During the course of this Nonfiction Writing class I have found so many stellar writing sites and resources out on the web that at times I have felt overwhelm by the riches.
My very favorite is Daily Writing Tips. Though the site is wonderful, the true benefit comes when you sign up to receive Daily Writing Tips via email. Each day you will receive a well written, concise discussion of a topic such as two words that are often misused (“Blatantly” and “patently”) or word use (Is “into” after “invade” really necessary?) and many other writing tips. I do not usually sign up to receive daily emails from anywhere or anyone, but I find I look forward to the writing wisdom I receive from the Daily Writing Tips. An additional benefit of signing up for the emails is you receive a free download of a 34 page pdf on Basic Grammar which is quite good.
A new favorite is InkyGirl.com. It is the brainchild of Debbie Ridpath Ohi who is a writer, illustrator, and teacher. These cartoons are both by Debbie. (Do you think John would come in a close second to her Champion Line Editor?) I enjoy the sense of humor Debbie brings to the challenges all writers face. Debbie also appears to be an avid Twitterer (or is that a Twit?). She can be followed @inkyelbows.
My other new find is an annual list of the 101 Best Websites for Writers published by Writers Digest. To download the 2011 list you need to sign up for their e-newsletter. I did, and so far I have not been spammed by them so it looks to be a safe site. The listing of their top websites is a candy store of resources.
There is one site that did not make it onto the final 101 list that deserves a special mention. While not a nonfiction site, Brian Stokes Random Logline Generator is a lot of fun. A logline is similar to a nut graph. It is a distillation of a plot to one line. The site generates the plot and your exercise is to write the story. My two favorites from a recent foray are “Seven sexually-repressed fiddle players learn CPR.” and “An advertising executive and a team of astute CIA agents find a lost bumblebee in a dangerous alley.
It appears to me that we writers often take refuge in sharing our knowledge (and our trials, tribulations, and woes) on the web as an outlet and a diversion from the larger writing task that haunts us. How much more simple to write a blog post, or a couple of witty comments then to face the tyranny of the blank screen waiting for the next chapter of our book or the article with the looming deadline. Which explains why I have found all these great sites!