Skip to main content

Writer's Digest Best General Resource Websites 2020

Here are the top general resource websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer's Digest.
5 Best general resources

Here are the best general resource websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer's Digest.

* Denotes the website's first appearance on our list.

1. Behind the Name

BehindTheName.com

Layer on the symbolism in your story by giving your characters names that hold meaning. Search for a name by theme, or use the database to look up the origin and meaning of a name. If you can’t think of the perfect name, use the random name generator.

2. Canva

Canva.com

No need to hire a graphic designer— make professional-looking logos, flyers, business cards, social media graphics, book covers, and more with this free site. Upload the elements you’d like to use or choose from their stock library, then simply drag and drop to complete your creations.

3. Create If Writing

CreateIfWriting.com

Whether you’re an author, blogger, freelance journalist, or any other type of creative, Create If Writing helps you build an online platform without being spammy. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, and sign up to receive weekly tips and resources in your inbox.

4. Copyright Office of the United States

Copyright.gov

What can you copyright? What rights do you have when your copyright is infringed upon? How do you proceed if this happens? It’s important to know your rights as an author. Get your questions about copyright laws answered straight from the source.

5. Get It Write*

GetItWriteOnline.com

Get It Write publishes articles answering the most common questions about grammar and usage that founder Nancy Tuten receives as a writing seminar instructor and former English professor. So if you’re unsure of something grammatical, consulting her expertise may make your draft a bit smarter.

6. Mailchimp*

Mailchimp.com

An author newsletter is one of the best tools available to build your platform and keep readers up-to-date. Build one using Mailchimp—a free account includes basic newsletter templates, one-click automation, and audience engagement data. Mailchimp also recently released a free website builder.

7. OneLook

OneLook.com

OneLook is like a thesaurus on steroids. If you’re struggling to find the perfect word for your work-in-progress and don’t want to go with something basic, type your basic choice into OneLook for hundreds of other options. It works in reverse, too, if you’re looking for antonyms.

8. TV Tropes

TVTropes.org

Want to avoid plotlines that have already been done before? Or, you may be inspired by popular story tropes and want to make sure you hit all the beats by researching your predecessors. Either way, you’ll find a large library of helpful content here, which catalogs common story tropes across all forms of media, including books, TV, movies, video games, and more. 

For more of our best website selections for 2020, check out the following.

Learn the best ways to sell more books on Amazon with this Writer's Digest University online course.

Learn the best ways to sell more books on Amazon with this Writer's Digest University online course.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

The occasional bump in the writing process is normal, but it can be difficult to work through. Here, author Genevieve Essig shares five ways to keep your writing rolling.

From Script

How to Write from a Place of Truth and Desire and Bending the Rules in Screenwriting (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with screenwriter Steven Knight (Spencer), Mike Mills (C'mon C'mon), and David Mitchell (Matrix Resurrection). Plus, how to utilize your vulnerability in your writing and different perspectives on screenwriting structure.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is forgetting to read.

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Sharing even a fraction of our feelings with our characters will help our stories feel more authentic. Here, Kris Spisak explains how to tap into our memories to tell emotional truths on the page.

Poetic Forms

Trinet: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the trinet, a seven-line form based on word count.

Tammye Huf: On Real Love That Sparked Inspiration

Tammye Huf: On Real Love That Sparked Inspiration

Debut novelist Tammye Huf discusses how her own familial love story inspired her historical fiction novel, A More Perfect Union.

Announcing the Second Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Announcing the Second Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards!

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Going Rogue

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Going Rogue

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character go rogue.

How to Love Writing a Book

How to Love Writing a Book

When you’re in the weeds of the writing process, it’s easy to lose sight of why you started in the first place. Here, author Radhika Sanghani shares her tips on how to love the process of writing your book.