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The Writers Forum Links List

Important Notice, 27 August, 2014

Please note: The majority of links are on the first page of this thread, but there are more located in later pages of the thread, as well.

Welcome, writers forum regulars, lurkers, and passers by, to the writers forum links list. This is a compilation of awesome and helpful links to threads written by fellow goers of the WF. Some are irreverent, some are best for their discussion, some will make you reevaluate how and why you write, some are addressed specifically to the peculiarities of gaia's writing community, but all of them, in one way or another, are useful to the writing craft.

That said, a note should be kept in mind: Some of these threads, while the initial post may not have much in the way of information, are included for the discussion that followed from it, so be sure to read through the entire thread.

Please also note that most of these threads can no longer be posted in unless the thread creator necros them themselves, so adding further discussion will require making your own thread on the topic.

If anyone has other interesting threads, sites, or books that are not listed, feel free to post them in the thread and I'll see about adding them to the list. Likewise, if you stumble across a link that, for some reason or another, no longer exists, is inaccessible, or is obviously no longer what it was originally, please post and let me know what link it was so it can be dealt with.

Table of Contents

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums Go there! »

Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources Go there! »

Writing Exercises & Games Go there! »

Characters & Characterization Go there! »

Writing Mechanics Go there! »

Writing Tips & Techniques Go there! »

Miscellaneous Topics Go there! »

Off-Site Resources Go there! »

Books On Writing Go there! »
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Generous Giver

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums

Stickies and Posting Guides

Writer's Forum Rules & Guidelines
The official rules of the Writer's Forum.

The Naming Guidebook
The replacement sticky for The Gaian Name Bank, and just as useful for all your naming needs.

The Think Tank & Idea Box
Akin to "Prompt me!", but more general purpose. Very useful for getting rid of writer's block.

The Writer's Block & Inspiration Thread
Another thread for overcoming writer's block, but more focused than the Think Tank.

Top Reasons Why You'll Get Your a** Kicked in the WF
Because reiteration is necessary.

Topic Authoring with Susy Newbie
An entertaining must read on how to easily avoid the common pitfalls of someone new to the writer's forum.

Writing and Publishing Tips and Links
A galore of good sites and posts with tips and tricks for writing, getting published, and other such miscellani.


Original Stories/Prose
Share your stories and other prose here.

Original Poetry/Lyrics
Share your poetry and lyrics here.

Share your fan-related writing here.

Collaborative Works
Multiple writers, working together.

Discuss your favorite books.

Writing Contests
Compete using your writing skills.

A place to showcase your personal website, art gallery, or news on upcoming contests or activities.

Writing Arena Discussion
Discuss entries in Gaia's Writing Arena here.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources

11 Things You Should Know About Self-Publishing

The Academy of Writing Practice
Prompt! Write! Critique!

The Anti-Guide
Read the list, and then don't do what it says to.

Being a Beta Critic
This is a good break down of the kind of writers/critiquers you're likely to run across, and what ones you'll want to look for.

From the Perspective of the One Sending You Rejections
You don't want to piss off the editor if you want to get your stuff published. Follow those submission rules!

The Gaia Fantasy/Sci-Fi Dares Thread
The thread title says it all.

Google: Is It In You?
A brief and useful guide for effectively using Google as a research tool.

(kay, thanks, bye) The 111up
A thread for posting works for critique or providing critique on works already posted.

Prompt me! Words, phrases, and images to help you write.
A very useful thread for getting around that writer's block.

The Official Writer's Block Thread (thread locked)
Stuck? Need ideas? Have ideas but want to get started writing? This is where you'll want to go.

Post Your Progress
A thread designed to help you keep track of your progress. Because we all know posting publicly how far along you are provides a good incentive to improve that number, don't we?

The Question Box
Come here to ask questions if you need answers that you just can't seem to find.

Serious Fantasy/Science Fiction Challenge
The thread title says it all.

The Someday Definitive Guide on Starting to Write
The basics to starting a story and how to get started in general.

[T]itle Grabbing -- Take and Leave Story Titles
Need a title for something? Look here.

This thread has been through several incarnations, the previous of which can be found here, and the original here. The purpose here is to post your work while offering critique on the work of someone else who's posted.

The WF Centre for Occult Research & Informed Cryptozoology
Need answers about anything related to the occult or mythological creatures? This is where you need to be.

What Do Publishers Actually Do? -common misconceptions
Ever wondered what to expect when submitting something for publishing? This answers many of the common fears and misconceptions about the publishing endeavor.

The World Building Thinktank
If you have problems with world building, this is definitely the place to go.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Writing Exercises & Games

A simple character sheet
Just that: A simple character sheet for putting in one place all the basic, necessary information about your character(s).

Let's twist some cliches!
The title says it all. A deceptively simple but very effective game for improving creativity.

The Rant Thread
For ranting about your characters, which could be useful for overcoming writer's block.

The Secret to Drawing the Reader In
Simple yet effective methodology for enhancing an otherwise bland bit of writing.

