Resources that one may wish to ask about on Writers include style guides, instruction manuals, podcasts, blogs, articles, and other means by which experts provide writing information.

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37
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39answers
2k views

What are good reads about writing?

What do you recommend as reading material to improve writing for beginners? If one recommendation is put per answer and can be voted separately a good list of resources should build up.
19
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the most common style manuals?

From Wikipedia: A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. ...
16
votes
7answers
598 views

What are some online guides for starting writers?

I've always wanted to start writing (in a totally amateur way), but whenever I want to start something I instantly get blocked having a lot of questions and doubts. Are there some resources on how to ...
16
votes
4answers
309 views

Resources about different people types?

I'm native German, but trying to write in English for various reasons. One of the big points in a story is to keep the characters very distinct from each other, and that requires some knowledge about ...
13
votes
13answers
625 views

Resources for character development

I'm weak at building characters. What resources are there to create rich characters? I'm thinking beyond name generators: Quirks, biography, diseases like allergies, hobbies and jobs, wealth, omens, ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Resources on plotting mystery stories

I'm looking for books, essays and articles on plotting mystery/detective/investigation stories (and novels). The type of story I'm aiming for is in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, or ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What needs to be included in a corporate style guide?

What kinds of things need to be included in a corporate style guide that can't already be found in S&W, AP, Chicago Style, etc?
12
votes
3answers
341 views

Podcasts useful for improving writing skills

Any podcasts that can help with writing skills? (One per answer please, I'll add my own fave to get started.)
10
votes
3answers
238 views

Good books on writing for comics?

Me and a friend of mine has been thinking about joining forces and make a comic. She is an excellent drawer/illustrator while I perform better in the story/character/writing part of things. I guess ...
9
votes
2answers
190 views

What are good writing newsletters to sign up for?

What are some good newsletters writers can sign up for? I signed up for Funds for Writers and Worldwide Freelance Writers because they have some excellent tips and advice for both freelance writers ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

What are the best online writing classes?

I've taken some classes at Mediabistro.com -- both nonfiction -- and while the teachers have been pretty good (one gave me some excellent advice that led to publication in national magazines) ... the ...
8
votes
5answers
611 views

Is this character generator useful?

After some feedback from this site and a training course, I developed a little tool to help with character generation. It's called "20 Questions" and works just like that: It picks 20 questions (or ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

A rhyming dictionary worth bookmarking online or purchasing?

Has anyone come across any really good rhyming dictionaries? If so, what makes it worth having/bookmarking? (eg. completeness/ease of use/absence of really sketchy suggestions)
8
votes
2answers
234 views

A Polish manual of style.

English language has a number of popular manuals of style. There's Chicago Manual of Style, Elements of Style etc. Do you know any such resource for the Polish language?
7
votes
5answers
667 views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Where can I find sales numbers for books?

I'm a writer, working on a non-fiction book proposal. Finding public, free sales numbers for comparable titles is nearly impossible. BookScan is a subscriber service run by Nielsen. "Above the ...
7
votes
3answers
521 views

How to practice location descriptions

When trying to strengthen my writing on how to correctly describe a location I try to write a small text on each location I am. (These are then saved in Evernote so that I can search for them) I found ...
7
votes
7answers
699 views

What linguistic tools do you use?

I've got a Flip Dictionary, a Thesaurus, my trusty Strunk&White, and I use the almighty GOOG(le) should I ever be unsure of the definition of a word. What does everyone else use? Is there some ...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

What's a good resource to find Beta Readers for short stories?

I'm currently in the market for beta readers, particularly for short stories. I've finished an early draft for a contest, and I'm hoping to hear some feedback. I'm open to reading the work of others ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some good instruction manuals for writing short stories?

I'm looking to learn how to write good short stories, what are some good instruction manuals I should use to learn from?
6
votes
3answers
97 views

Is there a resource where I could find myself a checker and critic, or check somebodies else text to exercise?

I need a checker and some kind of beta-test editor and critic. Is there a resource out in the web, where I can find myself one?
6
votes
1answer
92 views

Are there online research resources that cater to writers?

I tend to run into a bunch of domain-specific questions when I'm writing, such as: What happens to a jet flying at low altitude, at super-sonic speeds, when its cockpit gets breached? What's the ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Is there a good textbook for understanding literary techniques?

I want to really understand literary techniques. I want to be able to say "Ah, I see this writer is making use of assonance," or "I think I will use a simile here instead of a metaphor." There are ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Do you use a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus on Windows? What are your criteria?

