The Saturday Five: Writing Resources (April 6)

April 6, 2013

Keri Mathews Resources networking tools, outlining, plot elements, writing programs, writing resources, writing tools Leave a comment

90 Writing Tools in a Single Post
from Jason Boog at Galleycat

For Literary Penguins: 4 Great Writing Tools [Linux]
from Danny Stieben at MakeUseOf

Draft Is a Writing App with Serious Version and Draft Control
from Kevin Purdy at Lifehacker

Editorially is the Collaborative Writing Tool We’ve Been Waiting For
from Nathaniel Mott at PandoDaily

First Friday Link Party for Writers – Spring Fling Edition
from Carol Tice at Make a Living Writing

Bonus resource (previously featured on blog):
The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel
from Randy Ingermanson at Advanced Fiction Writing

Tuesday 5: Writing Resources

February 21, 2012

Keri Mathews Resources inspiration, publishing resources, self-publishing, writing resources, writing tools Leave a comment

Writing/Publishing Websites
From Rachelle Gardner

For Writers
From Jody Hedlund
From Alicia Sparks

Fiction Writing Tools & Words of Inspiration
From Sherry Soule

5 MUST READ Blogs for Indie Authors
From Indie Author News

Tuesday 5: Writing Resources

February 14, 2012

Keri Mathews Resources editing resources, marketing resources, research, writing communities, writing mechanics, writing prompts Leave a comment

Apologies for the brief (and unannounced) hiatus. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, or (like us) Self Appreciation Day, we hope you have a very merry Tuesday!

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

Over 200 Free Online Educational Resources (post on Google+ from Johnathan Chung)

The Writing Reader: Creativity Prompts for Writers, Journalers, and Artists

From Author Darian Wilk (Crazy Lady with a Pen): Marketing Series

LegendFire: a free, author-driven, online creative writing community

Tuesday 10: Writing Resources and Free Downloads

February 7, 2012

Keri Mathews Resources book promotion, marketing resources, writing resources Leave a comment

Happy Tuesday, dear writing friends!


Holly Lisle’s official website: A huge resource for writers – many writing courses and articles to be found here.


Elizabeth S Craig on Twitter: Tweets many quality writing resources and articles throughout the day.


April Brown’s Writer’s Resources: Categorized writing articles/resources.


The Indie Exchange: For authors, bloggers, and readers.


KindleFinds: They promote eBooks that don’t suck (seriously, it’s their tagline).


Master List of Writers on Google+: Post from Debbie Ohi.


Write or Die: I’ve posted this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Click if you’re having trouble meeting your word count (like so many of us creative souls; daydreams are so much more fun).


Grammarly on Facebook: Grammarly isn’t a free service, but you’ll want to “like” them just for the status updates (lots of humor).


Rules of Fog: Free on Amazon Kindle


Highway to Hell by Alex Laybourne: Free on Amazon Kindle

Friday 10: Top Writing Blogs, Contests, Articles (Writing Process & Social Media), Free Downloads

February 3, 2012

Keri Mathews Marketing, Resources, Writing Opportunities, Writing Process author platform, freebies, social media, writing, writing challenges, writing contests Leave a comment

Happy Friday, dear writing friends!


Writing Opportunities

From The Write Practice: “Show Off” Writing Contest: The Love Story Edition

From Nick Rolynd: 30 Minute Fridays

From HorrorAddicts: 2 Horror Writing Contests (1 For Women, 1 For Men)


Top Writing Blogs

From eCollegeFinder: Top Writing Blog Nominees (Voting has ended, but bookmark for future reading.)


