So I’m going to do something a little bit new and put together a roundup of online writing resources that I’ve found helpful, and hopefully you will too. All of the following are free unless marked.
Brandon Sanderson’s lectures at Brigham Young University. I’ve linked the first of twelve YouTube videos. I’ve only watched the first three so far, but they were very good. He talks about the main aspects of writing – characters, setting, and plot – and what he calls “the box,” which I haven’t gotten to yet.
ShaelinWrites. This is a writing YouTube channel that I follow. She uses occasional cuss words, but not enough that I’m super uncomfortable recommending her videos. I would warn you that in the videos featuring her brother, her brother drops an F-bomb in at least one of them, so I would warn against those (which is unfortunate, because the one in which I distinctly remember he used that was a really good video aside from that.) She talks about a lot of different writing topics, and I’ve found almost all of the videos I’ve watched to be helpful.
Fighter’s Block. This is a writing sprint website. You set the number of words you want to write and it’s set up in a game format so that if you stop writing your health points decline. The monster’s health points are the words you want to write.
myWriteClub. This is a good goal-tracking site. It has graphs a bit like the NaNoWriMo one, and you can set your own deadlines and word counts. You can also measure chapters, scenes, to-do items, pages, percent, or lines. There’s also an “other” option that you could use for hours, paragraphs, etc.
WriteDeck. This is another writing sprint website, but instead of racing yourself you’re racing others. I find this one really motivating because you can see your opponents’ progress up at the top of the screen. At one point I sprinted with a friend of mine and was literally winded at the end because I was trying to keep up with her. (Which I did do, by the way. I felt very accomplished. XD) This one also sets word count, as opposed to time. (Update: This no longer exists)
NaNoWriMo goal tracker. NaNoWriMo has a new goal tracker on their website that’s accessible through either the “My NaNoWriMo” dropdown or as one of the tabs when you’re on your profile. It works roughly the same as myWriteClub, but can only track words and hours. On the other hand, if you click on “stats,” it gives you your average per day, target average, average needed to make it on time, and projected finish date, which myWriteClub does not. I tend to forget that the NaNoWriMo tracker is an option and thus use myWriteClub instead, but that’s just me.
4thewords*. 4thewords is the only item on this list that charges. However, I’ve found it an extremely helpful tool. It’s set up as an RPG, but the monsters HP is words, as with Fighter’s Block. There are different zones, quests, and for some holidays there are also events in which there are special zones or monsters and additional quests. There’s also a forum, a customizable avatar, and it will store your files. However, the majority of the monsters have really long times (I think the smallest regular monster is 200 words in 30 minutes), which isn’t the greatest if you want to challenge yourself through a fast battle, and it does charge. You pay for subscription through things called core crystals, which you can buy in bulk. The smallest set is 44 for $4, which is a month’s worth of subscription, and the largest pack is almost 21 months worth. I believe if you don’t have your subscription for a bit then you can still access your files, you just can’t fight monsters or anything until you renew it. You can extend your subscription as far as you have core crystals. There’s also a streak calendar on your dashboard, and you win in-game prizes for specific milestones. The minimum word count for a day’s streak is 444, so 4thewords is great for consistency, as well as motivation. And if you use my referral code – CCXLG41162 – then we both get a bonus.
Hopefully you find a few of these helpful. :)