Today’s post is about a half dozen websites for writers that I discovered this week. I do not endorse any of the websites. I’m merely sharing the sites with those of you who are writers and, in some cases, commenting on my first impressions of the sites.
Online-Utility.org is a free online tool. It measures readability and calculates the grade level at which one could read your text with ease. It also instantaneously lists every sentence in your text that “it” suggests you “rewrite to improve readability.” I was stunned at the number of sentences this tool listed that needed my attention in the first 100 pages of my novel manuscript; however, the website description admits that “In general, these tests penalize writers for polysyllabic words and long, complex sentences.” After quickly perusing the Online-Utility.org list of my sentences that needed attention, I concluded that the great majority of my words had more than one syllable and I am guilty of writing a complex sentence on occasion. I am attempting to write fiction for adults. I concluded that this free online tool better serves someone who is writing for young children or new readers of the English language.
I also happened upon thewritingpractice. The site has articles about the craft of writing. I will definitely visit that website again.
Writers’ Village University
Another website is that of Writer’s Village University. This site offers college-level classes for its members. I have found few reviews of this site on objective websites but many posts from people asking if anyone has used it. The Writer’s Village University website lists numerous glowing remarks from students, but I find it suspect that there is not one single mediocre or negative review. The writing groups aspect of the website might be its best member benefit. The sites lacks sufficient course descriptions for me to join with confidence. I welcome feedback from any current or former members of the website.
inkandquills.com and The Spanish Coin
As energy allows, I continue to edit my historical novel manuscript I’m calling The Spanish Coin. I was up to chapter 16 of 20 putting my characters’ thoughts in italics when a couple of days ago I read Kaitlin Hillerich’s article titled “How to Write Your Character’s Thoughts” on inkandquills.com. Ms. Hillerich says putting thoughts in italics or using speech tags creates “a barrier between the character and the reader.” She sees thoughts in italics as an interruption by the writer. Ms. Hillerich recommends that the writer lets the character convey his or his thoughts with their own voice. In other words, you can stay in third person point of view but write so it seems like the character is the narrator. This approach makes sense to me, so I will start once more on the first page of my novel’s manuscript, remove the thoughts in italics, and try to accomplish what Ms. Hillerich recommends. I hope my next step after that will be getting a professional to critique my 95,852-word manuscript. If I keep reading “how to write” articles and blogs, I’ll never get The Spanish Coin published. I think I sub-consciously procrastinate because I dread getting umpteen rejection letters from literary agents.
One website leads to another when I get online. I often start out on Pinterest.com and find many websites about writing. I do not read paranormal fiction, but I recently discovered the jamigold.com website about paranormal writing. I was pleasantly surprised to find a plethora of helpful blog posts there for any writer. Some posts are about self-publishing. There is a new blog series about planning your newsletter. There are posts about how to keep readers and types of extra content you might want to consider including on your website.
Janice Hardy’s Fiction University
The Jami Gold website led me to blog.janicehardy.com — Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. The site contains more than 1,000 articles about writing. Whew! I don’t know where to begin.
No wonder I haven’t finished editing my novel. I spend too much time reading about writing and not enough time writing. And did I mention I’m a procrastinator?
Feel free to tweet about my blog, pin my posts on one of your Pinterest boards, and tell your friends to visit my blog and my website, janetmorrisonbooks.com. Until my next post, I wish you a good book to read and productive writing time for those of you who are writers.