Writing Resources Every Creative Writer Needs (and All for Free!)

red rose flowers bouquet on white surface beside spring book with click pen and cup of cofffee

After writing for quite nearly my entire literate life and getting a creative writing degree, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the sites and blogs that I’ve found most useful! Check it out and see how these writing resources will make your writing so much easier.

Character Creation Tools

An Insanely Detailed Character Creation Sheet: use this page to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your character and more. It never fails to make me consider something about them I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

A Character Avatar Creator: if you know what your character looks like and want a visual of them for notes/cork boards/Google Docs, this site will let you personalize them almost as much as a Sims game. It’s a game-changing writing resource.

Pinterest: if you don’t know what your character looks like and need inspiration, search for pictures of people who inspire you. Definitely have done this more often than not because I can never seem to pin down (pun intended) my character’s exact appearance. Really helps with things you might forget while writing, like the shape of their eyebrows, how their hair lays or even how they stand.

Unsplash: this is another great writing resource where you can find pictures of people for character inspiration. It also has tons of landscape images and the most random things you could think of. Type whatever you want in the search bar and have fun scrolling.

Map Creation Tools

Inkarnate: it’s meant for fantasy worlds but I’ve used it for my historical fiction novels! Super customizable even without paying for it. It also saves your work in the free version, which has saved me when I forgot to upload copies to where I keep all my story stuff.

Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator: if Inkarnate is a bit intimidating (it was for me at first), this site might be your new best friend. Azgaar’s FMG will generate a colorful, cute map that you can personalize as much or as little as you want. There’s even an option to split up regions by religion if that applies to your story.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Choice Tools

The Punctuation Guide: have any questions about where to put that semicolon or when to use italics? The Punctuation Guide is literally used by English teachers because it’s that accurate. Check your work or put as many commas in that manuscript as your heart tells you to anyway. I’ve done both!

Grammarly: this is another invaluable writing resource when you want to check your grammar, especially if you use the extensions built for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It automatically checks your basic grammar, spelling, and readability while you type in Google Docs or another browser-based text document. Note that it isn’t foolproof and sometimes will suggest things that don’t make sense. Use your best judgment when it highlights things!

Word Hippo: do you feel like you’ve used one word too often in your story? I use Word Hippo daily for both my creative and professional writing to avoid repetition. When I can’t think of a synonym or antonym on my own, it has a billion suggestions for adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. It can even help you find words that rhyme! Make your character a poet. Nothing can stop you.

Natural Reader (Text to Speech): it’s always easier to catch minor line errors when you read something out loud, but if you don’t feel like doing that, this site will read your story for you. There are multiple voices to choose from, so have fun listening to your hard-won stories while you edit.

Best Writing Sounds

Some of my my beloved, longtime writing resources are Youtube videos that feature background noise. Experiment with the various types to see which works best for your brain.

Background Noise—Coffee Shop: I always lose myself in stories when I have this video playing in the background. It’s like I’m in a coffee shop or cozy restaurant booth, but without spending money.

Background Noise—Tavern Fireplace: same vibes as a coffee shop, but with a fireplace crackling.

Background Noise—Rain Shower: listen to rain patter against your window with some thunder in the background.

Background Noise—Cozy Fireplace and Rain Shower: combine your favorite sounds in this extra-long video of a wood-burning fireplace and a distant rain shower. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to hear extra loud thunder.

Background Noise—Forest Sounds: is your story taking place outdoors? These sounds will make you feel like you’re in the woods with your characters.

Background Noise—Blizzard Sounds: constant blizzard winds may easily make you feel removed from the world so you can focus on your work.

Background Noise—Interior Plane Cabin (White Noise): the pleasant hum of a plane cabin is what I often write to because it basically hypnotizes me into focusing. There are no loud take-off, landing, or passenger sounds either.

Background Noise—Lo-Fi: when I’m not sure what I want to write to, I use this playlist. It has the perfect low-key beats for writing less-intense scenes or working on plot, characters, mapping, etc.

Daily Creative Writing Prompts

Daily-Prompts: this tumblr provides quick prompts that are easy to spin into stories. They’re great for beginners or pros looking to flex their creative skills.

Creative Prompts for Writing: you’ll find submitted prompt requests from other blogs on this inspirational tumblr. There are often multiple prompt ideas posted in response to single requests, so it’s an extra helpful resource if you’re having writer’s block.

Story a Day: this blog posts prompts that not only change up the story content, but how you’ll write each prompt. Suggestions include practicing switching points of view, jumping genres, and breaking narrative rules. Stretch your brain in new ways and your writing abilities will grow.

Try These Creative Writing Resources for Yourself

Let me know if you try any of these resources and if they help your writing process! I’ve found great success with them and hope you do too. I’d also love to hear if you have resources you love that weren’t mentioned in my post! Head over to my contact page and reach out or leave a comment below.

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