Helpful Links

Here’s a collection of links I find especially useful in the writing process or just entertaining in general. Now you can clog up your bookmarks with ’em, too. It’s all about the research, baby. Write what you know, and when you don’t, at least sound like you do…

SLANG SITES – I find these ferociously addictive. Please be forewarned, these sites contain lots of naughty words and become a massive time-suck. Use discretion.

USEFUL WRITING AIDS – Thank heaven they’re free.
  • Thesaurus.com – For my money, the best online thesaurus with lots of lovely cross-referencing and exhaustive options. Play with the fascinating Visual Thesaurus if you’ve got time to spare.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary – I personally think it’s important to keep consistent, so I always go here first. Especially love how they notate when the word first appeared in usage. Whenever I get a redline in Word, I double-check it here.
  • The Free Dictionary – A good backup to the M-W, and the best source for idioms. I’m constantly surprised by how many of the little phrases don’t mean exactly what I think they mean!
  • Synonyms for Said – Because sometimes a fella’s gotta snarl to get his point across.
  • Top Baby Names – Based on U.S. SSA data (and census?), the top 1000 names by gender per year from 1990-2009, then by decade back to 1880. Each name also tracks trending data (i.e. was Jessica growing in popularity, and how fast?) as well as meaning. Also includes links to UK, Canada & Australia data.
  • Day of the Week Calculator – Go back in time and make sure your dates jive. Yeah, I’m that anal.
  • Free Translation site – Got a furriner in your story? Let him or her pepper their English with native words or mutter a few choice phrases under their breaths. Lots of different languages (including Latin, required for any magical spells you might need to invent in your HP fanfic).
  • Transliteration site – If your furriner is Greek or Russian, you’ll need this one open in a second window. Or save yourself the headache and avoid these nationalities for your characters entirely. There’s a reason they say, “It’s all Greek to me.”
HARRY POTTER FANFICTION NECESSITIES – ’cause if you’re gonna borrow JKR’s stuff, you might as well do it right.
JUST FOR FUN
  • Desert Rose RWA – Only the home to the awesome-est writers ever!
  • Smart Bitches Trashy Books – For those of us who enjoy our smut and have a brain.
  • SlushPile Hell – Feel superior to 99% of all the other non-published writers by reading a sampling of the most gawd-awful query letters.