The Sense Thread: where concrete is your best friend!
A simple approach for conceptualizing those pesky abstracts and turning them into concrete metaphors.

The World Building Game (The original is here.)
The most useful game ever to be moved out of the Writer's Forum, the world building game is a very useful tool for prompting yourself to think about aspects of your story world you may not have before but which may be important to your story.

What Would YOUR Character Do?
A very useful game for character exploration, although some situations posed can be rather ridiculous.

Write 1, Sub 1
The technique employed by one of the most prolific short story writers ever: Ray Bradbury. The idea is simple: Write and submit one short story every week.

Writing Challenge - no prize but getting yourself in motion
A very simple writing challenge that's easily achieved and will help you get into the habit of writing every day.

Writing Experiment: Build-a-World! [OPEN!!!]
A useful thread for world building and fine-tuning the details necessary for an immersive story.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Characters & Characterization

Advice on Creating Original Names
A very good guide about how to create names for your characters, but there are a lot of color changes, so be prepared.

An Observation on Fantasy Species.
A simple and straightforward talk about the largest pitfall of writing non-human characters.

Anime Cliche
Why you should think about the inspiration you draw from anime before actually using that inspiration.

Falling Into the 'Dynasty Warriors' Trap
If you must have über warrior killing machines, this will help make them realistic.

Finally: I've Killed Mary-Sue!
After swearing the links list wasn't going to get another Mary Sue thread, here's this with some more insights.

How I Fell In Love With Mary Sue
A discussion about the Mary Sue archetype, how it affects writers, and its purpose in relation to fan fiction and original fiction.

How to name your characters
Why agonizing over the names for your characters is counterproductive and annoying.

In defense of angst
Angst is not always a bad thing, and this explains why.

The Issue of Race: How do you tackle it?

IT BUILDS CHARACTER (Or Else It Gets the Hose Again)
A very useful rant and discussion about those things that make characters engaging or just boring.

It's not what they are; It's WHO they are.
A brief rant about shallow dynamics between characters.

M's Crappy Guide to Character Development!
Some basic tips and tricks about effective characterization. Be sure to read posts from the others in the thread, as well.

Making a cool character without trying too hard.
A discussion on how to make a character appealing.

Making the Vampire Worth Reading: No Half-Vampires!
An examination of the logic and annoyance behind the overly prolific half-vampire character.

Mary Sue = Sexist?
An interesting analyzation of the Mary Sue concept and how it's applied.

My Character is Smarter Than Me! [Discussion]
How to effectively write a character that's smarter than you are.

Mystic halfbreeds and you: Making an informed decision.
An analysis of what makes half-whatever characters so annoying and how to avoid those pitfalls.

The Rusty Nail: Characters, Motivation, and Destiny
A brief look at why there needs to be a reason for a character to do something.

Some Character Practice and Discussion
Writing practice for learning/improving characterization, with the added bonus of receiving concrit.

The Vampire, Werewolf & Monster Discussion Thread
A vampire thread with actual, useful material contained within? In the WF? This has been consigned to the chatterbox due to being derailed and is now dead.

The 'Villain' is BAD!
A brief rant about why antagonist does not and should not always mean villain.

What's wrong with just being human?
A brief and interesting little rant about why human characters are cool.

What's wrong with being NONhuman?
The other side of the coin to the above thread.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Writing Mechanics

All About Summoning Demons and Dealing with Satan
The dangers of overusing or abusing adverbs. Reading the full thread is recommended, as there's useful discussion beyond the first post.

Bare With Me: A Guide to Homonyms
A large list of homonyms, which are words that sound the same but have different meanings.

But, first and second are, like, practically the same!
Confused about first person and second person? This is a good thread to read.

Character is bogus, plot is second-rate: A new way to write
A discussion about writing around theme and concept rather than character and plot, along with the advantages (or lack of) by doing so.

Character Profiles and Worksheets: The Promise and the Price
An examination of why character sheets do and don't work as planned.

The Construction of Cultures in Fantasy Writing: Seeking Aid
A very useful set of questions, and ensuing discussion, to consider when creating an original world for your stories.

Doll's 3 D's
A brief look at three aspects of writing that are very often overlooked - detail, dialogue, and description - and why they're important.

Dr. Haphazard or How I Learned To Love Cliches
Love those clichés. Marry them, even. Sire children with them. Watch them grow and have fun with them.

Endrael's Guide to First Person
Having trouble writing in first person? This is the guide for you.

Endrael's Guide to Short Stories
A long, comprehensive guide to writing short stories, covering everything from how to get started on the basics to more advanced variations.

Fizzlesticks's Grammar and Punctuation Guide
A basic grammar guide.

Hooking the Reader
A brief look at how to effectively capture a reader's attention with the opening of one's story.

The Importance of World Building
On why creating a believable, in-depth world will help your story and your ability to tell it.

It's cliché! ..I don't think that word means..
What the term cliché really means.

My Rant's Better Than Yours
How to write a rant that will be effective, rather than a big load of noise.

On Lying to the Reader
A discussion on when, how, and why to mislead or lie to the reader, and how to get away with it.