Articles on Writing Process

From Jeff Goins: The Key to Distraction-Free Writing

From Maybe Genius: Spheres of Existence: Writing Other Experiences With Integrity


Articles on Social Media

From The Bookshelf Muse: Creating An Author Platform That Sticks

From Kristen Lamb: 10 Ways to Improve Your “Likability Quotient”


Free Downloads

eBook, from Amazon Kindle: Paradox (A Short Story) by Aaron Crocco

Digital music track, from John Anealio: “I Should Be Writing”

11 Free Writing Communities

December 12, 2011

Keri Mathews Resources writing communities Leave a comment

What I love most about NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to communicate with hundreds of thousands of other dedicated writers, all across the globe. The loss of that collective, creative spirit in December is always a letdown. It’s with that thought in mind that I’ve put together a list of quality creative writing communities:

“Welcome to probably the most exciting story and poetry site in the world. The site where you can explore and develop your creative writing skills, get support from our editors, publish your short stories and poems online, get feedback and writing tips and meet fellow writers, all for free.”

“Booksie’s goal is to provide writers with an easy way to publish and promote their work and to provide readers with access to the best creative writing on the Web, organized and catalogued for easy browsing.”

Great Writing
“Great Writing is a free creative writing support forum where the aspiring authors, poets and bards come to read and review each other’s work.”

The Internet Writing Workshop
“The Internet Writing Workshop is a set of mailing lists (groups) that communicate in English by email. We are: a community where writers can submit and critique written works, a forum to discuss and get help on all aspects of writing, a public service educational organization, staffed by volunteers and free of charge.”

Legend Fire
“LegendFire is a free, author-driven, online creative writing community. Our purpose is to provide a place where authors and poets of a broad range of genres can go to exchange feedback, make friends, and have fun!”

The Writer’s Beat
“We are a community of authors that share a common passion: writing. At the Writer’s Beat writing forums we discuss various topics related to the art of writing.”

“ is an online writing community where writers can post their work, get reviews, befriend other writers, and much more..”

Writers Network
“Writers-Network is a FREE creative writing community created . . . to provide a place for writers and poets to share their writing, get constructive feedback and interact with other people who share their same passion.”
“Writing.Com, the premier online community for writers of all interests and skill levels, has been going strong . . . We provide an extremely creative environment for authors, offering hundreds of unique writing tools and opportunities for creation and inspiration.”
**(Site features a free membership and a several levels of paid membership. Compare here.)**

Writing Forums
“Creative Writing Forums – Writing Workshops, Writing Help, Writing Fiction, Creative Writing Contests”

Young Writers Online
“We’re a community of young writers, both new and experienced, dedicated to improving our writing. Members have access to: the Community Forum, for general site, literary, and off-topic discussion; the Writing Forum, for submitting writing and critiquing things posted by other members; plus the chatroom, contests, exercises, and more!”

5 Distraction-Free Writing Programs

October 26, 2011

Keri Mathews Resources writing programs, writing resources, writing tools Leave a comment

Ah, NaNoWriMo. 30 days of wild creativity, a reach-for-the-stars mindset that may or may not dissolve December 1st, and last but not least, overwhelming opportunities for procrastination. Especially during the month of November, procrastination can quickly lead to the death of a novel – and a dream.


Enter full-screen writing programs. As the saying goes, being a writer is 3% creativity, 97% not getting distracted by the Internet. Q10 saved my novel in November of 2009 (Although I also used a pair of noise-reduction headphones. Yeah, a full-screen text editor can only do so much; it can’t block out real life distractions. But hey, it’s a start, right?). And it may just save yours. If you’re one of those people who have to fight the urge to check Facebook every five minutes, take a look at the programs below:


Q10 (Freeware; Windows): “a simple but powerful text editor designed and built with writers in mind . . . Q10 is small, fast and keeps out of your way . . . Q10 will clean your kitchen, walk your dog and make excellent coffee. Well, not really. But it’s really good as a full-screen text editor.”


FocusWriter (Free; Linux, Windows, Mac OS X): “a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work.”


WriteMonkey (Free; Windows): “zenware* writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood, it helps you write better. Editing is for another day …”


PyRoom (Free; Check website for OS) ”a free editor that stays out your way – and keeps other things out of your way, too. As a fullscreen editor without buttons, widgets, formatting options, menus and with only the minimum of required dialog windows, it doesn’t have any distractions and lets you focus on writing and only writing.”


