Though I wouldn’t claim an expert in anything as I have yet to achieve a writer’s nirvana, I will admit that I’ve collected a lot of resources over the years. A lot of resources. I get asked frequently for references or recommendations and now I’ve compiled them into one place.
Peruse them at your own creative enjoyment and betterment. This list is in constant development, so check back every now and again. Also, feel free to send me any recommendations.
Adaptive Master Plot Formula (Description) – this is something I created by combining/adapting the plot formulas and concepts of: Tobias, Dent, Moorcock, Fields, and Volger. While I would never call their genius concepts/theory my own, I will take credit for the flourishes to the combination/adaptation of their collective formulas that makes the AMP its own. They’re not huge, but I’m proud of what it took for me to find them out on my own. This might not work for everyone, or anyone else for that matter, but it helps me. Maybe it’ll help you!
On writing (general)
Kat Mellon Design – She’s wonderful, creative, and nails it every time. If you’re looking for unique, fun, spunky, original, reasonable pricing, and damn creative, you’ve found what you need with Kat.
Cover Your Dreams – Talented and with a vision spanning multiple genres, this lady knows what she’s doing and is great at doing it. Reasonable pricing and a pleasure to work with, CYD is a great option to take a look at.
Electric Reads – They may be British, but they totally get it. You get what you pay for with this group. They’re uber professional, prompt, and return high quality work.
Editing / Proofreading
On writing (all aspects)
On writing screenplays
On grammar & vocabulary
For writer’s inspiration & prompts
NaNoWriMo – The official website for National Novel Writing Month (November). Not only is this a good springboard for a budding writer, but it is also a large, eager-to-interact community of writers, aspiring authors, and creative souls. They also offer Camp NaNoWriMo in April and June.
Deviant Art – The forefront of an artist’s community (writers included) there is a never-ending stream of art and photography that will inspire and stir the literary pot. This is also a great source of community for writers, though the main focus is on artists and photographers.
For marketing, websites & branding
Programs & Sites
Microsoft Word (Mac/PC)
Final Draft* (Mac/PC)
Aeon Timeline (Mac/PC)
Timeline 3D (Mac)
iThoughts HD (iPad)
Storyboard Pro by ToonBoom (Mac/PC)
Character & Setting Development
Photo Editing & Graphics Creation
Adobe Photoshop (Mac/PC)
WordPress.com – This is a great, easy-to-use free blog site that you can either create a blog and/or website on. Writer’s should have both and this site is not only free and easily customizable, but it connects well with social media and is user-friendly. You don’t have to be a computer junkie to get Word Press. Be careful of the add-ons and premium options – there are ways and other tools that will circumvent any need for that.
WordPress.org – This is the website for the downloadable/installable and fully-customizable (and still free) version of WordPress. With WordPress.org you have more features, more customizable options, and more freedoms. You still don’t need to be an expert in the internet or HTML or even web design but you will need your own domain name and web host before using this version of Word Press. If you’re an author, you should have your own domain name. It’s part of your brand. I wholeheartedly subscribe to this option for Author websites… and company websites. If you’re a novie, read up on the WordPress Codex or any of the hundreds of How To articles on the web for WP users.
SiteGround – This is a great web host whether or not you use WordPress, though they have special content if you do (they also offer special content for Joomla). They’re very affordable, give great referral benefits, and they are prompt and attentive when it comes to customer service. I think I waited all of .02 seconds when I queried a tech support assistant. I switched to them and was worried about being another little guy in a big pond. I’m not. I’m like family and that’s bad ass because I usually have a lot of questions. Highly Recommended!
Weebly – This is a cool, web design-dummy proof website design option. It doesn’t have a ton of free options like other sources but the plug and play is not only useful but makes updates quick. A lot of hosts are one-click install with this as well.
Wix – Out of the two web design-dummy proof website options, this is far superior. Wix gives the options for HTML5 or Flash and makes drag and drop soar to a new level. You will end up paying a little bit more for the pizazz if you go ad-free and with your own domain but if you don’t have the time to learn the simple ABC’s of other options, Wix is a great choice.
Blue Host – One of the WordPress recommended hosts used widely. They’re pretty standard as far as control panel looks and options go, but what I enjoy about them is their affordability, package extras, combo options, and their prompt customer service, so long as they don’t lose you in their amount of customers.
Dream Host – Another one of the WordPress recommended hosts and used widely. They have very similar options to the other main hosts that I’ve seen and it is really just picking and finding which host has the best package to suit your needs and whether you need options to pay monthly or all upfront. That said, Dream Host has the most friendly and helpful customer service reps that are available to talk via chat.
Host Gator – Another hosting option that is widely used. Most hosts have WordPress one-click installs so this is no surprise here. What is best about Host Gator is their limits for space and bandwidth – there aren’t any. The Control Panel is the same old as others and their customer service could use some lessons but they’re a solid host to pick if they suit your needs.
Go Daddy – This is perhaps the cheapest and best, in my opinion, way to register a domain name. Take the no frills, no extras option (which 99% of the time you don’t actually need) and you can get a domain name (or two pending on special offers) for around $11 a year. That’s it. I wouldn’t recommend their hosting as I have heard not-so-great reports but when it comes to domain names, they’re my favorite. They’re also quick on uploads. When they say 48 hours, they mean 12-14 minutes. And, they’re commercials are – let’s face it – funny.
1 & 1 – This host/domain registration website is known to me through a few friends. It is mentioned on WordPress.org and offers one-click install options. They do offer rotating deals for domain registration so this might be an attractive option.
Network Solutions – A hosting and domain name service, I would say that their domain name prices are a bit high in comparison to aforementioned options. Their hosting is good, but more geared towards larger companies or ecommerce. Do your research with their packages and see if they fit. Their customer service does leave something to be desired… when they say 1-3 business days they actually mean 3 unless you get on the phone and hassle them.
Blogs Worth Reading
Inked Out Loud – I truly love reading these posts on writing and the writer. They make me smile, nod, laugh, giggle, and sometimes go “Oh dear Lord, Mel is a psychic!” Not sure if that’s actually true, but more often than not it feels that way. A great resource and read. Highly recommended by yours truly.
Website & Marketing