The One True Story: A sort-of-meta look at writing
A look at the meaning behind what you write, why you write it, and how you approach it. Best paired with [Alphabravo]'s other links list thread for fuller understanding.

Perspective: Beyond 1st and 3rd
The bonuses and pitfalls of using the various permutations of 1st and 3rd person.

Prepositions: the Descriptive Desperadoes
The function of prepositions, how to know them, and when it's appropriate or useful to use them.

Showing Without Telling
A few techniques to keep in mind for use with various genres and styles.

The Truth About Writer's Block
A short and simple approach for dealing with writer's block, although it may not work for everyone.

The Very Basic Things That Make Your Story Unreadable
The very basics of writing, such as spelling, grammar, and the enter key, and why you should use them.

The Writer's Glossary
A generally useful thread for checking those grammatical details. Always double check any information you use from this thread, as it may not always be accurate or thorough.

World Building: What NOT To Do
Need or have examples of what makes for poor world-building? This is the place for them.

Writing the Art of Horror Fiction
For you horror connoisseurs, this is a nice little gem covering various elements of the horror story that you'll want to familiarize yourself with. Includes links and references to further helpful reading.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Writing Tips & Techniques

A Look Into the Antagonistic Mind
How to write effective and believable villains and antagonists.

BORING! I can review your work in 10 seconds.
Why you want to capture your reader's attention early in the story.

Can Virgins Write Accurate Sex Scenes?
Some answers to the ever popular question, along with advice that may be useful for writing sex scenes for those inexperienced with sex.

Constructive Criticism: How to give it, how to take it!
A few pointers on how to give and take useful concrit.

Critique is a Dialogue, Not a One-Way Street
You mean snark isn't constructive? Three cheers for interactive feedback!

The Day I Dumped Description
A humorous look at the pitfalls of being overly descriptive.

First Impression is Most Important! A Guide to Presentation.
A guide on how to format your work for posting on Gaia.

Hook us on your story, please!
Lots of good advice to be found in here on how to write an effective opening for your story.

How to Get Away With Anything
The importance of gaining your reader's trust in your story-telling abilities.

How to make your cultures exotic.
Some things to keep in mind when creating different cultures to people your world with.

How Training a Beta is Like S&M
An examination of the techniques and purposes of beta'ing beyond grammar, spelling, and syntax.

The "I need help with my beginning" Guide
Some simple steps that will help get your story started.

The "I need help with my ending" Guide
The companion thread to the "I need help with my beginning" thread.

Info Dumps: A Story Telling Pitfall?
A discussion on the potential benefits of using info dumps, and how they can potentially be good.

Let's talk about (writing) sex
Some background information, with a few tips and tricks, for effectively writing sex in a story.

Lies the WF Told You...(A Rant of Sorts)
An analyzation of the writer's forum's commonly accepted writing advice.

Literary Technique Comics: Anachronism
An explanation and discussion about anachronism: what it is, what it's for, and some examples.

Lose that camera - An argument for tight third-person.
The benefits of tightly focusing on a single character when writing third person.

Main character that is impossible to like...
A discussion on how to make otherwise hateful characters effective as lead characters in a story.

omg mai crativ writting teecher won let my writ smuit!!1!11!
Why writing workshops are worth the effort.

Only one true path? But I see a crossroad at the interstate!
A good compilation of basic advice about writing.

Originality, Logic, & You
Some stepping stones toward being creative and how to avoid the pitfalls of tripe and cliché.

Quirks, flaws, and the process of being a better writer
On the importance of recognizing for yourself those things in your writing that need improvement and how it will benefit your writing.

The Setting Needs More Love (a Rant)
On why setting is just as important as character and plot.

Shock Value: Why Not To Use It & How To Use It When You Must
Wondering why your "shocking" scenes aren't shocking anyone? You might want to read through this to get some pointers.

A Story's Theme
Sometimes they're required, and when you do use them, it's best to understand them.

Summaries - Why spelling and grammar are as important as plot
A short and sweet little rant about the (constant) importance of good spelling and grammar.

Do you use it?

There Are NO Magic Beans
A brief but very effective guide on how to go about making use of those prize ideas of yours and how to avoid the pitfalls of crappy, generic advice.

Tips for the beginning writer!
A few tips for those dealing with some of the restrictions placed upon writing for school.

Tips on creating your own world
A plethora of things to keep in mind when world building and how to go about fleshing them out if they're needed.

Unnecessary Deaths
If you're going to kill characters, be sure to read this thread.

What's the WORST writing advice you have ever received?
Yes, sometimes bad advice will happen. Sometimes it will even be so bad all you can do is facepalm and then showcase it here for internet infamy.

Write Interesting
Want to make your story memorable? This is what you need to do.

Writing Breakthroughs
A collection of revelations by writers about how to write and what makes stories work.

Writing the Opposite Gender
Lots of useful advice and pointers for those having difficulty with characters who are fe/male when you're not.

You want emotional response? Give. Us. Some. Passion.
Why emotion is essential to writing a story that will move the reader.

