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Monday, December 29, 2014

Resources for Writers, 2014

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 this year. But first, I have a small announcement--I finally have an online alias! I've been wanting one for ages, but couldn't decide on a name I liked. So, it's now September C. Fawkes. I'll be switching the name of my blog over to it too. I'm switching the name on my Tumblr and Facebook. I had to get a new Twitter account, you can follow it here (I'll try to be more active on it than my old one, but no promises.) I've kept my profile picture the same to help with the transition.

Okay, here are this year's resources:

References for the Creative Process

Writers Helping Writers Thesaurus Collections

Last year I praised the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, a thesaurus that lists all kind of moods, and ways to show them in writing. It's totally brilliant, and I still use it several times a week.

Well, on their website, Angela and Becca have plenty of other writing thesauri in-progress that you can access for free:

Need help describing your character's physical attributes? Don't worry, the Physical Attribute Thesaurus lists basically every physical attribute:

Need help describing you character's cheeks, without being cliche? Not a problem:

So, if you need help describing bodies, weather, textures, shapes, or coming up with special skills for your character, go to WritersHelpingWriters.net/thesaurus-collections/. I love their stuff!


(NOT to be confused with Jobster.com)

Jobstr is a site that lets you ask people anything about their jobs. So, if you have a character who is a mailman, you can ask a real one questions about it. 634 people already have. What about a locksmith or a veterinarian or a forensic scientist or a model or a professional bull rider? Those are there too. This site can be used to either research your character's job, or help you brainstorm a job for them. (I guess it can also be used to, I don't know, get information on a job you are interested in going out in too.)

It can be a little limited in that not every job is covered. I once tried to find a neurologist on there to question. There isn't one. But that means if you are a neurologist, maybe you should create an account on there so you can help answer questions! Seriously folks, I want jobstr to get bigger, so it can be an even better resource. So if you have an interesting job that's not already being covered, please consider making an account.

But still, it's great.


Along those same lines, if you need an interesting hobby for a character, or need to learn more about one, go to discoverahobby.com

It has a lot of hobbies to pull from (but like jobstr, doesn't cover everything), both traditional, like stamp collecting, and unique, like sandboarding. It tells you about the hobby, gives an introduction, and other resources, like how-to videos (in other words, more sources for research).


I've heard of polyvore but hadn't looked at it until I needed to come up with a style for one of my side male characters, and I don't have much insight on male styles. Polyvore creates whole outfits, complete with accessories, in one image, and has links to where you can buy the products (in other words, links to description of them, what they are made out of, etc. to help you describe them.)

It's a social site, so anyone can put together an outfit. So, if you like creating character outfits from scratch, then you can use polyvore to keep track of them. Go to polyvor.com

Myth Encyclopedia

If you write fantasy, you might want to check out MythEncyclopedia.com. The title is pretty self-explanatory. But you can browse around there to help you brainstorm.


If you are trying to come up with just the right slang word for you character's voice, OnlineSlangDictionary.com might be able to help. Obviously the Urban Dictionary is another place, but it's not always accurate and users seems to find every opportunity they can to relate things to sex, and frankly, invent new words that I don't think are universal enough to count outside of their five-person social circle. With that said, I do use Urban Dictionary more than the Online Slang Dictionary. I like the thesaurus of Online Slang Dictionary, so if I'm looking for an alternative to the word "suck," I can check out other options.

Resources for the Professional Part of Writing


If you're ready to publish your manuscript traditionally, look for agents and publishers online at PublishersMarketplace.com. There you can find the top agents in your genre, see the recent sells they've made, how much they sold that manuscript for, their leading clients, and how and where to contact them. You do need to pay to have access to everything.

Preditors and Editors

Another site that can help with the publishing process. I actually haven't spent much time on it, but I know that Preditors and Editors keeps track of potential scammers in the publishing world. They provide warnings about services that threaten copyrights. You can check them out yourself at pred-ed.com.


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