Writing can be difficult. There are character arcs and plots to plan, worlds to build, information to fact-check, and ensuring proper usage of grammar. Below is a list of immensely helpful free resources for writers that will help you on your writing journey.
—– Blogs —–
1. The Steve Laube Agency – The Steve Laube Agency’s blog is filled with invaluable writing advice from authors and agents, like the article, “He Said, She Said” on when -and when not to – use the “said” tag, or “A Critique Partner Checklist” on how to find quality critique partners.
2. Jody Heldlund’s blog – Award-winning author Jody Hedlund has oodles of wonderful writing advice on her blog. Some of these must-read articles include “Advice to a Novice Writer” and “3 Tips to Help Increase Writing Output“.
3. Helping Writers Become Authors [K.M. Weiland] – This site includes some great posts, like “A Writer’s Guide to Understanding People” (a great one for us introverts who absolutely do not understand humans) and “2 Different Types of the Lie Your Character Believes“.
4. DiAnn Mill’s Twitter account – Technically, this isn’t a blog, but bestselling author DiAnn Mills posts the best links to other blogs from her Twitter, like “How to Edit a Novel: The Foolproof 9-Step Book Editing Process” from The Write Place.
5. Writers Helping Writers – This blog contains information and writing tools pertaining to character arcs, setting planner, and backstories.
6. Speculative Faith – Speculative fiction writers, this one is for us. Speculative Faith features an immense amount of posts/writing tips/helps/information ranging from science fiction to fantasy, and everything between. My favorite posts are in the twenty part “Speculative Fiction Writers Guide to War” series.
—– Name Finding —–
7. Nameberry – Probably the most well known name site, Nameberry features thousands of names ranging from fantastical, to Roman, to flowery.
8. Social Security – This site features tons of baby names, including the most popular names for each year. You can also see how a name has dropped (or risen) in popularity.
9. donjon – Speculative fiction writers, these next two are specifically for us. donjon offers a fantasy name generator with doable, pronounceable names. donjon also features name generators for dungeons and inns.
10. RinkWorks – While slightly difficult to figure out, this site does offer some unique fantasy name ideas.
—– Clothing —–
11. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts: Fashion Through the Ages Exhibit – This slideshow takes a look at some of the types of clothing items worn through the centuries. The oddest? A pair of women’s platform shoes from 1590-1610.
12. My Modern Met: Illustrated Timeline Presents Women’s Fashion Every Year from 1784-1970 – This infographic shows how women’s clothing styles changed during 214 years.
13. Castles and Manor Houses:Medieval Clothing – Not only does this page tell what types of materials were used, it also includes the rules by which people’s choice of wear were selected.
14. The Dreamstress: The Historical Fashion and Textile Encyclopedia – This page is the ultimate of the ultimate, featuring an extensive list of clothing articles and materials.
—– Housing —–
15. Home Beautiful: Homes Through the Ages: Tudor, Gregorian, Victorian, Edwardian – This page takes a look at unique and popular house styles through the decades and includes features special to each type.
16. National Museum of Denmark: What Were Viking Homes Like? – This short article includes the layout of houses during the time of vikings along with interesting facts, like viking dwellings had no windows or chimneys.
17. Homestead: An Illustrated History of Log Cabins – This article takes a look at the history of log cabins, how they were built, and how they have evolved during the years.
18. Castles and Manor Houses – This comprehensive site goes in-depth about the types of castles and manors and castle architecture.
—– Miscellaneous —–
19. Thesaurus – One does not administer elementary prose when superfluous vocabulary is accessible. Plus, this delightful sight is a haven for logophiles (like yours truly) who geek out at the prospect of multitudes of unique and relatively unknown words at their fingertips. Thesaurus even comes with a “Word of the Day”.
20. Calculator – Few writers are mathematical geniuses, and rarely can we use mental math to determine our percentage of the way done. Therefore, what better way to keep track of your progress than a calculator, where the only math you’re doing is punching in the numbers for the formula? This can be a hand-held calculator, a calculator on your phone, or an online calculator.
—– Speculative Fiction Specific —–
21. Mythcreants: Choosing a Weapon for Your Hero – While not completely comprehensive and detailed, this page has a decent list of real weapons, their ranges, and the way they inflict damage.
22. Storm the Castle: A Guide to Medieval Weapons for Fantasy Writers – This article goes into the history of weapon making and contains a list of medieval weapons – some of which we often forget about in the throes of swords and bows.
23. Medieval Warfare: Medieval Weapons and Armour – This is an incredible page, and is probably one of the most comprehensive as far as listing every type of medieval weapon.
24. Battling Blades: Types of Swords – While this is a website for selling swords, they include a great explanation on the different types of common swords.
25. Top Survival Weapons: Types of Bows – A quick guide to the different types of bows from recurve to crossbow.
26. Medieval Archer: A helpful explanation of how different bows were used in war.