YOU Write Your Story, Not the Readers
Why you should write your story first before you start pimping it out for feedback.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Miscellaneous Topics

Angels and Demons Without Religion Are...
Why angels and demons without religion are just pretty/ugly humans with wings and nifty powers. Another thread where the discussion is just as important as the initial post.

A Defense of the Learning Process: Handling Young Poets
Why sustained interaction through the entire critique/edit process is important to learning the skill of poetry (and prose).

A Discussion on the Benefits (or lack of) of NaNoWriMo
An interesting dissection/discussion of the various reasons people participate (or don't) in NaNoWriMo.

A Gaian's Thoughts on 'Unoriginality'
A well thought out discussion concerning clichés, new writers, and the general attitude toward both.

American Literature - Does it have an identity?
An interesting thread and discussion about the place and identity of American literature.

Cake vs Death--Not for the WF
On why there are no constant truths in genre fiction.

Coming of Age
A discussion about the use of coming-of-age elements in stories.

Constructed Languages
For discussing one of the more involved habits of world creation: Creating the languages that fill it up.

The Elvish Index
Excellent resource for finding information about elves in all their variations.

Every village girl doesn't have to despise marriage
Girls in cultures where marriage is culturally significant and required are not likely to possess 20th century ideas from Western culture about arranged marriages.

[******** your delicate Victorian sensibilities.
A thread about sex and the shallow light it's usually portrayed in.

Gaia's resident history and weapons buffs
A surprisingly good place to go for help with weaponry and military history.

The Generic Fantasy Story: A Guide
The basic do's and don'ts of writing fantasy.

Have you ever been turned on by your own characters?
A discussion on the merits, or lack of, of being turned on by fiction.

Homosexuality - The New Black (Get Ready To Feel Indignant).
A rant about why having gay characters does not automatically make your story good.

How to Be a Realistic Writer
A nice, brief list about the fundamentals needed for being a successful writer.

I put a spell on you...
A thread with some varied and potentially useful ideas and descriptions about what defines the various types of magic users.

If you need somebody to smell your milk... (a rant)
A rant about why you should recognize if your character's a Mary Sue/Gary Stu to save yourself the annoyance of others doing so. Includes an amusing analogy to make the point.

If you want help writing, you need to give information.
Why fellow writers can't help you if you don't provide any meaningful information about what your sticking point is with your story.

Inserting Morals into Your Stories
Don't brow-beat your readers with morality, dang nabbit!

Lesbian Lit writers raise your hand
An interesting discussion about the use of homosexual characters in writing.

Let's bring a little culture to this place
A nice guide covering a lot of aspects to consider when creating a fictional culture.

Let's Discuss Popularity!
What makes some books popular? Why does it make them popular? Does that mean Paolini really is a good writer?

Life After Death: What Happens When the Hero Dies?
A discussion about killing and resurrecting MCs early in the story and the types of stories that could lead to.

Love: An Expedition into the Sexuality of our Characters
Discussion about the roles love plays in stories.

Medical Geek For Hire: A Q&A Thread
Have medical questions that you just can't seem to find the answers to yourself? This might help.

A discussion on the inclusion and purpose of messages in ones writings.

The One Rule of Writing to Rule Them All
On why the totality of a story is more important than its individual pieces.

That Mythical Thing Called A Whore
A different, and differently interesting, sort of discussion for the writer's forum.

Saving the World: How Epics Fail
The title is pretty self-explanatory. Just as interesting for the discussion in the thread as for the points raised in the OP.

Shallow Popularity or Brilliant Obscurity
An amusing thread of hypotheticals.

Shat on your hat! A thread regarding YOU.
An amusing little gem, and definitely recommended for some insightful descriptions and laughs.

Sir Lit-a-Lot says: Only you can prevent forum fires.
A discussion concerning two of the main obsessions in the writer's forum - Mary Sue's and how to write - and how they interconnect.

Stories and Society, now with Humor Article!
Stories don't exist in a vacuum, and why they shape culture and how you write.

Trauma does not equal story.
The reasons why you should have reasons behind the tortures you inflict on your characters.

Vampires: The Explained
A basic overview of vampire traits and background, intended as a discussion thread about vampires. This is a reboot thread. The original is here.

Wanna know if your idea for a story is okay?
A lively debate concerning the purpose of idea threads.

What's With All the Text? GET OUT THE PENS AND PAPER YA'LL
An entertaining novelty thread. Show off your penmanship!

Whatever happened to magic?
A brief examination of some reasons we don't see magic as often as we used to in stories.

When is it appropriate to have a sex scene in a story?
A thread that has grown disproportionately large (Get your mind outta that gutter! razz ), but which has some insightful posts scattered throughout.

Won't someone think of the writers!
For all you people out there who want your favorite writer (usually an online writer) to always write happy stuff.

The Writers Guide to the Unholy!
Chock full of useful information about vampires, though some of it is spread throughout the thread.

Writing for Yourself, Not an Audience: Literary Masturbation
A brief rant about why it's necessary to make your stories palatable to the reader or keep them to yourself.

You are all insane.
An interesting discussion about the nature of writing the imaginary.

