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Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Resources for Writers

Last week I posted about the best books I found this year. Today, I'm listing all of the valuable resources I've found for writers, including a site where you can create your own audiobooks, references for writing tips, and a word processing plugin that will actually teach you to write better.

(Sidenote: Thanks for participating in our giveaway! You can see the winners here!)

References for Writers

ACX.com

If you hold the rights, you can go to ACX.com and turn your book into an audiobook. You can either read the book yourself, or hire an actor. Here's how it works for the latter:
1. You upload an excerpt of your book
2. Actors audition for it.
3. Judging from the auditions, you pick who you want to read it.
4. Once it's all recorded, you're set to sell it. ACX can get it up on major retail sites.

Watch this (fun) video about the process.



Check it out for yourself at ACX.com

The Emotion Thesaurus


One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character's emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by exploring seventy-five emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.

Using its easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment, including situations where a character is trying to hide their feelings from others. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them.

This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.




This book is an excellent resource. I wish I had bought it sooner.
Here is an example entry:

Amusement

Physical Signals
A shiny or rosy face
Chuckling or cackling
Holding onto a chair or walls for support
Plucking clothing to cool down

Internal Sensations
Pain in the ribs or stomach
Wheezy breath

Mental Responses
A need to sit down
Replaying the humourous event

Cues of acute or long term amusement
Uncontrollable laughter
Body quaking
Begging people to stop
Breathlessness
Needing to leave the room

May Escalate to: Happiness, Satisfaction

Cues of Suppressed Amusement
Clamping the lips together
Shaking the head
Swallowing laughter

(Thanks to this blog for posting a sample so I didn't have to retype it.)


Scrivener

Scrivener is a word processor for novelists. Again, I wish I had known about it sooner, because it has exactly what I was looking for. It basically makes an outline automatically as you write your novel. You can put all the documents, research, character profiles, pictures, reference websites, everything, into one super document. Everything you need is right there! Before Scrivener, I had basically 15 word documents, 3 pinterest boards, tons of 3X5 cards and scrap paper, in all different files and places. Now I can put it all in one place. Its even linked to my pinterest.




I found it easy to use, and it's only $40 (worth it). Watch this video to get the run down of the most important features.


Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is an award-winning podcast with four professional writers as hosts--Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Each episode is only 15 minutes long and the hosts cover virtually every writing topic in the fiction world. You can also send in questions to them. Who doesn't love getting professional advice for free?

I've heard of Writing Excuses before, but this year I finally gave them a listen. You can too at WritingExcuses.com.


David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants

Along the same lines, though not necessarily new to me, is David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants--free writing tips from best-selling author David Farland. You can read them at DavidFarland.com or get them delivered to your email by signing up here. And they actually don't come daily. There is a new tip about two or three times a week.

Grammarly

Grammarly is an automated proofreader that corrects up to 10 times more mistakes than popular word processors. Not only does it catch what you misspell and misuse, but it catches problems with parallelism, redundancy, wordiness, and offers other word choices. Its suggestions and explanations can help you learn to write better. They have a specific mode for creative writing.



How effective is it? If you're already a Queen of English, you don't need it. But if you're a beginning writer or one that missed out on thorough English courses, you might want to try the free trial.

You can either use Grammarly on their site, or, download the plugin for major word processors.

Check it out at Grammarly.com

 Glipho

Glipho is a new social media blogging platform. I won't give the rundown here, since I already did in an older post

Tumblr

Nothing you haven't heard of, I'm sure. But I recently looked into the site for the first time. I love it. I can't get into Twitter or Pinterest, but Tumblr, yes. I already have over 900 followers on it, and I've only been on for a couple of months. So far, it seems Tumblr is mostly made up of people who like the Pinterest thing and of die-hard fans.

I'm using Tumblr to connect with people who are fans of the same books/movies/shows that I am, in addition to connecting with other writers. I kind of like to fan-girl once in a while, so it's nice to have an outlet that is accepting of that. I know my Facebook friends don't want to hear me rant about Harry Potter every single day! But my Tumblr followers would love it. It also gives me another outlet for my blog posts. Tumblr.com And if you want to fan-girl with me and aren't afraid to see me passionately post about every story I've liked from ages 4 to 24, you can find me here.


Did you discover any writerly resources this year that I should know about?

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