I used to use WordWeb as a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus while I wrote, but I found it lacking, particularly in its inability to let me define my own terms per context (for example, when writing about ...
5
votes
5answers
197 views

Writing about a subject on which you have no expertise?

So I signed up for a novel workshop, and within a month the first chapter will be due. Problem is I that want to use characters who are well-versed in mathematics, especially group theory or model ...
5
votes
3answers
111 views

Books about English writings

Can you recommend a good reference book about the basics of English writing?
5
votes
3answers
172 views

A POV character who's a slave?

I'm currently working on a novel, in which one of the POV characters is a slave. He was born to a slave (so he was born a slave) of a rich merchant family and was treated well most of his life. One ...
5
votes
4answers
329 views

Rules and resources for scientific writing

The writing style in scientific papers in the natural sciences, e.g. chemistry and biology, seems very different from many other kinds of writing. There are usually severe restrictions on the length ...
5
votes
3answers
421 views

How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." How ...
5
votes
4answers
186 views

Incorporating Military Experience into Fantasy Writing?

I was in the Marines from 2000-2004, and I'd say I have a love/hate relationship with my experiences therein. I'm wondering how I could incorporate them into fantasy writing. Could you tell me where I ...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

Formal video-based creative writing courses

Are there any online video courses for creative writing? Preferably free. I'm referring to university-type courses, which are filmed and then published online. An outstanding example is Brandon ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to convert DOI to citation information

The DOI website will redirect to the article webpage on the journal official website. Is there is a public automated system to translate DOI to citation information? This can be beneficial for ...
5
votes
4answers
828 views

Believable (but easy) archaic English

Do you know any "shortcuts" to translating passages of my story into believably sounding archaic English? I mean, without taking a full school course? A crash course? An automatic service? A phrase ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Books to improve writing skills

Could you Please recommend me interesting non-technical books i could read which will help me improve my writing skills?
4
votes
4answers
303 views

What are useful resources for a beginner whose eventual goal is to write a novel? [closed]

I am new to creative writing but have been an avid reader for years (mainly SF/fantasy). I have wanted to write fantasy stories for a long time and have recently started to build a setting for them in ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Online technical writing classes

anyone aware of or can recommend online training courses for technical writers to improve your technical writing skills? I'm looking for courses that provide video or audio lectures, and teachers ...
4
votes
3answers
101 views

Books for children: complexity

I am wondering how complex the story can be so that small children can understand it (younger than eight). Are there any rules of thumb of how many characters can be introduced before the child looses ...
4
votes
3answers
278 views

Background speech with foreground dialogue

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an issue of the type; meaning I had two characters talking between themselves and another character talking in the background; actually delivering a speech. What the ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Good sites for descriptions/rules of different genres?

I just listenend to an episode of Writing Excuses where they discussed genre blending. I found the topic very inspirational, but as one tend to only read books of certain genres, I was wondering if ...
4
votes
2answers
49 views

citation for source from which a list of references was drawn?

I'm writing a paper in which I have reviewed a list of reports and have summarized data from each. I have cited each of those original reports. However, I originally located some of those reports ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

What are some helpful blogs for memoir writing?

I am interested in finding more online resources for memoir writing. Any ideas?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
3
votes
3answers
510 views

A letter of recommendation

I am a programmer/engineer who has been asked to write a letter of recommendation for a colleague, who wishes it to help him pursue higher education. Since I feel it necessary, to be very ...
3
votes
1answer
541 views

Email templates

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but here goes - I often find myself writing out emails that follow similar themes e.g. I've read through a document and have some questions, I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Does Wiktionary supply what writers need in an online dictionary?

There are actually Wiktionaries for many languages and the English Wiktionary also defines and translates words of many other languages. But ignoring these other languages, have you tried the English ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

What are good books on writing romance/erotica?

I've seen writing books on characterization, plot, world-building, conflict and probably 1000 other topics. But are there any good books that focus on how to write good erotica or romance? If it's a ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Resource on archaic English

I know there are similar questions around (like this and this) but they don't really have an answer that works for me. Are there any specific resources that would give me an idea about writing in ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Is there a great manual for technical and scientific writing?

I am looking for a reference book that details everything I must keep in mind while writing scientific and technical documents. It should include both practical advice, do's and dont's as well as ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Is there a resource to help find the right connotative meaning?

I'm looking for a resource that will give connotative meanings (English) if one exists. I found http://www.connotative.com/ but despite the footer showing 2013 the images lead me to believe its ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to write time duration correctly

Within a user manual, I need to convey the maximum time period allowed as "365 days 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds" - are commas expected between each component? Is the word "and" expected before the ...