Here’s a list of my favorite writing resources––everything from help with plotting to lists of character traits to research databases for historical fiction. I hope you find these links as helpful as I do––seriously, I couldn’t write without this stuff…
My favorite plot outline––this is a solid structure on which to build the foundation of your story.
An extensive database of example plots (movies and books, broken down to individual plot points and what role they play in the story). Very good for generally improving your writing and learning how to plot a story the right way.
Here’s a great character planning sheet. IMHO, you absolutely need to develop your main characters in depth before you start writing your story.
Everyone has something that drives them, and fictional people should be no exception––here’s a list of possible character motives.
Love this one––if you’re writing romance, or any type of story with a significant romantic relationship, here’s a relationship planning worksheet.
OMG this is so useful…one problem I’ve noticed in a lot of fiction is characters who are too perfect to be believable (or unrealistically, flatly evil). This character balance sheet allows you to figure out mathematically if your characters are realistically “grey”.
Just a long list of bad habits for your characters, very helpful in character development.
This is the site I usually use to come up with names for my characters. It’s especially great as far as naming sites go, not only because it’s HUGE, but because it’s easy to look names up by origin, and has lists of names with different “personalities”, and even lists of names popular at different times in history.
A list of physical descriptions to help you give the reader a vivid image of what your characters look like.
I love Bryn Donovan’s site in general, but this list is particularly useful. It’s a looooonnnng list of facial expressions. Finding it difficult to find words for how your character is reacting to a certain event or conversation? That’s where this list comes in.
Another list from Bryn Donovan. This one is similar to the one above, but it’s a list of gestures and body language. Also super helpful in writing scenes.
This is a list of colors and color descriptions. For avoiding cliches and bringing your story to visual life.
Honestly, you might as well just buy Bryn Donovan’s Book of Lists. It’s great.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always doing mean things to my characters. They end up injured or even dead pretty frequently. I’m also a stickler for realism, and since I’m not a doctor, this page can really help in writing accurate reactions to different kinds of injury and the associated pain.
This is a database of what people ate at different points in history. Diet has really varied through the years, and by culture and status. This site is specific but also super helpful if you’re writing historical fiction.
There are more senses than just the five, or at least many different kinds of sensory perception that fall under the ones we’re familiar with. Things like vestibular sense, emotional environment, and muscular tension. This is a list of senses to look to for detailed descriptions.
This is just a collection of a bunch of helpful writing worksheets. I use them all the time.
This scene checklist is a good tool to use as you write and even more helpful in the editing stage. I use this list to make sure each chapter is doing its job.
I just discovered this site, and it’s pretty cool. It’s full of databases, inspiration, outlines, etc. They bill themselves as a one-stop shop for writers. Some of the features are locked unless you pay, but the paid plan is only $9 / month and it seems like you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Thesaurus.com. I know it’s pretty obvious that a thesaurus is a helpful tool when writing, but this website is particularly great. In addition to being an amazing thesaurus, they have word lists (ie. the most beautiful words) that can really pump up your writing.
Absolute History is not only useful for a writer, but really fun to watch. It’s a Youtube channel dedicated to all things history…but in a cool, kind of edgy way that focuses on lesser known, everyday aspects of life in various eras. Things like 19th century medicine and sex in the Victorian age. There’s a particular focus on the 19th and early 20th centuries, so if you’re writing in that era, this channel is essential.