We all know that the Internet has quite a few benefits when it comes to writing. But researching and blogging are not the only ones that can make your life as a writer go smoother and more successful. In this article I will show you how you can use more of the Internet than you ever thought!
I will start off by showing you some hidden websites that make my writing journey an even greater experience.
- http://campnanowrimo.org Let’s start simple. If you’re a teen writer you’ve probably heard of Camp NaNoWriMo before. For all of you who are new to this: Camp NaNoWriMo is an offer for writers to track their writing and reach their goals in three months of the year. Everyone is working together and sharing their progress. The most common goal is finish a 50.000 words novel in the month of the Camp, but how you set your goal is totally up to you.
- https://www.befunky.com So, this is a photo editor that has done amazing jobs for me. You might be wondering what you, as a writer not photographer, are supposed to be doing with such website. But have you ever designed your own cover for a book you’ve been writing? If not then I highly recommend trying it out. It’s so much fun and helps you get in touch with your story even more. If you ever try, make sure to use this editor. It’s easy to use and you will end up with great results!
- http://writingexercises.co.uk/index.php This name is pretty clear. On this website you will find many generators, such as first line, plot, dialogue et cetera. It’s great when you feel uninspired, can’t think of a name, or simply want some writing exercises. This website will provide you with everything you need when you’re stuck in the worst writer’s block!
- http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com Another awesome generator page, with literally all the name generators for fantasy writers. And I mean it: You will find all the name generators. It goes from character names, to town and tribe names. If you are writing fantasy (or anything else) and you’re looking for some inspiration or unique names, this is your place.
- http://www.dolldivine.com Please don’t laugh at me for recommending a website for dress up games, but this is actually an amazing way for me to design my character’s clothing, such as uniforms, which are so personalised it’s hard to find them on Google, so you have to make them yourself. If you are too lazy to draw them, you can easily brainstorm with dress up games, yes it’s true! 😀
- https://refiction.com This is another inspiration and learning page. It provides you with cool tips for every corner of the writing life and will inspire you when you are suffering from writer’s block.
2. Key Words
Next up am I going to show you some hashtags and key words that will pretty much make every website a page for writers.
- Character Inspiration Have you ever tried to find a human being on Google Images who has something about their looks that inspires you for a new character or an existing one? I know it can be a struggle to get away from those boring stock-images, but there is a way. Put character inspiration behind your key words and you will be thrown into the deep writer’s retreats of Google Images. When you are looking for a brown haired girl, just look for girl brown hair character inspiration.
- Writing Prompt This one’s obvious, but if you’ve never tried writing prompts I definitely recommend it! There are many websites collecting hundrets of cool plot ideas that will inspire you to write them all. When ever you feel bored, browse some of them and let the inspiration come almost all by itself.
- *your book’s genre* When looking for scenery or character inspiration we sometimes struggle to find things with the right vibe. It usually helps to put your story’s genre after your request. Look for yourself and type Garden and Garden Fantasy. The difference is immense!
- Ideas or Inspiration This is similar to my first tip. If you put key words like these behind your search, you will find more creative, unique ideas that don’t have to be realistic and might inspire you to think out of the box.
3. What to really do with websites you know
Now this is my favorite part. Being a writer, I have found many ways to make use of every day pages to really make them a writer’s heaven. I’m excited to share them with you!
- Pinterest For Pinterest the tips that I just presented to you are perfect. Many writers have set tags like ‘character inspiration’ and so on. If you use the right key words, a whole new Pinterest-World will open up for you. Also, if you’re trying to find a specific style of clothing for example, be sure to look for its exact designation in the tags. That will make further searching much easier.
- YouTube Ever tried to find theme songs? YouTube is the place for that. Think about what the song is supposed to be about and research before. Look up things like ‘Songs about loneliness’, many lists will come up that are usually linked to YouTube. Otherwise you can just dive deep into some Indie music, I feel like those are the most unique and fitting ones. Also, you can listen to playlist or music collections while writing, there are many videos for exactly that. Just look around a bit.
- Wikipedia It’s the main resource for researching, but there is one thing that you have to keep in mind: Those articles were written by normal people and it is not 100% certain that they know what they’re doing. Obviously, most of them are, but watch out when you see a disclaimer telling you that the article is either unfinished or might contain wrong facts. Always use more sources than just one page!
- Google Yes, Google. Seemingly the omniscient core of the whole Internet. Well, partly true. Google does know pretty much everything that has happend and been found out during our existence and everyone has access to the information. But you do have to know how to use it for your specific needs. (For that the tips I gave you can also help). One of the most common mistakes are typing sentences into the search box. Don’t do that while researching, it will just lead you to strange forums with people who are not really in the know. Try to reduce your request to a few key words, much more useful stuff will come up.
4. A few general tips
To bring this article to a round end, I will sum up a few of the most important things you have to remeber when researching.
- Don’t get lost Especialy Pinterest and YouTube make it hard to focus, but image your research as your job. When you’re in school working with a few pages in your textbook you’re not allowed to wander from the subject either, right?
- Don’t overload As mentioned before, make sure you’re reducing your search and only using key words. Also look up one fact at a time and stay focused. Else you will soon find yourself in a jungle of facts that are all relevant but have nothing to do with eachother, causing you to not remember one of them correctly.
- Don’t copy Whenever you find pictures, promts et cetera, make sure they have not been used already. If you publish your book and it’s built on a prompt that – oops – has a strange load of similarities to another already published book, that wouldn’t end very nicely. Be careful!
- The Internet is not everything Have you considered going to a library for researching? It’s cooler than you think! Libraries are awesome to focus and work, and you can be much more certain that what you read in the books is actually true. For scenery and character design you can dabble in drawing and painting!
Alright, those were my tips on how to correctly make use of the Internet as a writer. I hope you enjoyed!
Yours, Z. Grace