Ever been writing along, immersed in your story world, only to come up short of a name for a new character? You have trouble nailing down a character profile, trip over a grammar landmine, or can’t stop using the same favorite words, over and over again. Your story grinds to a halt while you search for a map you filed somewhere…. All of these things can slow down a writing session and make it difficult to refocus.
Minimize these distractions with the following resources to help you write better faster.
10 Go-To Resources to Help You Write Better Faster
- Character Name Generator from Alexander Martin: All you have to do is click a button to come up with four potential character names. It’s a lot of fun, and so easy you won’t balk if you need to click a few times to find a name that suits. I like that the names go through a range of ethnic groups, and there are many combinations. Even if you don’t want to use a generated name, this tool can spark ideas for your own invented names. Don’t miss the other free and interesting generators that can help you write better faster.
- Character Profile Generator from Alexander Martin: Creating varied characters requires writers to step outside themselves, and that can be difficult without a little help. Enter this resource! It’s another creative generator that suggests character traits and histories. Whether or not you use the generator’s exact suggestions, they might serve as a starting point from which to brainstorm your own ideas. This is one of many free generators for writers at this URL.
- Character Profile Questionaire from Writers Helping Writers: This free list provides comprehensive questions to answer about your characters on such topics as voice, education, finances, special talents, skills, family, interests, fears, wounds, and many more.
- List of Crutch Words from Writers Helping Writers: Commonly repeated words appear in this free hit-list. Searching a manuscript for them can help you introduce more variety in word choice.
- Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips: Mignon Fogarty makes grammar fun and easy. Really. I like that I can pop over to her site and find a quick, decisive answer to a grammatical question. And it’s free.
- Online Etymology Dictionary: I’ve been using this free resource for years and find it a huge time-saver. It’s perfect for when you need to look up the origin and usage of a word, or to discover related words that aren’t necessarily in common usage today.
- Random Title Generator: You could use this title generator to create actual titles, but it may be even more useful as a prompt to unlock your creativity.
- Scrivener: Many authors swear by Scrivener. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, so I haven’t warmed to it myself. I’m probably going to give it another go soon because one of its best benefits is the ability to store and organize all of your digital research at your fingertips as you write your manuscript.
- Synonyms for the 96 Most Commonly Used Words in English: I stumbled across this list recently, and it was too good to keep to myself. You’ll find synonyms for words like begin, cry, fast, good, interesting, move, place, say/tell, think, and more.
- Write or Die: This is a productivity tool. You set the duration of your writing session, your desired word count, and how you wish to be rewarded when you reach milestones on your way to your goal, and also your chastisement should your fingers become idle for too long on the keyboard. Rewards and punishments take the form of pictures or sounds. A reward might be the purring of a kitten or a picture of puppies. A punishment could be the screen turning red and a loud, obnoxious noise or a picture of a grumpy cat. You can set different modes. In Kamikaze mode, if you pause for too long, your words will begin to un-write themselves. Use this tool, if you dare, to help increase your writing productivity.
Have you tried any of these writing resources? Do you know of one I haven’t mentioned that has helped you write better faster?