Free Writing Resources Online

FreeSo you think you have to spend thousands of dollars on books and classes in order to learn how to write? Well, you probably will over the years, but there are also some great free resources you can use right now to either get yourself writing kick-started for the first or 400th time. Here’s a selection of some awesome free writing resources I’ve found:

Writer’s Digest Free Downloads: http://www.writersdigest.com/free

Including blogging to setting deadlines to plagiarism to grammar rules for novelists, there’s a lot of great information here, for FREE. Most of these are excerpts from Writer’s Digest books on writing, but they’ve got some excellent books on writing so jump right in!

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Classes: http://education-portal.com/articles/10_Universities_Offering_Free_Writing_Courses_Online.html

Note: A lot of these are geared towards academic writing, but there are some fiction courses here. Some of these are youtube videos of classes while others seem to be online classes. I haven’t tried any of these, but it looks pretty neat.  If you have done any of these courses, please let me know what you thought in the comments.

My only caveat for any and all classes is try out new techniques and approaches, but don’t take anything as gospel. Otherwise you end up like me when I first began writing, starting every fiction piece with a dead body on the floor because that’s how you hook the reader… One of my favorite writing professors often says (paraphrased), “There are no rules for writing. There only the rules you find for yourself, but every writer, once finding her rules will then cheerfully and from the best place work to hammer them into everyone as though they are ‘the rules.'”

10 Amazing Free Writing Courses: http://freelancefolder.com/10-amazing-free-online-writing-courses/

These are geared to the freelance writer, which you might be doing as you work on your great fiction opus, so it’s worth taking a look at.

And a grab-bag of daily writing prompts:

30 Sci-Fi Writing Prompts: http://www.justinmclachlan.com/684/sci-fi-writing-prompts/

 Creative Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers: http://www.writingforward.com/writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts-for-sci-fi-fantasy-lovers

 Daily Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Prompts: http://www.promptinspiration.com/category/writing-prompts/science-fictionfantasy/

 Writing Prompts That Don’t Suck: http://awesomewritingprompts.tumblr.com/

And here’s my personal favorite:

Nanowrimo: http://www.nanowrimo.org

I’ve been doing Nanowrimo almost every year (I took a year off in Japan) since I read Chris Baty’s Book “No Plot, No Problem” years ago (I don’t remember how many, but at least six). The best thing about Nanowrimo is you can do it any month of the year (though in November, you get the fun of doing it with a whole world of writers). Not only have I written four and a half novels through Nanowrimo, it has really given me a different relationship with my prose. I’m not so wedded to creating the perfect sentence or even chapter, but instead I understand that the book has to be finished before you can edit it. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if you’re in a rut, it’s a fun, high intensity way to kick yourself out of it. Most of Nanowrimo is volunteer organized with forums and local events in your area. I’ve met some wonderful friends all over the world doing Nanowrimo. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it, and all it costs is time and a clean house 🙂

So here’s some weapons for your arsenal! Check it out, put your butt in the chair and get that writing in gear!

Naima

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Let’s talk about GoT Baby – A Game of Thrones Link Grab Bag!

I’m not going to lie, I just got back home after almost two months of globetrotting and I’m as jetlagged as I can be, so we’re keeping this one short and incoherent.

Let’s talk about Game of Thrones!

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I’m one of the rare literary nerd types who hasn’t actually read the series in advance of the television show. This is because I made a deliberate decision when I was about 17 years old not to start a thousand page/book epic fantasy series until it was finished (for fear the author would lose interest or suddenly expire, leaving me on an endless cliffhanger…kind of harsh but there you are), and while I don’t always follow this rule, it has generally served me well. It’s also why I haven’t read Robert Jordan’s the Wheel of Time.

Since falling in love with the television show GoT though, I have started to read the books, taking care to read each book after the television series has covered what happened in it. (Hence, I’ll be reading book 3 after season 4). This is because nine times out of ten, you like the book more than the television series or movie, and the best way to enjoy both is to watch it first, then read. This is another personal rule that has served me well.

I am enjoying Game of Thrones: watching the show, playing catchup with the novels, looking at memes and catching up on all of the chatter about the show online. It’s with that background that I bring you some interesting perspectives from other well-rested bloggers that I have found online.There are spoilers through season 3 as well as for the books up to that point. You have been warned.

Ever ask yourself how female characters are handled in the GoT television series? Do you think Sansa Stark is wildly annoying or a tough girl in a bad situation? How about all of those whores? Here are some interesting links related to feminism and GoT:

In Defense of Sansa Stark: http://feministfiction.com/2012/05/10/in-defense-of-sansa-stark/ (and check out the rest of the articles about GoT on this site)

Just Because You Like it Doesn’t Make It Feminist: http://feministcurrent.com/7578/just-because-you-like-it-doesnt-make-it-feminist/

Do you get a bit squirmy when you see how POC are depicted (or not) in GoT? Some interesting articles on race and GoT.

Is Game of Thrones too White: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/01/is_game_of_thrones_too_white/

George R. R. Martin speaks on Race and GoT in Season 4: http://www.themarysue.com/grrm-thrones-race/

Game of Thrones HBO TV Show Has a Race Problem: http://www.policymic.com/articles/48275/game-of-thrones-tv-show-hbo-show-has-a-race-problem

Game of Thrones and the Disabled:

The Disabled Can Play Game of Thrones: http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2012/03/disabled-can-play-game-of-thrones.html

Pop Culture: Review of Tyrion Lannister: http://disabilitythinking.blogspot.com/2013/05/pop-culture-review-tyrion-lannister.html

And some humor:

Honest Trailer – Game of Thrones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVaD8rouJn0

So what do you think? Have any other links to share? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below.