Angela’s Fantastic Finds for Writers

People who follow me in social spaces know I curate A LOT of content–enough to supply 3 twitter accounts, 3 facebook pages, one personal FB profile and then of course a massive database on Pinterest.

And…I find a lot of neat stuff.

I have a feature in our WHW newsletter called Angela’s Super Six where I share 6 very cool links, articles, or tools I’ve found. This is quite popular, so I thought I’d do a round up of some fantastic finds here.  Hopefully some of these tools and sites will help you as they have helped me!

OneLook Reverse Dictionary: Seriously, I love this one. Whenever I can’t think of the right word but I know the “theme” or “idea” I’m going for, I visit this site. It’s more than a synonym finder, because it looks at words related to the word or phrase you are looking up. This can be great too if you are looking for words that reinforce a certain emotion. (Try typing in Fear and see what you get.)

Word Frequency Counter: Worried that maybe you used the word look 9,007 times? Or maybe the color green appears everywhere? Dump your writing into this text box and it will find the words you use the most. If you are overdoing it on the smiles, grins, shrugs, or frowns, BOOM, you’ll know.

Hierarchy of Human Needs: After writing six books, most of which have deep roots in psychology, I can’t even begin to describe how awesome Maslow’s Human Needs pyramid is for writers. If you need a psych refresher from those blurry college years, have a peek at this post and maybe this post too. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did!

List of Literary Themes: Wondering what to write about? Not any more! Visit this list and you are sure to walk away with an idea or two.

Query Tracker: Full disclosure–it’s been a long time since I used Query Tracker to get an agent, but it is just a terrific site with a supportive community, and I want to highlight that here. If you’re on the hunt for that mystical literary unicorn, check this site out.

The Story Structure Database: A shout out to the brilliant K.M. Weiland for this one. This terrific database of movie structure will help you finally understand story structure no matter how much it might have baffled you in the past.

Weapons, Weapons, Weapons. Do I need to say it again? WEAPONS, people! Pictures, descriptions, terminology, oh yes, and how to fight. Massively good information here.

The Critique Circle: I admit, I have a super soft spot for this online critiquing site, because it’s where Becca and I met, and well, you know how that went. Seeing as I send someone here at least once a week, I figure let’s get all official and make it part of my list. CC works on a tit-for-tat system: you critique someone’s work and get points, and you use those points to submit your own work for critique. If you are ready to jump into the feedback pool, check it out.

Silk: Got a problem you are trying to noodle out? Writer’s block knocking at the door? Or do you just need a pick-me-up and want to let your creativity soar? Whatever the flavor, try this out. It’s fun, and you’ll make something beautiful, guaranteed.

#ontheporch: If you are on Twitter, look into this community if you are searching for a writing tribe. Lots of moral support, conversation, encouragement, and learning opportunities.

click to enlarge this tip sheet

Angela’s Writing Utopia on Pinterest: Are you a pinner? You should check out my Pinterest boards. I have them all broken down by writing topic or genre, so it’s easy to find the information you need. (And of course all your favorite Writers Helping Writers articles and One Stop For Writers Tip Sheets are there too.)

(NOT ON PINTEREST? No worries!)

The dozens and dozens of popular One Stop for Writers Checklists and Tip Sheets are now also available straight from our One Stop site. No subscription necessary.

Blogs to Check Out

There are many, many, MANY terrific blogs out there for writers. If I created a list of all my favorites, well, we’d be here all day. So instead I’m going to list a few you may NOT know of that have excellent articles. You might want to go be friends with them, just saying.

Mythcreants: Great articles, many with a Fantasy bent, but applicable to all writers for the most part. The crew over there post topics you won’t find elsewhere that go deep, and you’ll definitely see your writing improve if you apply what you learn. Head over and subscribe.

Buffer: I’ve been using Buffer for some time now (all that content to curate, remember? It’s a terrific tool that you should check out.) and one thing I like about them is that they genuinely want to help people better connect with their audience. So, they posts some good articles on how to use social media, and have webinars for new strategies to try. Buffer is successful, and it’s my experience that people who excel with their customer base are ones to listen to when it comes to understanding how to better connect with and reach an audience.

Bang2Write: This blog is a screenwriter’s haven, but has a ton of great articles for novelists too. Lucy cuts it straight, and offers some really good advice, especially in the character creation department. When you have some time, swing by and go on a treasure hunt. This is what I did the first time I visited, and I have been back many times since. This site is uncensored, so be warned.

PsychWriter: This blog is newer, but it’s already a gem. Psychology. Writing. Do you see where I am going with this? Let’s just say that if you want to write complex characters who have real-world fears, needs, and desires, put this blog on your subscribe list.

Have you found anything new and incredibly helpful lately? Let me know in the comments!

