Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fun Non-writing Sites Every Writer Should Know

As writers, we use many resources to help us in our quest to create perfect prose - support groups, forums, editing software, etc. Today, I'd like to highlight some of my favorite sites to use for character development, plot research, and the like that I think every writer should know. (OMG most boring intro ever! But I'm too tired to be creative and I don't want to skip this entry until I have time to write something better. So, yeah. Lame intro it is.)

Polyvore. Polyvore is great for people who like to create character boards or people who like to play with fashion or character clothes/setting (read: girls.) The site allows you to make your own style boards by pulling fashion elements, background designs, faces, etc. from around the Internet, and even uploading your own if you can't find what you're looking for. They have a great selection of stuff and the site is extremely user-friendly. I actually made a style board for my next project, but I left it on my other computer and I can't access that right now. Plus its kind of boring. So instead I'll show you two examples straight from the Polyvore site:


My summer
See how these images bring to mind two very different ladies? To use the style creator I'm talking about here, click on "Create a Look." To browse other style boards, click on "Explore."

Playlist. I personally can't listen to music while I'm actually writing, but I do think it's fun to create playlists that match the mood and theme of my novel. And that's where Playlist comes in. Although there are many other music sites, I think Playlist has a pretty good selection (because I can sometimes have obscure taste, and Playlist seems to usually have what I want...usually), and I like that it's all online - no download required, and it integrates easily with blogs and other social networks. Of course, when I find something I love or when it moves from my "experimental playlist" to my "official playlist," I take a cue from Maggie Steifvater and pay the 99 cents to download the song. Support the artists! But until then, Playlist works well for introducing me to new songs and artists, and helping me rearrange my list from anywhere. 

Picnik. Ever wanted to experiment with a book cover, graphic element in your novel, character face, or other image, but don't have the fancy photo editing software required? Look no further than Picnik, an online image editing site that's easy and free. It has a TON of features and makes complicated tasks like resizing, messing with the saturation, etc. super simple. I even used Picnik to make a super awesome lame banner for my 2009 NaNo project, which I'm still editing and trying to make awesome.

OK, so those are my non-writing sites you should know! What are your favorites? And come back on Thursday (because tomorrow is Book-Crush Wednesday!) for the writing sites everyone should know!


  1. Ummmmm. There goes all my incentive to write the rest of the night.

    *plays with fun new websites*

  2. That Picnik site looks like fun!!!

  3. I'm now officially distracted from paying work :)

  4. I can't listen to music while writing either! Well...I can have it on quietly in the background, but I can't have headphones on.


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