by a writer.

Pixlr – free online photo editor. I really enjoy using it for making covers and such!

Fun

Month of the Novel episodes – fun little videos about a writer trying to write a novel in a month, and the humorous adventures of herself and her characters. Although it’s especially relevant to people who have done NaNoWriMo, it’s hilarious for anybody who has ever written. I died laughing sooo many times watching these! They’re just too much fun! ❤

NaNoWriMo etc.

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month: write a 50,000 word novel in November. I do it each year and it’s a marvelous opportunity to get a lot of writing done and connect with other writers who are also writing.

NaNoWriMo forums – There’s also a lot of info to be had in the NaNo forums, which are around all year (though they get wiped each year for a fresh start before each November session).

Camp NaNoWriMo – Can’t commit to writing 50k in a month, or can’t write during November? Camp NaNo is done twice a year for the summer (usually April and July) and has adjustable word-count goals, so it’s a good fit for the more sane writers who just want to get some words in over the summer.

Writing Advice

Author Orson Scott Card has some interesting articles on writing on his website.

Author Gail Carson Levine has some great writing-advice on her lovely blog, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Go Teen Writers has a wealth of writing-advice I’ve only begun to dip into, but I know many people who have found it very useful.

Writing Books I actually got something useful out of

(which is more than I can say of many how-to writing books I’ve read…)

Eats, Shoots and Leaves – by Lynne Truss

If you have problems with understanding punctuation/grammar, this is the book for you. And if you’re a perfectionist and punctuation addict like I am, you’re sure to love it as well! It’s extremely helpful and easy to understand while being humorous at the same time. I like to laugh, and I like to learn, and I like being a punctuation perfectionist, so this book was a bit favorite for me.

How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy – by Orson Scott Card

Not everything in this book was helpful to me, but there were a couple ideas that I gleaned from it, and some interesting thoughts on the structure of books, including thoughts on what type of story your book might be. It’s not just for sci-fi/fantasy writers; I don’t write sci-fi, and the type of fantasy I write normally doesn’t have much fantastical in it, but I still found some worth from this book.

Anybody Can Write – by Roberta Jean Bryant

This was a refreshing look at writing, and had some good exercises that helped me through a couple things I was stuck on. I must also say that it’s one of the few non-fiction books I’ve read that I couldn’t put down. It’s not a thick book, but I couldn’t put it down for some reason and found when I was most of the way through that I had accidentally read a ton when I’d only meant to start it. It’s mainly good for the couple new ideas it has.

***

What sites/book/links do you find helpful for your writing?

Could Not Catch Them All

(Remember that post I mentioned I’d written? That I said I wouldn’t post unless I ran out of things to post? Well here it is. I’ve yet to write the Writing-Anniversary post but I hope to do it soon… The last time I was about to write it, I ended up starting writing another book instead. Go figure. 😉 Anyways, here, a post.)

***

There was this song I heard once about a juggler in a circus, and I feel like him right now, trying to juggle too many things in my life.

“But as he threw his skittles to the sky and watched them fall
He knew: tonight’s the night he could not catch them – could not catch them all . . .”

In these last few months, I’ve been trying to do way too many things, which consequently means that I really haven’t been getting anything done. I keep piling on more and more obligations, whether real or imagined, to myself and to other people.

What with NaNo prep back in October, NaNo during November, all of December swishing by with Christmas, and January with a new year and new responsibilities, and then February gone in the blink of an eye, I feel like I should be back in September of 2013.

Trying to balance my writing, reading, internet of all shapes and sizes, life, family, friends, everyday things that need to happen, and other projects . . . I don’t know, it’s just gotten overpowering lately. There are, for instance, emails I haven’t replied to since way before NaNo, stories by friends I’ve promised to critique months and months ago and still haven’t, etc.

I really need to sit down and analyze everything I’m doing and should be doing and basically completely reorganize my life. But that’s going to take time too, time that I could be using to catch up on those things, or to take care of the immediate life things that keep coming up.

Sea

I feel like I’m in the middle of a body of water, and the shore is barely visible far away, but I’m paralyzed by the distance. I know I can’t get there so I don’t even try, and as I wait the water rises higher and higher and the shore gets further and further away until it disappears and I’m just . . . stuck.

More song lyrics? I’m reminded of “Gollum’s Song” in the credits of The Two Towers:

“We are lost . . . We can never go home . . .”

(Okay, that’s a bit extreme. Maybe not that one. I do, however, use that as the theme-song for one of the characters I’m writing . . .)

Just rather overwhelmed here. I kind of feel like I need a vacation. From everything.

Buuut first I would want to catch up on all those things so I wouldn’t feel burdened by them . . . And the guilt cycle starts over again. Heehee.

I don’t even know what I’m trying to say, or why I’m spending the time to say it on my blog since it’s doubtful that it’s interesting or edifying. I guess I just want to say that if I vanish sometimes, this would be why, and also as a sort of mass apology to anyone who’s reading this who feels like I’ve abandoned them with not emailing or critiquing things I said I would do.

And I don’t know if anyone has suggestions either. Everyone’s lives are different. And I’m sure my problems are extremely petty in comparison to others — I’m not saying I have it really bad or anything and I really don’t want to complain! I’m having a lovely little life over here and I’ve been extremely blessed. I’m just a little lost. Sorry to dull the day with my little problems, and if you’ve stuck with me this far then . . . Here, have some profound thanks and a hug and a cupcake.

Cupcake

On a more upbeat note: wordcount meters! I found the link from this lovely lady’s blog, and I just love them! They’re going to sit proudly on the side of my blog and urge me on to actual writing. 🙂