Thursday, February 23, 2012

Resources for Writers

Research has been an every day part of my life for the last forever, and I've come to have a love/hate relationship with it. On good days, I'm able to find a plethora of accurate information that I can easily use in the course of writing. And then there are those research days where I just want to tear my hair out or set the internet or library on fire. (Disclaimer: Arson is bad.)

You know the days I'm talking about. You know exactly what you need to find, but no matter how hard you look, you can't find it. You spend hours searching every possible combination of keywords you can think of, and the only thing you can find is a Wikipedia** article of questionable accuracy, or fifteen websites that are no longer in service.

Those days make me crazy. There is absolutely nothing worse than knowing exactly what you need, spending half of a writing day looking for it, only to come up empty handed, frustrated, and without having written a single word for the day. That's typically the point where everyone else says 'eff it, and finds a way around the problem. Not me.

I'm stubborn, and I refuse to be beaten by the internet, or the library, or the sixteen people telling me to give it up already and find something else. I will keep looking until I find exactly what I needed or my head feels like it's going to explode. As a result, I tend to hoarde links like they're the last roll of toilet paper at the apocalypse.

While looking through some of my old notes today, I came across just such a list that I thought I'd share. Some of these are pretty great writing resources, and they cover everything from queries to the Regency period to historical maps and beyond .

I will update this page with other valuable resources as I come across them. You can find it linked on the Explore tab of the website, under the Resources for Writers link. If you have something you think would make a  great addition to the list, please do let me know! :)

Writing Resources
  • Query Tracker - allows you to track query and submissions, as well as offers a database of publishing houses, and literary agents.   
  • All About Romance - everything from reviews to articles by authors to history and travel information.
  • Social Networks for Writers - a list of social networking sites designed specifically for writers. Many have group features, etc that can be a huge help in networking with others.
  • Every Writer's Resource - a website with everything from articles and interviews to lists, links, addresses for submissions, etc. 
  • Charlotte Dillon's Resources for Writers - a huge collection of writing related resources including sample query and submission letters, articles, links, and more.This is geared for romance writers, but many of these resources are great for any current or aspiring writer.   
  • YALitChat - an online community dedicated to everything YA. You can find groups, resources, and more here. 
History Resources
  • Peerage from the Regency Period - everything you might ever want to know about titles, behaviors, etc on the peerage in Britain during the regency period. 
  • The Regency Collection - everything you might need to know about the Regency period from modes of transportation to coaching inns, etc. 
  • The Napoleon Series - everything you might ever need to know about Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars, including a plethora of valuable information on the War of 1812. 
  • English History - this site covers 1760 to 1850 and has quite a few scholarly and topic papers (ie: economic affairs and popular movements of the time) on the George III and Peel Era.
Legal Resources

  • Internet Legal Resources - Washington University's list of legal resources includes everything from the best sites for research to United States law, etc. 
  • LexOne Community - free database of case law from Lexis Nexis, includes case law, and SCOTUS opinions  from 1791 onward.
  • FDsys - the US Government's database. This contains information on all three branches of government, as well as Congressional Bills, Hearings, and Reports, and the United State Code from any given year.
  • The Crime Library - articles, etc on crimes, crime figures, etc. Includes a lot of information of serial killers, mobsters, high profile crimes, etc. 
Mythology, Paranormal, and Creature Resources

  • Demons, Monsters, Etc - everything you might ever need to know on demons and monsters, including names, myths, etc.  
  • Paranormal Library - the largest online library of paranormal information, including ghosts, phenomena, etc.
  • FolkTexts - folklore, fairy tales, mythology, and more. 
  • MagicTails - a large library of creation myths and related mythology from around the world. 
Royalty Free Images and Music

  • DreamsTime - Royalty free images, including a large database of RF images you can use free of charge.  
  • Danosongs - Royalty free music from DanoSongs. You can use the music here for free.
  • Incompotech - Royalty free music from Kevin MacLeod. You can use his music for free.
  • Audio Archive - a large library of royalty free audio, video, music, images, etc.
  • Shutterstock - millions of stock photos, etc. Can be obtained and used for a fee. Pay per image, etc.

Various Resources

  • Moon Phases - find the phase of the moon for any date from 1800-2199. 

**Because Wikipedia (and similar resources) are editable by virtually anyone, it's not typically allowed as a resource in an academic setting. Likewise, databases such as Findlaw are not typically allowed in an academic setting either because the veracity of the information is questionable. The rules are a little different for fiction writing, obviously, but I'm still leery of using it because there is a lot of incomplete, incorrect, or overly simplified information used here. For that reason, I, personally, advise either finding another resource, or double checking everything for accuracy, even for fiction writing. Readers do pay attention to the little details, and you will hear about it if they're wrong. :) 

1 comment:

  1. This is VERY helpful!! All SORTS of writers will love this kind of list. RT for sure!

    ReplyDelete