The Top Ten Websites for Writers
hate love top ten lists, and there are several versions of this kind of list already. But since cyberspace (remember that word) is a yawning void, insatiable in its need for clicky content, here is a list of timesavers and resources which actually come in handy.
Simply the best resource for ever trope, cliche, and technique writers use to flesh out their stories. It’s not limited to TV writing; books, movies, comic books, all are mined for bits of plot theory and stock characters. It will forever change the ways you look at writing by pulling aside the curtain and letting you see the laziness that makes up most teleplays. WARNING: you can lose hours on this site. The sudden realization that everything you’ve ever seen on screen follows a few simple rules will, in fact, ruin everything for you.
Probably the easiest of these links to find, Pots and Writers raison d’être is to collect these sorts of things. Gainsayer maintains a handpicked list here.
Kick the dead horse that is the publishing industry with this crowdfunding phenom. I don’t even know what that means! What I do know is that Kickstarter has some of the best projects to invest in, whether they be paining, film, or the written word. Games and toys make the cut too. They even rebooted Reading Rainbow.
What Makes this site special for writers is the exposure. Come up with a half way decent pitch and a million eyes will scan it. Even better, there’s little risk involved, as the dough is delivered before you even deliver your book. The funder also gets a degree of protection from non-delivery since the money is not released unless the project is fully funded.
Wow, wound’t it be nice to know what publishers and acquisition editors know, or at least what they think about. Well, now you can! Publishers Lunch is the place to get industry news. Pretty much every question they trow at you when youre pitching you book is going to depend on knowing what the score is in the industry. Knowing what Genre is hot might make the difference between the est seller list and the slush pile.
Founded by a short story writer who just had enough of the Lit magazine scene, the Review Review is a unique resource for readers and writers alike. As the name implies, it’s the jounrals themselves that are subjected to the microscope, giving us the common themes and styles favored. For a writers itching to see thier name in print, there is simply no better place to find out what editors are on the lookout for. Prepositions at the end of a sentence, for example, make editors socks roll up and down.
Edit Minion is a passage analysis tool designed to kick you in the pants when your writing gets lazy. Too many “saids,” passive voice, and just poor word choice are highlighted quickly and freely.
This Yahoo group…wait…where are you going? Get Back here! Ahem, this Yahoo Group has the best newsletter I’ve ever seen. It’s packed with job openings, submission calls, a writing contests. Best of all, subscribers get their email packed full of these so your writing obligations will pile up and haunt you. Trying to enjoy your life? Well nothing doing! Opportunities are knocking your down and removing their clothes and laughing at your stupid jokes.
Why can’t editors and agents just tell us what they want? The answer? they are! In fact, they created a manuscript wishlist hashtag to allow people to seek out their wishes on twitter. But you don’t have to be a twit. K.K. Henden created a tumblr that lines them up.
“All these opportunities, all the venues, so many places to submit my writing, how do I keep track of it all? Is there no relief?” Well, stop worrying about it kiddos, Dutope keeps every venue you ever did see on file with a search function. Far, far more importantly, it has a submission system that let’s you keep track of where you’ve submitted and the status of that submission. As hard as writing may be, the other paperwork is worse: this may be worth the submission.
Remember that TV ad that made you go out and buy a book? remember ANY TV ad for a book. Not bloodly likely. With all due respect to the cardboard stand holding its twelve hardback copies, the only reason anyone really buys a book is because someone they trust recommend it to them. That someone can be online, yes, people trust strangers on the internet. In fact, you are trusting me right now! Are you trusting these links? Great! My check is in the mail! I only read that mens magazines for the articles! I can change baby I promise!
But seriously folks, Goodreads is a great way to get promote yourself, build a community around you, a reach out to your adoring fans.
Bonus: The Rise of the (literary) Machines.
There’s a lot of student projects lingering on the interwebs that are worthy of mention. Espresso-App, for example, is a PHD candidates attempt to create a writing analysis tool that can spit out some basic grammatical information. Some are more esoteric. Literary Machine lets you pull the crank on a writers name and get a representative page from a work of theirs.