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(This page last updated: 10 May, 2013)
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For Writers - References & Resources
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On-Demand Publishing

A technology which takes a sort of middle ground between traditional book publishing and purely electronic forms such as web publishing and e-books. It has many advantages for the writer, including larger royalties and the retention of rights, so I will definitely be keeping an eye on this during the next few years.

Books and Tales - An Incomplete Guide to Print on Demand

Technical (Grammar, Style, etc.)

Let's face it, even experienced writers have questions, or need a nudge in the right direction every now and then...

The Free Dictionary - My current preferred online dictionary and thesaurus. I used and for a while, but then they "upgraded" and broke most of the features I really liked. rolling eyes emoticon So I went out and found this one instead, which I think is actually more comprehensive and useful in a lot of cases anyway.

Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style - A thoroughly useful and accessible resource on the subject of grammar, word usage, and various stylistic issues.

Common Errors In English - Pretty self-explanatory; this is the place to go when you can't remember under what circumstances to use an apostrophe in "its," or how exactly hyphenation is supposed to be done.

Articles about Writing & Publishing at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America site

"How to Write" by Robert J. Sawyer - A friendly and comprehensive writing guide, with attention given to the peculiar issues faced by authors of speculative fiction. Also includes information about the process of traditional publishing and tips for writing cover letters, outlines & synopses, etc.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing - Another speculative fiction writing guide

Sexual Tension - A very good essay on what it is and how to make effective use of it in a story. It's geared toward romance writers but would (IMO) be a useful read no matter what genre you work in. (NOTE: The site this article was originally hosted on seems to have deleted it, but the Internet Wayback Machine has an archived copy from 2010 still available, so I've changed the above link to point to that instead. I'd strongly suggest saving the text to your own computer if you think this might be something you'll want to reference often, though!)

Science, History & Culture

These are sites that I have found useful for various aspects of worldbuilding. - Say what you like about this place, I think it can still be quite useful, even if only as a starting point for further research. I go here when I need a general reference, or an overarching introduction to a subject I'm unfamiliar with.

Animal Diversity Web at the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology site

Athena Review - Lots and lots of info on ancient cultures and current archaeology; check out their "Archaeology on the Internet" page for links to other sites


These are sites where the information might not be based in actual science, as such, but are still useful to the writer of speculative fiction.

The Pagan Library - Need information on all the myriad varieties of paganism, or a jumping-off point for a ritual or rite of passage in a created universe? You can probably find some good ideas here.

WinterHome - A nice site with information on some of the trappings of witchcraft. I find the listing of powers attributed to different types of stones and crystals particularly useful.

Behind the Name: First Names and Behind the Name: Surnames - Need a character name that means something specific? You can find loads of great info on the subject here.

Dream Moods - Not as good as the now-vanished Soul Future online dream dictionary, but still a useful guide to dream imagery and symbolism.

Astrology Zone - Whether you believe in the subject or not, the personality profiles here are very interesting and could be a useful resource for character development.

Constructed Languages

Most people who write speculative fiction will have to deal with a constructed language sooner or later; here are some sites that you may find useful in that regard.

Language Construction 101 - A short and sweet guide to making up a language.

The Language Construction Kit - Lots of info here; beginners may want to brush up on linguistics terms before diving in, which can be done at the next site listed...

Glossary of Grammatical Terms

SF Xenolinguistics - A page with the science fiction author in mind, but not for the humor-challenged

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