Your ideas all belong to me.
Why it is impossible to own an idea, and therefore senseless and self-defeating to keep them to yourself.

arrow Your ideas are not special. Now shut up and write.
The one and only legendary rant that will change how you approach your writing. A must read.

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
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Off-Site Resources

With the fluid, ever-changing nature of URLs, if you find a link in this section that no longer works, please post with a notice about what site it was so the entry can be updated or removed.

Please also note not all services or software linked to have been tested or verified for quality or utility. It is especially advised to research publishing services before committing to them.

For a more comprehensive (and thus potentially more useful) links list, check out the internet resources site.

Search Engines

Bing || Dog Pile || Duck Duck Go || Google || Wolfram Alpha* || Yahoo

* Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine in the established sense, but rather a computational knowledge engine, meaning it can answer questions pertaining to known factual information as opposed to providing a list of links to sites that may have the information you're after. This makes it ideal for some queries (visualizing orbits of a four body system or understanding biological processes inside a cell exposed to heavy metals or radiation, for example) but not others (such as relationship advice or spiritual enlightenment). See the about page, example page, and Wikipedia entry for how to use it effectively.

Writing Tools & Programs

750 Words || AutoCrit Editing Wizard || Character Writer || Google Docs || Grammarly || Libre Office || MS Office || Notepad++ || OpenOffice || Page Four || Scrivener || Sigil (for epubs) || Story Weaver || White Smoke || Write It Now || Write or Die v2 || Writer || yWriter

Writing & Grammar Tools and Reference

Japanese <-> English || Latin <-> English Dictionary || Merriam-Webster || Online Etymology Dictionary || Online Medical Dictionary || Oxford || Reference.com (dictionary and thesaurus) || Reverse Lookup || Synonym Finder

Active vs Passive Voice
How to tell the difference so you know when to use them most effectively.

Analyze Your Writing
Measure your prose on the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease & grade level scales and the Gunning-Fog index.

Cliché Finder
Are you trying to be clever and buck the trend? Or are you just a fish out of water? Test your mettle and make sure you're not falling prey to cliché. (NOTE: Analyzed text may be difficult to discern for most.)

Common Errors In English
Dedicated to illuminating common usage mistakes of the native English speaker.

Dr Grammar
A rich resource of grammar and formatting information run by the University of Northern Iowa, covering everything from basics on up to etymology, English as second language, business writing, and more.

Grammar Monster
From the basics (such as punctuation) to the tricky (identifying and dealing with homonyms), this is useful even for veteran writers.

Grammar & Usage Tool Kit
Covers practically all points of grammar and word usage you're likely to have problems with.

Hemingway App
Useful for quickly finding sticky points in your prose that could be rewritten to make them easier to read and follow.

How to Use an Apostrophe
Read it. It will help.

Online Writing Lab @ Purdue University
Every grammar or structure question you're likely to have can be found explained here, from fiction writing to research papers.

Passive Voice Analyzer
Find out how much passive voice makes up your writing.

Pro Writing Aid
Analyzes your writing for a plethora of common ills, from basic grammar to clichés to redundancy to consistency and more. (NOTE: Free version has a limit of 1k words.)

Tense Exercises
Having a hard time with basic tenses, such as past vs present? Try these short and fast exercises.

Why are verbs so tense?
A useful explanation on the differences among different tenses and how to use them effectively.

Word Counter (basic)
Find out what words you use most often.

Word Counter (more sophisticated)
As above, and also counts total words and characters if your chosen writing tool (pen & paper, for example) doesn't have that feature.

Reading, Posting, & Critiquing

Archive of Our Own (for fanfic)


Fiction Press

Good Reads


Project Gutenberg


Text Novel



Publishing & Submission

5 Online Resources for Short Stories
If you write short stories and need ideas on where to submit, this list is for you.

6 Tips for Getting Your Work Discovered
If you self-publish, you are your own media platform, and understanding how to do that can be hard. These tips help.

25 Secrets of Publishing, Revealed! (Or: Inside the Bookish Shatterdome)
Insights, tips, tricks, and generally good things to know from author and book marketer Mike Underwood.

Agent-Query Connect
If you need help with queries or finding an agent, this is the place to be.

Turn your work into a print-on-demand book or ebook.

If you're at a loss for finding places to submit your work, this site will help.

Holly Lisle
A very good resource from a published writer on how to also get published, along with general writing advice.

Logline vs Tagline
Two important and easily confused elements of pitching your novel, script, or other writing to a potential publisher.

The New World of Publishing: An Idea to Take Shots At
On self-publishing with POD while shopping your novel around.

Preditors & Editors
A resource for sorting through the task of finding an editor who will help you and your works.

Query Shark
Tearing apart bad query letters and reworking them into something that could actually work. Useful for finding out what NOT to do.

Query Tracker
A useful site for tracking your query letters and finding agents and publishers who are likely to look at your work.

Looking for up-to-date market listings for speculative fiction? You'll find a good variety here, ranging from the standard fantasy/scifi/horror to more niche markets such as fairy tales.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Probably the best resource ever for US writers, especially those seeking to get published.

