There are so many resources out there for writers. It makes it better and easier to craft stories nowadays. I’ve been asked this question often, so I thought I might compile a list of all the resources I can think of. Some I have used, while others were recommended to me. By the end of this post, you’ll have enough information to finally finish that story you’ve been meaning to get back to!
This is, without a doubt, the most recommended source of information. I look at certain fictional books if I want to know how an author has crafted their story. The writing structure, building up the climax, resolution and the development of characters. Non-fictional books are resourceful as well. Since they’ve been published, they’ve been checked for accurate information. If you’re gathering any information from books, keep records of where you’ve retrieved that information from. You never know if a publisher might ask where’d you get the information from.
2. TV Shows and Movies
My favorite visual source would have to be from TV shows and movies. What better way to depict a scene in your head than to visualize it on the big screen? If you’re alone, turn up the volume to receive the full experience. This way you’re not only in the story itself, but you somehow relate to the characters’ emotions and understand the smallest of things. Such as why did they include this soundtrack? How would a minor conflict between two characters impact the story so drastically? This is another reason I love going to the cinema, whether 2D, 3D or 4D.
When I was young, I’d run to the junior young adult and fiction sections of the library. As I grew older and wrote more, I gravitated toward the non-fiction isles. Similar to my first reason, the library will become your best friend. There’s information on absolutely anything and everything! Not too long ago I flicked through a book all about motorcycles and another one about gardening. There're references and glossary terms in the back if you’d like to know more.
If you’re looking for more personal stories that deal with a lot of emotion, look at personal experiences. It doesn’t have to be your experiences, but those around you. Surprisingly enough, if you’re out in public you’re bound to hear a conversation between other people. Consider not only the story, but how they tell it. How they’re feeling, how that experience made them feel, and if you’re lucky—take a quick glance to grasp their facial expression. All of this can contribute to your story. However, you might one to switch it up by either changing the names so that person doesn’t hunt you down once it’s published.
5. Pinterest Board
Another one I admire is Pinterest! You can never go wrong with dedicating an entire board to information. If you’re into infographics, quick posts and more, then Pinterest will be your best friend for information. Checkout my Pinterest board here where I have over a hundred pins saved. Do not be alarmed if you see random things—it’s research!
If I had all the time in the world, I’d spend it on Tumblr. There are so many blogs that provide writers with information, you’ll never be bored. There're lists upon lists of references they refer to. Some might even be qualified in the field you’re looking at. For example, I needed information on wounds and injuries, and a nurse on Tumblr spent her spare time writing and providing people with information. If you’re not familiar with Tumblr, don’t despair, it’ll take a while to get used to, but once you’ve navigated around the blogs, then you won’t be disappointed!
7. Reddit and Quora
These two platforms are a great resource if you’re looking for something specific and can’t find it over the internet. Reddit and Quora provides you the opportunity to ask people around the world specific questions. It is time-consuming to wait for an answer, but definitely worth a try, especially if you’re looking for outside input.
8. Other Websites
Listed below are a few websites that I use or discovered while researching other things. Some might provide descriptive language, specific information on a topic, how to write a specific scene, character building, writing opportunities, etc. They’re all free but some require signing up / subscription to access additional information.
- Writers Helping Writers
- Write That Scene
9. Museums and Sightseeing
Even though I haven’t tried this one, I realized that museums and coming across monuments as you sightsee are ways of obtaining research. They provide tons of information, especially when it’s about a certain time period, building, object, etc and majority of the time it’s right in front of you to adapt into your story!
10. Attending Events
Free events are the best whether or not they’re educational. There’s always something to learn, or some inspiration bound to come from it. Visit Eventbrite or your preferable app / website to book events and have a scroll through what’s going on in your area. You never know what might interest you.
Recently, I’ve really been into podcasts as they’re another way to learn something. It comes in handy as well when you’re on a long bus or train ride. There are multiple podcasts that cover writing, books, personal stories and certain topics. Some of my favorites are:
- A Writer’s Life with Dan Black
- TED Talks Daily
- So You Want To Be A Writer with Valarie Khoo & Allison Talt
12. Instagram and Twitter
These two are good to have if you want to interact with other writers. Reddit provides this as well, but I feel Instagram and Twitter are more personal. If you’re seeking guidance, someone to talk to or feedback, it’s good to build a relationship with other writers and support one another.
Well, there you have it, folks! All the writing resources you need to start that story you’ve been thinking about. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. If you’d like to be updated on future resources, follow my Pinterest board! All my information goes in there. Also, if I’ve missed anything that you use, mention them in the comments below!