A technology which takes a sort of middle ground between traditional
book publishing and purely electronic forms such as web publishing and
e-books. It has many advantages for the writer, including larger
royalties and the retention of rights, so I will definitely be keeping
an eye on this during the next few years.
and Tales - An Incomplete Guide to Print on Demand
Let's face it, even experienced writers have questions, or need a
nudge in the right direction every now and then...
The Free Dictionary -
My current preferred online dictionary and thesaurus. I used
Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com for a while, but then they "upgraded"
and broke most of the features I really liked.
So I went out and found this one instead, which I think is actually
more comprehensive and useful in a lot of cases anyway.
Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style - A thoroughly useful
and accessible resource on the subject of grammar, word usage, and
various stylistic issues.
Errors In English - Pretty self-explanatory; this is the
place to go when you can't remember under what circumstances to use an
apostrophe in "its," or how exactly hyphenation is supposed to be done.
about Writing & Publishing at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America site
to Write" by Robert J. Sawyer - A friendly and comprehensive
writing guide, with attention given to the peculiar issues faced by
authors of speculative fiction. Also includes information about the
process of traditional publishing and tips for writing cover letters,
outlines & synopses, etc.
Fiction & Fantasy Writing - Another speculative fiction
Tension - A very good essay on what it is and how to make
effective use of it in a story. It's geared toward romance writers but
would (IMO) be a useful read no matter what genre you work in. (NOTE:
The site this article was originally hosted on seems to have deleted
it, but the Internet
Wayback Machine has an archived copy from 2010 still available, so
I've changed the above link to point to that instead. I'd strongly
suggest saving the text to your own computer if you think this might
be something you'll want to reference often, though!)
These are sites that I have found useful for various aspects of
- Say what you like about this place, I think it can still be quite
useful, even if only as a starting point for further research. I go
here when I need a general reference, or an overarching introduction
to a subject I'm unfamiliar with.
Diversity Web at the University of Michigan's Museum of
Review - Lots and lots of info on ancient cultures and
current archaeology; check out their "Archaeology on the Internet"
page for links to other sites
These are sites where the information might not be based in actual
science, as such, but are still useful to the writer of speculative
Pagan Library - Need information on all the myriad
varieties of paganism, or a jumping-off point for a ritual or rite of
passage in a created universe? You can probably find some good ideas
- A nice site with information on some of the trappings of witchcraft.
I find the listing of powers attributed to different types of stones
and crystals particularly useful.
the Name: First Names and Behind
the Name: Surnames - Need a character name that means
something specific? You can find loads of great info on the subject
Moods - Not as good as the now-vanished Soul Future online
dream dictionary, but still a useful guide to dream imagery and
Zone - Whether you believe in the subject or not, the
personality profiles here are very interesting and could be a useful
resource for character development.
Most people who write speculative fiction will have to deal with a
constructed language sooner or later; here are some sites that you may
find useful in that regard.
Construction 101 - A short and sweet guide to making up a
Language Construction Kit - Lots of info here; beginners
may want to brush up on linguistics terms before diving in, which can
be done at the next site listed...
of Grammatical Terms
Xenolinguistics - A page with the science fiction author in
mind, but not for the humor-challenged