Some very handy programs to help in writing that novel and tracking your submissions, along with other writerly stuff.

Submitting to the Black Hole
Ever wonder what to expect for wait times when submitting your works? Here's a good reference point. The list is not, by any means, comprehensive, but it covers most major outlets.

What Every Writer Needs to Know About Copyright
A basic but essential overview of what's important to know about copyright and how it applies to your works.

Word Count Expectations by Genre
Whether you're writing a YA romance or a space opera, every genre has rough expectations for how many words a story will have when it's submitted.

Writer's Relief
If you're having difficulty finding the right places to submit your work or doing it properly, the staff here will do it for you. (NOTE: This is a paid service and has not been verified to be effective. It is linked solely as a potential solution for help getting work submitted and published.)

Writing Exercises & Challenges

70 Days of Sweat
Write a novel in 70 days. A mere 10 weeks. Same concept as NaNoWriMo, only with a minimum goal of 60k words.

100 Themes
Actually it's 200, but it's split into two blocks: theme/action and emotion. It's also worth checking out the rest of the blog for the other quality posts and material.

Creative Writing Prompts
A selection of over 300 prompts to get you started writing. Note that not all of them are sensible.

Hack your way out of writer's block
A brief but useful list for working through writer's block.

National Novel Writing Month
Because we should all know what it is so we can engage in madness together.

One Word
Need a quick kick start to your writing? This should do the trick. You're given a single word and 60 seconds to write something about it.

Poetry Challenges
Some simple and fast exercises for crafting some practice poems.

RP Generators
The output of these generators is designed for use in text based RPs (such as MUDs) and is unlikely to be of great value for prose. However, if you are writing for a game, these provide good starting point material.

Short Story Challenges
For when you just need something to practice with. Most of these can be completed within 2500 words.

Short Story Ideas
A generator site covering potential characters, scenarios, titles, first lines, and even plot twists, as well as a random image if none of those work for you.

Write or Die
Need to write but constantly getting distracted? This may be the solution for you. Set a timer and if you don't write anything in the given time, you get reminded with a noise, or if you're hard core, it starts deleting what you've written already.

Writing Fix
Lots of writing exercises, prompts, and games.

Characters & Characterization

10 Tips and Tricks for Creating Memorable Characters
A brief, well-explained list of elements that are important for believable, memorable characters.

365 Character Questions
Useful for writing stories as well as RP characters, one question a day for a year.

Authors: a warning about classifying and categorizing your characters
Why you should worry more about writing your characters as people rather than what social caste or class they belong to.

A cloud-based site for characters, allowing you to store and access all information and reference material about any of your characters. (NOTE: Registration required.)

[******** Yeah Character Development
A tumblr dedicated entirely to exploring various aspects of characterization and making sure your characters have enough development and depth to be believable.

The Gender Question
Just because you have a female character doesn't mean they're not also a person.

How Not to Write Female Characters
The flip side to the other you're-doing-female-characters-wrong links in the list.

How to write complex characters
A brief but insightful approach to writing characters that (hopefully) won't come across as 2-dimensional.

How well do you know your character?
A list of 50 questions intended to get you thinking about your character as a person instead of just a driver of action in the story.

Questionnaires for Writing Character Profiles
Questions for characters from modern(ish)/real world story settings.

Rinkworks Random Name Generator
One of the best random name generators out there.

Thousands of Medieval Names
A very large collection of sites with medieval period names, mostly from Europe and the Middle East, with a handful of other areas scattered throughout.

Universal Mary Sue Test
A long list of questions about your characters to determine if they're the much dreaded Mary Sue archetype. This is geared primarily toward fanfic characters, though there are questions for OC and RP characters.

World Building & Language Construction

7 Deadly Sins of World Building
Seven essential and often overlooked aspects of world building that help the setting feel alive and important.

The ConLang FAQ
Long, long list of resources for those interested in creating a language.

Constructed Languages
A few tools for those lazy moments of language creation.

Create a Language!
A simple and effective site with guidelines for how to create your own language.

The Language Construction Kit
A site dedicated to the construction of fictional languages. The more extensive print edition can be found on amazon.

The Mythopoet's Manual
An impressively thorough guide for constructing a fictional religion and the culture that springs up around it.

Patricia C Wrede's World Building Questions
Things to consider when working on the major aspects of creating a world and culture.

Random Word Generator
Generates a random word from the dictionary and it's definition. While not, in itself, useful for conlang, pair it with the fake word generator also on the site and you have a starting point.

The Rules of World Building
A dozen writers from a myriad of genres give their thoughts, as both writers and readers, on what makes for good world building.

Terraformation: Making a Planet
Information about what to take into account when dealing with writing about terraforming.

World-Building Academy
A whole slew of articles, classes, books, and more relevant to the building of fictional worlds.

On Writing

The 36 Dramatic Situations
A book the discusses all the plot elements it's possible to have in a story. Can be downloaded and read offline if desired.

