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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.

Writer's Digest Best Everything Agent Websites for Writers 2022

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Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Author Ashley Poston discusses how she combined her love of ghost stories, romance, and books into her new romance novel, The Dead Romantics.

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch discusses how much of a fight's details to actually put into a story, and how even with fight scenes sometimes less is more.

5 Research Tips for Writing Historical Fiction, by Piper Huguley

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Author Piper Huguley shares her five research tips for writing historical fiction that readers love and writers love as well.

Announcing 40 More Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Eliminate Threat

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

4 Tips for Writing Gothic Horror

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Gothic horror and its many subgenres continues to increase in popularity. Here, author Ava Reid shares 4 tips on writing gothic horror.

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

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Novelist Lucy Clarke discusses how a marathon of writing led to a first draft in just 17 days for her new psychological thriller, One of the Girls.