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.
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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.

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The Play Really Is the Thing

The Play Really Is the Thing

Studying different genres can make you a stronger writer overall. Here, author Jessica Barksdale Inclán explains why reading more Shakespeare is a great idea.

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Prepare yourself for comparing the differences of pair, pare, and pear on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

6 Lessons of Writing for Novelists

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As the author of 16 novels, Wendy Wax shares her top 6 tips for novelists to help their writing journey go as smoothly as possible.

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

When author Elyssa Friedland settled on the setting for her latest novel, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, the characters and plot came to her. Here, she discusses the importance of setting.

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Critically acclaimed author Alyson Gerber discusses how she tackled the topic of disordered eating in her latest middle-grade novel, Taking Up Space.

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