50 Tools to Help Your Writing
These all fall more or less into the tips-and-tricks category, but much of them can be helpful for boosting your productivity.

Absolute Write
A forum site solely for writers, and a pretty good one, at that.

Anne R. Allen & Ruth Harris
One of the best writing/writer blogs available.

Article from the Medusa
A very good article discussing the assumptions one makes when writing for a specific audience.

Daily Writing Tips
Ranging from idioms to grammar to proper usage of a word, there's a wealth of information on the written word to be had.

Hack Your Way Out of Writer's Block
Tips and tricks for when the words just aren't coming.

How typeface influences the way we read and think
Want your writing to be taken seriously? Want a more scholarly air? What's so bad about comic sans? This explains how to do it and why it works.

Jim Butcher
A series of articles about writing basics.

Language is a Virus
Generators for prompts, names, and even prose and poetry, along with articles, writing games, reference materials, and more.

Limyaael's Fantasy Rants -> On LiveJournal or On coyotecult.com
Lots and lots and lots of rants about how to effectively write fantasy. Extremely useful for those who write in that genre.

A collection of interesting, and useful, links about writing, advice, writer's blogs, and various other informational sites that can be used for writing and story telling. (But then, what information can't be of use in stories?)

Literary Devices to Improve Your Writing Style
A brief (20 page) ebook about the basics of effective style and crisp writing.

Mythic Scribes
A resource for fantasy writers and artists, including articles about the genre, an art gallery, portfolio management, forums for discussion, and even an ezine.

Politics and the English Language
A brief essay by George Orwell about the nature of political language and the need for clarity and conciseness.

Practical Creative Writing
Created and maintained by a writer and teacher, covers writing basics, exercises, tips, and even has stories written by the maintainer.

Seventh Sanctum
A collection of generators, ideas, and other helpful things.

The Snowflake Method
An interesting and useful approach to writing a novel. Lots of helpful advice to be had here, even if you don't use everything that's covered.

Story Structure Worksheet
For those in need of a rough structure to work with when writing a story, this is what you're looking for. Created by Kait Nolan.

Supernatural Horror In Literature
One of the keystone texts concerning the writing of horror, written by one of the masters: HP Lovecraft.

Ten Rules For Writing Fiction - Part One & Part Two
Some interesting, hopefully useful, and sometimes amusing pieces of advice from a plethora of writers on how to write, stay focused, and get it done.

This is Your Brain on Writing
A scientific study examining what parts of the brain are most active during the writing process.

The Inevitable Mary Sue Essay
Another exploration on what the term Mary Sue actually means and what it entails for you and your story.

The Scriptorium
Another website geared specifically toward writers, with a plethora of resources, editorials, and other assorted usefulness.

The Thinktank
No, it's not the same as the sticky of the same name. This is a collection of various links (in the same style as this list, in fact, and including some of the same sites and threads) that are writing related and which could prove quite useful. Has a nice section of links for writing fan-fiction, as well.

Three Great Resources for Powering Through Writer's Block
Stuck and need a solution for moving forward? Try some of the things here.

TV Tropes and TV Tropes writing guides
Perhaps the most thorough compilation of tropes (story elements) ever created. Excellent for research, getting ideas, random trivia, or just simple entertainment.

Ursula K. Le Guin
The official site of the renowned author, with much that is insightful about writing and publishing.

WebSpeak: The death of language?
Discussion of the merits and detriments of web/chat/l33t speak, it's impact on language evolution, and the backlash against it.

Whatever: 10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing
Some tips, pointers, advice, and general words of wisdom aimed at (you guessed it) teen writers.

Write World
Writing advice, prompts, tips & tricks, word-of-the-day, and more can all be found here.

Writer's Digest
One of the leading periodicals for writers and writing, covering everything from the basics to getting published.

Writers Write
A site of essays, guides, tips, and assorted other material related to writing and improving ones works.

General Reference & Research

Behind the Name
Good site for finding the meaning and etymology of names. Especially useful when combined with the language construction sites.

Burial: Kabayan Mummy Caves, Paris Catacombs, & Sedlec Ossuary
These are all places of mass burial or ritual interment, fantastic resources for inspiring similar places in your own works.

The Carolingian Chronicles & The Life of Charlemagne
The life and times of Charlemagne, the first historical unifier of western Europe after the fall of the Roman empire and effective founder of what would become France. These are primary sources translated to English.

Cold Steel Knives
Ever needed a visual reference for the kind of damage a real sword can do? Cold Steel Knives has a wide variety of demonstration videos.

Curse Words in Other Languages
If you ever need to have a character tell someone to ******** off in Estonian, this is where you'll find it.

Encyclopedia Mythica
A very good resource for mythology research.

Environmental Autism
A news article about the progress a severely neglected girl has been making after being rescued from living in a closet for the first seven years of her life. A case study in what happens with severe neglect and the aftermath.

Odd, strange, unusual, and sometimes trivial bits of factual information. May not be the most useful site for in-depth information, but it's a great place for inspiration.

For all you sci-fi and tech nuts, this is a very useful site for developing your future societies, as there's very regular articles about bleeding edge developments in science and technology.