JDarkRoom (Free; Windows, Mac, Linux): “a popular, simple full-screen text file editor with none of the usual bells and whistles that might distract you from the job in hand. If you are writing a speech, novel, essay, thesis or just need to be able to concentrate on your writing, then JDarkRoom may help you.”


P.S. 5 days and counting.

Participating in NaNoWriMo? Here’s Where to Find Fellow NaNo-ers

October 17, 2011

Keri Mathews Resources, Writing Opportunities nanowrimo, nanowrimo resources, writing communities 2 Comments

If you haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo, you’ve been spending too much time under a rock . . . or maybe just writing so much you haven’t been spending a lot of time online perusing social networks. In that case, congratulations, you have far more self-discipline than me.

So here’s the deal, in a nutshell: 30 days. 50,000 words of a NEW writing project. An entire community of fellow Nanoers to cheer you on. Below I’ll tell you where to find them.

The main site: NaNoWriMo

List of Nanoers on Google+ (Nano forum post)
List of Nanoers on Twitter (Nano forum post)
List of Nanoers on Tumblr (Nano forum post. Is it weird that I know how to spell “Tumblr” yet my fingers automatically corrected it to “Tumbler”? It’s almost painful to spell it the “correct” way.)

For you Nanoers on Facebook . . .

NaNoWriMo’s official Facebook page
NaNoWriMo group
NaNoWriMo and Beyond group
Writers, Authors, and NaNoWriMo Friends group
My writer profile – friend me! (Make sure you tell me where you know me from)

Join the groups and join the conversation. You will be welcomed with open arms.

On Twitter, hashtag #NaNoWriMo
(If you’re new to Twitter, type the hashtag into the search box. See who’s gearing up to write next month and then follow them.)

NaNoWriMo’s official Twitter profile

On Google+, funnily enough, hashtag #NaNoWriMo

Seriously. Type it into the search box. Add those people using that hashtag to your circles, write something about NaNoWriMo on your About page so they know which circle to put you in (this step is crucial; otherwise you may not see their Nano-related posts), comment (and check out who comments) on their Nano posts. Before you know it, you’ll be making Nano friends left and right. Many participating Google Plussers have been posting their NaNoWriMo circles for other writers to see, making it especially easy for us to connect with each other.

And finally, the largest, most logical place to connect with other Wrimos is on the forums themselves. Check them out; peruse to your heart’s content. You won’t be disappointed. The forums, for me, have been and still are one of the largest sources of writing related help, information, and connections with other writers, during the month of November and each of the other 11 months of the year.

14 days and counting! Hope to see you there, dear writing friends.

10 Character Sketch Templates and Generators

October 12, 2011

Keri Mathews Resources character generators, character sketch templates, character worksheets, name generators, writing resources Leave a comment

Sketch Templates – Now. There are a thousand good ones floating around the interwebs, so I won’t overwhelm you. After all, a character sheet is only as valuable as it is helpful to the author, right? What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. And if character sheets don’t do anything for you? Don’t fear. There are other ways to get to know your characters. We’ll go over a few of those on Friday. In the meantime, here are three character sheets to get you started:


Not technically a character sheet, but it works – This is incredibly detailed; it’s separated into 71 different questionnaires.


Character Questionnaire – A long number of essay-type questions with a fantasy element attached. It’s part of a larger fantasy website, but it’s perfectly tweakable to work for your purposes.


Eclectics dot com Character Chart – I like this one because it’s shorter and not as overwhelming, but it still gets the introduction rolling.


Generators – It doesn’t make you any less of an author. Like all prompts and other writing tools, they’re to get the creativity flowing. Not to mention they’re incredibly useful in and of themselves.


Fake Name Generator: The most detailed of its kind I’ve ever seen, complete with randomly generated birth date, address, phone number, height, weight, occupation, even fake social security and credit card numbers. Also check out the Sims Family Generator while you’re there.


