Fiction Writer's Toolbox: Top 11 Resources

A Fiction Writer's Toolbox of Resources: Top 11


Do you have any resources that you rely heavily on? I was going back though some of the sources that I couldn't have lived without last year and a few that I just leaned about and thought I would share them with you.

11 Resources Fiction Writers Shouldn't Be Without: {In no Particular Order}


My favorite, of course being, her Larry Brooks Beat sheet.

And if you're going to really put Jami Gold and Larry Brooks or any of Jami's other amazing worksheets to good use you need to be using Scrivener, if you aren't already. I'm sure by now, most, if not, all of you are familiar with Scrivener. I don't know of many people who don't use Scrivener. If you happen to be one of the holdouts, let 2016, be the year you finally jump on the Sciv wagon. I know the opposition -- the learning curve? Right? I'm telling you, it's really not that bad. I put it off for quite a while because of the learning curve hype and once I finally bought it, the hype did not live up to the rumor mill. Sure, you can play with it for twenty-four hours a day and never sleep. There are functions you'll never need. Just try it. Your writing will never be the same. Your writing will thank you.

2. Scrivener
It's only $45 Bucks. Comes with a free trial Now available for Windows (has been for a while). The outline is fanF---ingtastic! Revision Mode is super Cool. I love the labels best.













And if you find the learning curve still too steep.


 I'm told Gwen Hernandez's Scrivener Classes are reasonably priced, easy to follow and will quickly bring you up to speed.

3. Evernote
I'm probably the last person to finally start using Evernote. I caved. It's too easy to import Evernote into Scrivener. I just had to do it. I still don't really understand all the bells and whistles, but that's pretty much what I'm preaching about so I guess I'll eat my own sermon as it applies to Evernote.

4. Writers Helping Writers
I've always turned to Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers and their Award Winning Book Series, The Emotional Thesaurus and The Positive Character Traits and The Negative Character Traits and Emotional Amplifiers, but now they have opened up a galaxy of resources for writers with their new

5. One Stop For Writers.




Have You Checked out The New One Stop For Writers? If not, I strongly recommend you stop by.


6. Elizabeth Spann Craig's Blog
I look forward to reading her Twitterific links each week. I always find the very best writing advice. I don't know how she finds the time to scour the net and load up on the best of the best, but she does and she is gracious enough to share them with us. Which leads me to another of my favorite resources.

7. Hiveword Writer's Knowledge Base
A Search Engine for Writers

8. Distraction Free Writing
I haven't tried this, but I plan to this year. Freedom will block social media, email and other Internet sites for the time period you request to ensure distraction free writing.

9. Aeon Timeline
For a timeline, you can't go wrong.

10. Novlr
I'm just getting started with Novlr, but you can write your novel on any device, iPhone, iPad, laptop and it keeps a record of your words and helps you meet your writing goals. I'll keep you posted.

11. Story Skeleton
I've been using this outlining, note card app on my iPhone for about a year now. It's a great brainstorming tool.


How about you? Do you have any special resources in your fiction toolbox? Any specify iPhone or iPad apps you rely on when you find yourself stuck in the doctor's office waiting room or carpool line? Do you return to the same website or blog time and time again when you need help for character development or need a plotting template? Do share! Don't keep it to yourself.


  I keep an ongoing list of websites that I believe may be of interest on my Writer's Resources page. I also keep a list of articles about Twitter Pitch Contests & Query Contests on my, Fiction Toolbox Page. 

IWSG - Happy New Year 2016

It's That Time Again: The Insecure Writer's Support Group

And it's a brand new year.
Happy 2016!


Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of the wonderful Alex Cavanaugh

I'm entering 2016 with positive thoughts, but I'm still feeling insecure ... hey aren't we all. I know I've been MIA on this blog for quite a while. It began during NaNo, which I was ready to chalk up as a NaNo fail, until a light bulb went off and salvaged a prior manuscript, but that's another story. Then the Christmas holidays crept up on me like an ill-timed tormentor. No, I don't sound very cheerful and with good reason. Our family didn't celebrate the holidays this year. My dad was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room on the morning or our annual family Christmas party. We host our party at my parents, with all the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., a couple of days before Christmas. With our extended family and a few friends this festive event always brings in well over 100 guests and is the highlight of our holiday season. My dad is still in the hospital, hanging in there, so we have yet to celebrate.
{Photo of my mom & dad Xmas 2014}

Back to my insecure post. For personal, family and career reasons, I may need to take a social media hiatus. I've taken quite a few breaks from blogging over the years, but I've always stayed in touch with most of you via Twitter, FB or other forms of social media. I'm afraid that if I am serious about tending to some serious issues that are important to my family and me while maintaining time to continue writing, I'm going to have to make changes. I have to prioritize. My family and I have debated these issues and nothing is set in stone, but until I know whether or not my husband's health will permit him to continue practicing law, I'm likely won't be around very much. I will still read your blog post and tweets as often as I can, I just won't be able to interact the way I once did. I will miss the connections I've made. This is only a temporary situation and I hope you will all welcome me back when I can come back.

I'm hoping it won't come to a full blown disappearance, but I don't want to overextend myself anymore than I have and I need to concentrate on my family. 


My mom nearly died last year. My dad is elderly and I don't know how long we have with him. I have an aunt, actually she has always been my favorite aunt ... she and I didn't speak to each other for years. I mean it ... years. It was my fault. Something I said, then something I did. But, it's weighed heavily on me for a long time. When my dad first entered the hospital, her son, my cousin and his wife were welcoming their second baby. The ER was placed on lock down for a couple of hours and we were all required to remain in the ER treating room with my dad. Once the lock down lifted, my aunt hugged me and told me she loved me. I can't tell you how good that felt. Even during the stress of my father's dire condition, my mom noticed a difference in my entire appearance, attitude, mood and demeanor. Later that day, my cousin walked up to me on his way to get the car to take his wife and baby home and I got another unexpected hug.


You know what I learned that day? I didn't really learn it because I already knew it, but it was so vividly reinforced. Life is short. Life is precious. My father, elderly and sick gasping for breath in the emergency room. My cousin and his wife welcoming another addition to their beautiful family of four (he has a daughter that she has pretty much raised and she has an older son). The circle of life was right in front of me and I vowed right then to treasure it. I promised myself to take care of myself and those I love and to go out of my way to make sure that they know I love them. I will never let years pass with unresolved conflict. It's not worth it. Family is the most important thing in this world. Cherish your family.

Happy New Year!
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