Youve been wracking your brain for story ideas for hours. You have a host of half-baked ideas written in a notebook, but what you really want is someone to use as a soundboard for your ideas. You want to test the merit of your ideas, but youre probably isolated in your room, on a computer, with no one to turn to. So what can you do?
You probably already know the answer: go online! Writers looking for guidance and solidarity among their peers should find no shortage of resources in the vast writing communities that specialize in topics ranging from fan fiction to professional publishing. These online resources serve as community-based social and professional hubs where writers and players in the writing industry can vent their troubles, discuss technical and grammatical issues, and brainstorm for inspiration. Below are just four great resources for writers.
Inkpop is a dynamic writing community dedicated to authors of young adult fiction. Started by the infamous publishing house Harper Collins, Inkpop seeks to attract and unite newfound talent in young fiction. When you first log onto the site, youll notice a series of Top Pick fiction works featured for your perusal. Works get a Top Pick rating if they get enough positive feedback from the Inkpop community, who deem the book worth the time of a publisher. You yourself can edit posted works on Inkpop and contribute to the ongoing conversation about what makes quality young adult fiction.
- Book Country
For writers who love producing and reading genre fiction, Book Country Book Country is the place to be. The site functions as an open forum for writers of Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Mystery genres who can publish their work and review the work of their peers. Also, users on Book Country can browse entire works for free. Book Country isnt as concerned with selling its users works, its more focused on getting talented writers the exposure they deserve in a competitive literary atmosphere. Search for top users by the category or look at high contributors and peer reviewers. Book Country also has a space entirely dedicated to discussions about the writing industry, with a forum hosting topics from getting an agent to shopping your book to various publishers. In other words, Book Country is a writers resource.
- Writers Café
Writers Café , like Book Country, is caters to both serious and amateur writers. Hundreds of forum posts offer advice on topics ranging from character development to punctuation. New users will find forum members to be consistently helpful and substantive in their criticism and advice regarding writing. In addition to the sites extensive forum, users can peruse the posted works of other writers for inspiration or guidance. New users are encouraged to post their own work regardless of its completion so other writers can assess its strengths and weaknesses.
Goodreads is an online reading community geared towards writers looking for inspirational reading material or fellow bibliophiles with similar reading interests. Unlike other social networks geared towards reading and writing, the important part of a profile on Goodreads isnt in the personal information of the user, but in their book list. Every user in Goodreads lists and rates all the books theyve read in an effort to build up a reliable book-rating and recommending site that avid readers and writers can depend on. Users can further specify their reading tastes by listing books that interest them those that they intend to read. Use the comprehensive rating system to either search for books that might cater to your tastes or seek out reading groups of like-minded individuals. Goodreads connects similarly-read users, suggesting potential books, reading groups, and individual users based on your reading tastes. A writer searching for compatriots with whom to discuss the writings of authors from Herman Melville to John Grisham will find ample company on this site. For its wealth of book reviews and writers book groups, the site is as invaluable a resource for writers as it is for casual readers.
- Absolute Write
Writers of any background or speciality (freelance, fiction, songwriting, screenwriting, etc.) can seek out writing peers at Absolute Write. This online writing community houses a diverse group of writing professionals and enthusiasts who can yearn to address the writing issues of anyone who has a question on the subject. The sites extension forum caters not only to fiction writers, but to copywriters, freelances, and nonfiction writers as well. They even have threads dedicated to proper letter-writing and advice on how to craft attractive cover letters. For a thorough, friendly, and substantive writing community, you cant go wrong with Absolute Write.
Your turn! Do you participate in online writing communities? What would you add to this list?