Here to Create

We are here to create not merely survive.

102 Resources for Fiction Writing

on November 1, 2007

UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections.

Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software.  Too many links? Pick a few at random and bookmark the rest for later.


10 Days of Character Building

Name Generators

Name Playground

The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test

Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting)

How to Create a Character

Seven Common Character Types

Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters

It’s Not What They Say . . .

Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character”

How to Start Writing in the Third Person

Web Resources for Developing Characters

What are the Sixteen Master Archetypes?

Character: A compilation of guidance from classical and contemporary experts on creating great dramatic characters

Building Fictional Characters

Fiction Writer’s Character Chart

Character Building Workshop

Tips for Characterization

Fiction Writer’s Character Chart

Villains are People, Too, But . . .

Top 10 Tips for Writing Dialogue

Speaking of Dialogue

Dialogue Tips

Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills (character traits)

How to Write a Character Bible

Character Development Exercises

All Your Characters Sounds the Same — And They’re Not a Hivemind!

Medieval Names Archive

Sympathy Without Saintliness

Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Difference for Successful Fiction

Family Echo (family tree website)

Interviewing Characters: Follow the Energy

100 Character Development Questions for Writers

Behind the Name

Lineage Chart Layout Generator


How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method

Effectively Outlining Your Plot

Conflict and Character within Story Structure

Outlining Your Plot

Ideas, Plots & Using the Premise Sheets

How to Write a Novel

Creating Conflict and Sustaining Suspense

Plunge Right In . . . Into Your Story, That Is!

Fiction Writing Tips: Story Grid

Tips for Creating a Compelling Plot

Writer’s “Cheat Sheets”

The Thirty-six (plus one) Dramatic Situations

The Evil Overlord Devises a Plot: Excerpt from Stupid Plotting Tricks

Conflict Test

What is Conflict?


The Hero’s Journey: Summary of the Steps

Outline Your Novel in Thirty Minutes

Plotting Without Fears

Novel Outlining 101

Writing the Perfect Scene

Fight Scenes 101

Basic Plots in Literature

One-Page Plotting

The Great Swampy Middle


Magical World Builder’s Guide

I Love the End of the World

World Building 101

The Art of Description: Eight Tips to Help You Bring Your Settings to Life

Creating the Perfect Setting – Part I

Creating a Believable World

An Impatient Writer’s Approach to Worldbuilding

Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions


Character and Setting Interactions

Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds

Creating Fantasy Worlds

Questions About Worldbuilding

Maps Workshop — Developing the Fictional World Through Mapping

World Builder Projects


Quick Story Idea Generator

Solve Your Problems Simply by Saying Them Out Loud

Busting Your Writing Rut

Writing Inspiration, or Sex on a Bicycle

Creative Acceleration: 11 Tips to Engineer a Productive Flow

The Seven Major Beginner Mistakes

Complete Your First Book with these 9 Simple Writing Habits

Free Association, Active Imagination, Twilight Imaging

Random Book Title Generator

Finishing Your Novel

Story Starters and Idea Generators


How to Rewrite

One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle

Editing Recipe

Cliche Finder

Revising Your Novel: Read What You’ve Written

Writing 101: So You Want to Write a Novel Part 3: Revising a Novel


My Writing Nook (online text editor; free) (online mind map application; free)

Freemind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)

XMind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)

Liquid Story Binder (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $45.95; Windows, portable)

Scrivener (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $39.95; Mac)

SuperNotecard (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $29; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)

yWriter (novel organization and writing software; free; Windows, Linux, portable)

JDarkRoom (minimalist text editor; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)

AutoRealm (map creation software; free; Windows, Linux with Wine)

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