I haven’t done a post about writing in a little while. I often have people ask me about good free resources to help with their various and sundry writing projects, so I figured I would share a link list of some of my favorites.
- VisuWords Visual Thesaurus – Of everything on this list, this is probably the tool I use most. I’m constantly looking for a better word than the one I’m currently stuck on. I used to crack open old reliable Roget, but nowadays, I turn to that newfangled interweb thingy, and Visuwords. Type in any word, and a whole web of related words will spring to life on the screen. Supah-cool.
- One Sentence Stories – This falls under the category of “creative inspiration.” A huge database of complete stories, told in a single sentence. Warning: Not all are family-friendly. Reader discretion advised. But some are really genius.
- Writing Prompts from Language is a Virus – Now that you don’t have an English teacher giving you writing assignments, how do you get started when your head is all full of nothing? Mosey on over to LIAV, and test drive the handy writing prompts tool.
- Shakespearean Insult Generator – Some of them are genuine quotes from the Bard–some are just Shakespeare-esque. All of them are hilarious.
- Synonyms Page – Because you can never have too many synonyms to choose from.
- Name Generator – Let’s say you’re getting started on a story, but you’re completely blocked on figuring out a good female hillbilly name. Or a Czech name. No problem. Gotcha covered.
- Project Gutenberg – Nothing inspires like reading the classics. Or listening to them. Project Gutenberg has a huge repository of free text versions of books, as well as a downloadable audiobook repository that includes most of Jane Austen’s works and almost all the original Oz books by L. Frank Baum.
- Lulu – Let’s say you’ve written an awesome book, but you can’t stand rejection. There’s still hope. You can always self-publish. With Lulu, you can upload and publish your own work, either as an e-Book or a printed-and-bound version.
- PrimoPDF – This is actually the second most requested tool I get asked about. If you don’t have full Acrobat, but you’d still like to create PDFs, you’re in luck. There are actually a lot of freeware tools out there that will let you create a PDF sans Acrobat. This is one of the better ones.
- yWriter 3.0 – Another great freeware tool. If you’re working on a large project, I highly recommend yWriter. It helps you keep your ideas organized in the same space where you’re writing.
Bonus Pack! Graphics Help for Writers Who Need Images to Go with the Words.
- The Stock Exchange – When you’re writing, sometimes you’ll find that some nice images jazz things up. If you need to find a quality source of royalty-free, free of charge photography, check out Stock Exchange. Often, you only need to notify the photographer for public works, and some photos don’t even require that (although it’s still nice to do.)
- Free Serif Software – Need to do photo editing or create web graphics? Looking for a free alternative to FrontPage or Dreamweaver? Desktop publishing? Serif Software makes the older versions of their commercial software available for free.