As "unknown" once said: "Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet".
Though I am not one to argue with internet wisdom, I have to disagree with this quote. I started writing a story yesterday and found out that the internet can be distracting in the best possible way.
No, I'm not talking about Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. I'm talking about real websites that motivate and inspire writers - oh and they can help you jump some of the most annoying creative-process-hurdles.
If you're anything like me, you can struggle with finding the appropriate name for this very specific person you have in mind. Sometimes, a name just pops up. Usually, it doesn't. Instead of looking at baby name sites -confess, we all did it - I found a better solution.
Ok, so "character.namegeneratorforfun" doesn't sound so professional, but this is by far the coolest name generator I have seen. You can select gender, heritage and country of residence and you get a name (first AND last name) to match all of those. Even better? You get an explanation of what kind of person your character would be with that name: characteristics, jobs, partners,... It's all there to inspire you.
All writes struggle with using the same words too much - when I was in Journalism school, my tutor would always circle the words I repeated over and over in my reviews and trust me, sometimes my paper was just one big circle. How to avoid this? Train yourself with a website like synonym finder.
It's easy to use - when editing your own story, you will notice those damn repetitive words, the ones that you just can't find a synonym for. Go online, type it in and find the synonyms and hypernyms (though I'm not sure why you would need that, but ok). It's a quick way to help you edit your story and to avoid sounding boring for your readers.
Connected to the previous point, there is the problem you can have when wanting to describe something, but not being sure what word to use. You know you're character is loud and obnoxious, but those words just have the wrong connotation. So what is it? How about raucous - the word you just learned as your word of the day.
Dailywritingtips.com is filled with amazing tips for writing, but this one has to be my favourite. There is something excited about learning a new word and then being able to incorporate it in a story. Or if you're looking for writing inspiration - write a story revolving the word of the day. Both options will help you become a better writer.
And finally, maybe the most tricky part of all - where do you find your inspiration on days when stories just can't seem to come to you?
On awesome lists like on writetodone. 31 easy ways in which to find inspiration, it's a list I look at at least once a month. It's a nice little boost to start writing again and to turn that laptop off!
And so many more...
These are just four of the writing sites I use most, but there are so many more out there. Tumblr is filled with writing tips and tricks and google "writing help" and you'll get million of hits. The internet really isn't all just distraction - it can also help you. (Just like this blog is helping me reach my nano camp word limit!)