Here you will find a listing of the websites and books that have helped me the most.
One Look Thesaurus – Ever find yourself grasping for the right word to describe something but you can’t think of it? Simply type the description into a search box and the reverse dictionary provides a list of related words. I use this every day. It’s a life saver!
TVTropes – Need to quickly create a supporting character? On this wiki, you’ll find hundreds of descriptions of characters and character-types, all indexed for your convenience.
Writers Helping Writers – Stuck on how to describe something? Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have compiled an impressive thesaurus collection. I used the Physical Feature Thesaurus to come up with physical descriptions for my characters.
The Seventh Sanctum – Created by Steve Savage, this site generates names, objects, descriptions, ideas, and scenarios for all things sci fi and fantasy. The depth and breadth of the site is remarkable. I used the Martial Arts Move Generator to create mau do sang, a fictitious martial art practiced by the nuns in JEZILLA.
Sci Fi Ideas – This comprehensive site provides guidance and ideas for hard core science fiction writers. I used the Inspiration Gallery to come up with descriptions for the aliens in JEZILLA.
The Better Novel Project – Sometimes it’s easier to figure out a concept from a visual representation. Site owner Christine Frazier creates “doodles” for visual learners and provides other tools as well. I follow the Better Novel Project on Facebook.
K. M. Weiland – On the other hand, sometimes it’s easier to listen to a person explain a concept than to read about it. On this YouTube channel, the author condenses various writing insights and tips into pithy yet informative videos.
Flogging the Quill – Will the first page of your novel intrigue and excite your readers? Find out by putting it through the Flogometer. This brilliant idea was conceived by author and editor, Ray Rhamey. Even if you don’t submit your own work, you can learn a lot from Rhamey’s analyses of other writers. The site readers provide feedback as well.
Terrible Minds – Chuck Wendig dials his writer’s blog to eleven with posts as scatological as they are hilarious. But he also makes insightful posts about the anxieties and setbacks that plague all writers. This is the place to go when you need a pep talk.
Impact Earth – Confession: this isn’t a writing resource per se. It’s a cool website that lets you simulate a meteor strike to the Earth and observe the effects of the impact. I lost five hours of my life to this thing.
I’ve linked to the paperback editions so that you can look inside to see the table of contents. I believe all of these are available on Kindle.
Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story by James Scott Bell
Written for both “plotters” and “pantsers,” this book shows how to create a high-level outline that enables you to build dramatic tension for the duration of your novel.
Nail Your Novel – Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence by Roz Morris
A good resource for when you’re 10,000 to 20,000 words into your novel and you get stuck.
20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them by Ronald B Tobias
If you don’t feel confident about plot building, this book provides twenty plot types and describes the essential elements of each.
The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience by Chuck Wendig
I like how Wendig cuts to the heart of things. I used this book for advice on improving the scenes in my novel.
1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts Kindle Edition by Ryan Andrew Kinder
A great way to generate ideas for short stories and longer pieces. I found many of the prompts to be intriguing.
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 3) by K.M. Weiland
If this is your first attempt at writing a novel, this is an excellent “how to.” It covers every aspect of novel writing. There is a companion workbook to help you with your process.
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Every writer I’ve ever known raved about this book but I resisted reading it for years. I finally broke down and bought it during a particularly desperate moment. King mostly talks about his own process, which is fairly organic. He doesn’t worry about rules or structure. He just writes. I found his approach to be liberating and it gave me the confidence to continue my book.