Behind the Name: Allows you to generate names by nationality and/or from mythology, ancient cultures, the Bible, history, literature, theology, and more (the ‘and more’ is the most interesting, so make sure you check it out). The Behind the Name main site provides statistics, histories, and meanings on any name you look up, so… er, don’t get distracted looking up the names of everyone you know while you’re supposed to be doing something else. Not that you would.


The Random Name Generator uses data from the U.S. census to generate names based on the obscurity factor you input; it can generate up to 30 names at a time.


The YA Character Generator and Mystery/Thriller Character Generator. These are pretty detailed and definitely worth a glance if one of them fits your genre.


Seventh Sanctum: I can’t say enough about this site. It has generators galore, almost anything you’d ever need to generate for a story. You will want to bookmark this one. The link will land on the ‘Characters’ page, but peruse the top left sidebar for more. Check out the right sidebar for links to other generator sites or other generators related to what you’re currently viewing.


Let’s put your character in a sticky situation. ’Nuff said. That’s a fun one.


Have fun, dear writing friends.

13 Free (and kinda free) Storyboarding / Novel Organization Programs

October 5, 2011

Keri Mathews Resources writing programs, writing resources, writing tools Leave a comment


***Completely Free***


Papel (Windows) is abandonware. The link is to its new home at a mirror site.
Features here, 1 page (of 7) of screenshots here, download here.
Bookmark Romanzo for future use. It’s in the planning stage, but once finished, it claims “it will offer much of what Papel promises but with several key advances.”


Text Block Writer (Windows) is abandonware. (The link is to Softonic because the developer’s website is no longer running.)
Screenshots here.


yWriter (Windows, Linux)
Screenshots here, Facebook page here.
Check out this (awesome) guy’s other software while you’re at the yWriter page. (Awesome guy being Simon Haynes.)


***Less Functional Free Version of Otherwise Commercial Software***


Celtx (Windows, Linux, Mac) – Doesn’t include add-ons.
Overview here, features here, screenshots here.
Full version $14.99.


Page Four (Windows, unofficially/maybe Linux) – Restricted to 3 or 4 notebooks rather than unlimited.
Demo video and screenshots here, FAQ here, download here.
Full version $39.95.


Spaaze is an ‘infinite virtual corkboard.’ I haven’t tried it out, but I’ve heard good things from fellow writers about it as a project management program.
Full version $3/month.


Storybook (Windows, Linux. Mac option on FAQ page.) – Comparison of commercial and free version here.
Screenshots here, download here. Full version $25.94.


SuperNoteCard (Windows, Mac, Linux) – Limit to the number of cards you can use, but I’m not sure what the limit is. I’ve used this program quite a bit before and didn’t run out of note cards, though.
FAQ here.
Full version $29.


Writer’s Cafe (Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris) – Free version restricted to 20 cards and 20 scraps and doesn’t include e-book.
Features here, FAQ here, screenshots here, download here.
Full version $40 (or $60 for CD-ROM version).


***Fully Functional Time-Sensitive Trial Version***


Liquid Story Binder XE (Windows) – 30 Day Free Trial (30 days of actual use.)
Screenshots here, tutorials here.
Full version $45.95.


Scrivener (Mac) – 30 Day Free Trial (30 days of actual use.)
Features here.
Full version $45.
(Free Beta version for Windows here. Will be $40 when it goes on sale.)


Storymill (Mac) – 15 or 30 Day Free Trial (Scroll down to Storymill icon.)
Screenshots, video tutorials, and user guide on home page.
Full version $49.95, or $24.95 to upgrade to Storymill 4.


Writer’s Blocks (Windows) – 21 Day Free Trial
Quick look here, features here, FAQ here.
Full version $149, or $99 to upgrade from Writer’s Blocks 3 to WB4.

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Thursday: Social Media/Marketing

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