And if you like the things I share, come find me online:

Twitter: @angelaackerman ~  @onestop4writers

Facebook: Angela’s Profile ~ Writers Helping Writers Page ~ One Stop For Writers Page

And go find Becca too, so you can hear her complain about me: ~

@beccapuglisi & Becca’s Facebook

And, just a suggestion…but if you like the types of resources Becca and I put together here at WHW and the books we create, you might want to check out One Stop For Writers. We have a powerful suite of tools that is changing the game for many. 🙂

 

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.

This entry was posted in Agents, Basic Human Needs, Characters, Critiquing & Critiques, Marketing, One Stop For Writers, Social Networking, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Angela’s Fantastic Finds for Writers

  1. Sussu says:

    Thanks for the links, Angela.
    I have never thought of checking you out on Pinterest. I’m hitting myself on the head!

  2. Thanks for these, Angela!

  3. Janet Smart says:

    Wow, great list! I’m going to copy and paste and check a lot of them out.

  4. :Donna says:

    Wow, Angela, these looks like great resources! Thank you 😀 And Sheri’s right about that SILK! It’s a perfect tool when you need a bit of a respite to loosen your brain muscles 😀 Thanks for such a fantastic list!

    • Thanks Donna! I like that silk one too–I think it’s kind of awesome if you are feeling down in the dumps like your writing isn’t good, because when you start playing with SILK, you make something beautiful no matter what. It’s like a confidence booster that we are talented, lol. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the list! I love #ontheporch, and the other online communities for writers. They’re fabulous ways to network with other writers, but the best part is the encouragement and overall positivity. Sometimes they pick me up, other times, I’m the one cheering everyone on. We need that. At least, I do. 🙂

    • Community is so important! Writing is very psychologically challenging. We put ourselves on the page, give our all, and often before we find success, we hear a lot of “Sorry, this isn’t right for us.” and that hurts. Community helps us all keep our perspective and realize this isn’t a one-time sprint. It will take time. 🙂

  6. Wow – so many sites to explore! Thanks for sharing – will eventually get around to them all.

  7. Tamar Sloan says:

    Wow, how fabulous to have PsychWriter on this list because its an AMAZING list! I may disappear down a few virtual rabbit holes with this one! Thanks Angela, you’re a gem 🙂

  8. I love Mythcreants! Mythic Scribes is also a good one for speculative fiction writers. And I’ve used the reverse dictionary site sometimes when I have a general idea of what I want to say, but am having trouble narrowing it down to a specific word.

  9. Celia Lewis says:

    Yet another great post of very practical helpful creative links for writers!! Particularly useful for a newbie writer like me. Thank you so much for sharing these with us. I’ve bookmarked these into a new folder called “Writers Toolbox”
    Merci!

  10. I’ve downloaded most all of these links and following all of your boards on Pinterest. I love all of your writer’s thesauruses and have them all! I can’t wait until the Emotional Wound one comes out. I am working on the first draft of my first novel and your help has meant the world to me. Thanks so much!

  11. Great list of fantastic sites. Thank you for pointing them out.

  12. Susan Z. Swan says:

    Great set of resources!! I find that the 8-level version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs adds 3 key elements that seem particular useful in thinking about motivation: knowledge, beauty, and spirit/transcendence. When I have students selecting examples and evidence for speeches based on audience analysis, this model seems to give us more to work with than just the original 5 levels. Here’s one article that looks at the additions that Maslow made later: http://the-mouse-trap.com/2007/12/14/maslows-eight-basic-needs-and-the-eight-stage-devlopmental-model/

    • Yes, the adaptation is a good one to use as well. I find the original is a bit easier for people to wrap their heads around for character needs, which is why I use it/teach with it, but I love both. Thanks for sharing the link! 🙂

  13. Love the list of resources. I tried to tweet out the link, but my tweetdeck kept citing: page does not exist 🙁

    • Weird. I just used the twitter share button and it came through…sometimes Tweetdeck is funny. Maybe try refreshing, or going to “home” (click the blog title) and then back to the actual post (click the title)? Sorry you’re having trouble.

  14. K.M. Weiland says:

    Hey, thanks for the shout out for the Story Structure Database! 🙂

  15. Jobee says:

    This first time I ever commented but felt very inclined to this time as I read through you reference material in your post today. As a new writer I appreciate the helpful information you share with your readers. I’ve enjoyed Writers Helping writers for a long time(and use the information in your books I began a library of your book for quick and easy reference..) Keep up the great job.

    • Thanks Jobee–I am thrilled you de-cloaked to comment! I hope you enjoy these new finds of mine, and thank you for the kind words. We’re cheering you on–keep writing! 🙂

  16. Glynis Jolly says:

    I bookmarked The List of Literary Themes and subscribed to PsychWriter.

    Lately, I have been disappointed in my blog subscriptions, mostly because they keep going over that same stuff. I am hoping this new blog will have some interesting new topics.

    • I know what you mean–I know that sometimes blogging fatigue sets in after they have been at it for a long time. This is why I think the craft blogs I listed here are good ones–different topics, different angles. 🙂 I hope you like them!

  17. definitely savin this post for future reference!!!

  18. Love the list! Thank you for sharing.
    ps: Silk might be addictive!

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