Glossary of European Royalty
An extensive list, background, and etymology of European titles for royalty and related figures. Very useful for constructing ones own class structure.

Guns and How They Fire
Sad to say, one handing a chain gun just isn't realistic, no matter how entertaining it may be in movies.

Commentary and news about scifi and fantasy films, shows, fiction, and notables, with the occasional sprinkling of science and tech.

Kate Monk's Onomastikon
A fairly extensive list of names from around the world and covering a decent period of time for each region covered.

Mayo Clinic
A good starting place for basic medical knowledge.

Medieval News
Looking for inspiration or information about medieval times? This is a good place to start. (NOTE: Focuses almost exclusively on Europe.)

National Canine Research Council
Focused on the US, but a good resource for finding information about dog care, laws about dogs, and more.

A good source for information about the US's police forces. You may have to do some digging around the site to find some things, though.

Open Culture
Free resources from all fields of culture, from art to film to writing, including free material and courses.

A great source for articles concerning the cutting edge of scientific and technological discoveries and capabilities.

Polaris Project on Human Trafficking
News about and resources for identifying human trafficking, as well as who to contact and what can be done.

Portraying Mental Illnesses
A broad ranging overview of a whole slew of mental illnesses and how to write them believably.

Realistic Injuries
This a rough guide for practically every type of injury a character is likely to experience: sprains, broken bones, head trauma, cuts and lacerations, blood loss, extreme temperatures, and more. If you're looking for exposure to chemicals, radiation, or biological agents, however, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Sacred Texts
Looking for a particular religious text? This is the place to start searching.

Stages of Decay
Need to know what a dead body will look like a day after death? A week? This is a rough but effective overview.

Weapons Universe
Need information about a weapon that isn't a firearm? This is your go-to resource, covering almost everything you can think of, from Europe to the Orient and farming tools to law enforcement.

Wikipedia. Duh.

The World Religions Tree Infographic
A fantastic visualization of all the major religions in the world and how they've branched over time.

Writer's Toolbox: Research Beyond Google
A former Big Six editor provides a wide-ranging list of sites useful for researching almost anything, from arts to sciences to pop culture.


40k Books

Author Answers

Author News

Booktrust UK

Caitlin R Kiernan

Chuck Palahniuk

Clive Barker

Diane Duane

Fake AP Stylebook

Guardian Books

The Hugo Awards

Laurell K Hamilton

Neil Gaiman

Peter Straub

Poppy Z Brite

RL Stine

Scifi Stories

Shorty Awards

William Gibson

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

Books On Writing
Links go to Amazon.

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
An essential edition in every serious writer's library.

The Language Construction Kit
A book dedicated to the construction of fictional languages. Useful for sci-fi and fantasy writers both. The associated website can be found here.

The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice Flaherty
A clinical examination of the physical processes and areas in the brain that handle writing, and explanations about how physical stresses and injury can affect how well and how much you write.

No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
The official book of NaNoWriMo.

On Writing by Stephen King
Part memoir about what shaped King as a writer and part writing advice. While not essential, it is an interesting read.

The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need by Susan Thurman
Have grammar issues? Chances are good you'll find it answered here.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
A nigh indispensable book on learning and applying the editing process to make your work the best it can be.

Write Great Fiction series

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Zen In the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Stickies, Posting Guides, & Subforums || Writing Help, Publishing, & Critique Sources || Writing Exercises & Games
Characters & Characterization || Writing Mechanics || Writing Tips & Techniques
Miscellaneous Topics || Off-Site Resources || Books On Writing
Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

Important Notice, 27 August, 2014

As of September 2014, I am taking my leave of Gaia, perhaps for good. During the 8.5 years I've been active on the site, the links list has been my primary and ongoing endeavour since I first compiled it in late 2006 as the result of a passing jest by one of the other WF regulars at the time. When it debuted, it was only a few dozen links to an assortment of WF threads, most of them written by other then-active WF regulars. It rapidly expanded from that tiny beginning and continued to grow even when I was not seriously part of the WF. It eventually graduated out of its single-post origin into its current form in order to accommodate the steady influx of new links and to improve organization.

Because I'm unwilling to leave the WF without a way to easily access its best resource if (when) it falls outside the anti-necro window of three months, I asked a mod about the possibility of making the links list a sticky (which request got passed to gaia's admin, since they handle decisions on what threads become stickies), and also contacted a few other WF regs about taking over the links list should that not happen. With no response from gaia after three weeks, I_Write_Ivre will be the new head of the links list and will be rebooting it, ensuring it will remain up-to-date. A link to that will be provided once it's available, so please be sure to update your bookmarks/subscriptions accordingly.


Update - September 10

After further discussion with I_Write_Ivre, a reboot of the links list may not happen, due to life having a way of happening.

Additionally, I've also heard back from the mod I spoke with, and the request to stickify the links list has been passed along, though I have no ETA on when that decision will be made.

Should neither of these options come to fruition, it's up to you, WF, to keep the links list alive and available.
Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

Endrael's avatar

Generous Giver

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