I must admit. I’m a speedy writer. Not to say I don’t work hard to get stories in by their deadline, research new markets and craft queries. I just don’t like wasting time. I want to get it done and move onto the part I love, the actual writing.
There are many sites made specifically to aid writers on their quest for information, resources, and education. Below are some of the best to help you save time and get writing.
Reference at Your Fingertips
Everyone knows that you need a good dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia and, of course, The Writer’s Market. But thumbing through these can waste huge masses of time. Besides, why buy these reference books when you can easily access them on the web? This saves time and money! Wordsmyth has a dictionary and thesaurus that are quick and easy to use. All you have to do is type your word into the box on the left-hand side of the screen. The site will give you the correct spelling, synonyms, definition, and a list of related words.
Merriam and Webster Online not only has a dictionary and thesaurus, but also Encyclopedia Britannica. This site also helps you with research related to the words you look up by providing helpful links.
Another great reference site is Writer’s Market.com. The digital version of this long time writer’s staple offers instant access to thousands of editors and agents just for $5.99 a month. This is a great time saver because it is constantly being updated. No more getting returned query letters because of address changes or business mergers.
Doing research is one of the biggest time eaters there is for writers. Going to the library can take up a whole day. And typing random terms into search engines can be just as time consuming. Finding several surefire research sites is the best way to maximize writing time. The key is to stay focused on your topic. Say you are looking for information on the best places to go salmon fishing. You find several great articles on salmon fishing, but a few pop up about salmon recipes. Even if you are tempted, don’t stray over to other topics that may pique you interest. Stay focused! It saves precious time that you need to write your story.
Profnet lets you ask technical questions of experts and look up previously answered questions on anything from Ancient Egypt to scuba diving. Game Press is another site that lets you connect with experts in the field of gaming.
Need really detailed information like statistics or government documents for your story? Don’t shlep to your local government agency. Turn to sites like Fedstats.gov or Firstgov.gov. Fedstats.gov that have statistical data, statistical profiles of states, counties, cities, congressional districts, and federal judicial districts, while Firstgov.gov has just about any other kind of information you could want related to government agencies and policies.
Do you want to have just one website bookmarked where you can find all the research help you could ever need? Refdesk.com is the ultimate online guide to internet research. The site includes links to expert advice, reference facilities, and news, as well as help and advice columns.
Saving time by using the internet is a great way to add more minuets to writing your story. Just remember to actually write.