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Resource Useful Tools and Resources for Writers | Come in and add your own! | Index updated 27 Dec 2017

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Chyntuck, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    This is a thread to share with your fellow fanficcers the dictionaries, encyclopaedias, Star Wars-related websites, articles about writing, word count tools, etc. that you find useful in writing.

    This thread is about tools and resources. Your nitty-gritty questions about writing and the GFFA belong in the Writer's Desk and your elements of fanon and world-building belong in the Fanon Thread.

    Just post here when you run into something interesting, and I'll add it to the list.

    Alternatively, if you are looking for a resource on a particular topic, ask your question here and hopefully another user will have an answer.

    The original list was compiled from the threads below (yes, there's a lot of useful stuff when you go digging in the depths of the forums!) I didn't keep track of who recommended what, unless it was a resource created by the user him/herself.

  2. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014

    General reference websites
    Star Wars Databank (official)
    The Completely Unofficial SW Encyclopaedia (TFN)
    Star Wars Technical Commentaries (TFN)
    Timetales Chronology (TFN)
    Ultimate timeline (TFN)
    Wookieepedia (fan-made)
    Star Wars Timeline Gold (fan-made)
    Flags of the Galaxy (fan-made)
    Characters' ages at the time of each SW film (fan-made)

    Technical issues
    SW Combine’s Nav Computer – to calculate hyperspace travel times (fan-made)
    Table of hyperspace travel times (fan-made)
    Star Wars Atlas (fan-made)
    SW date converter
    New Canon map of the Galaxy
    Legends map of the Galaxy and list of planet and sectors (official)
    Interactive map of the Galaxy (fan-made)

    Star Wars language(s)
    The Complete Wermo’s Guide to Huttese and other Star Wars languages (fan-made)
    Star Wars Swear Words (fan-made)
    "Don't you call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease!" - Namecalling in the GFFA (2006 thread in resource)
    Swear Words in Star Wars (2002-2006 thread in resource)
    The Coruscant Translator (fan-made, translates to and from 13 GFFA languages)

    Writing the GFFA
    The Parthenon I (backup on the Wayback Machine) and The Parthenon II (backup on the Wayback Machine) -- two archived threads (2005-2010) to discuss writing the Star Wars universe.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    Master_Lok , Gamiel, Exeter and 2 others like this.
  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014

    General issues

    The Elements of Style
    How to Write Almost Readable fan fiction
    Critters Workshop
    NaNoWriMo Preparation Tools -- a list of 100+ writing tools for just anything you can think about.
    Writers' Forum (available as a print magazine in the UK)
    Writing Magazine (available as a print magazine in the UK)
    How to read a book in a week
    Brain Pickings -- "An inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more."
    The Turkey City Lexicon -- a list of shorthand terms for criticism of writing
    Fantasy name generator -- can generate names for characters, places, descriptors, etc etc.
    Write Invisible – Type up to 500 words without seeing what you typed to overcome the obsessive editor in you.


    Sources for names: Behind The Name -- Baby Name Wizard -- The Fantasy Name Generator -- Star Wars Random Name Generator -- 20,000 Names -- Fantasy name generator
    Family Echo - an easy way to build a family tree.
    Tips for writing characters of colour: Describing skin tone part 1 -- Describing skin tone part 2 -- Tropes & stereotypes


    Random Title Generator (can also be used for prompts)
    Title Generator
    Title Capitalization


    The Seventh Sanctum
    Plot Outline in 8 Steps
    yWriter – a free software which lets you organise scenes, chapters, characters, etc.
    Plot Complications worksheet


    The Atomic Rocket -- mainly intended for science fiction authors who wanted a little scientific accuracy so they can write SF "the way God and Heinlein intended"
    RPG creatures
    Speculative evolution -- A wiki collecting published speculations about future animals and such.
    Empire generator -- specific to a particular game, but can be adapted for any empire.
    City Generator -- from Warhammer community
    Gravitational Zoology: How Animals Use and Cope with Gravity

    Dictionaries and
    Power Thesaurus

    Vocabulary, word lists

    Writing Vocabulary Builder-upper (2006-2007 thread in Fanfic Resource)
    A Substitute for Brandy - Breaking the colour cliché (2003-2006 thread in resource, includes discussion and external links)
    Glossary of architectural terms
    Animal collective nouns
    Aviator slang

    Grammar & syntax

    Common Errors in English
    Grammar/Spelling test
    The JCF Grammar Hotline (2001-2007 thread in Fanfic Resource)

    Formatting tools

    calibre - free e-book management software that allows you to convert your fics into e-books

    Word count tools

    Word Counter & Text Analyzer -- a tool that will not only give you a word count for your text, but also track repetitions of words, sentence structure, etc.
    The Word Count Tool offers an add-on for Firefox users.
    Iverna’s word count trackers (downloadable monthly or yearly spreadsheets)
    Iverna’s word count meter

    Plagiarism & Legal issues pertaining to fan fiction

    Copyright 101: A Brief Introduction To Copyright For Fan Fiction Authors
    Unplag -- a useful tool to detect instances of plagiarism

    Writing advice from professional authors

    Stop Reading and Start Writing
    On Thud and Blunder
    Brandon Sanderson Lectures on Creative Writing


    Bartlett’s book of quotations
    Conversion Tables
    Fan Audio Made Easy
    Airtable -- a general organisation spreadsheet tool that can be used for organising your own fics or fics you're reading
    How to Invest in Yourself -- self-motivation tips by Jon Westenberg, including issues pertaining to writing
    Noisli -- a website to create the background noise that helps you focus
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002

    The Wermo guide still exists!!! I thought it had long gone. Used to use that, years ago.
    Chyntuck and Admiral Volshe like this.
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    The page on almost readable fan fiction is completely unreadable. I enlarged it to 175%, but the painful colour combination remained. Great job, whoever made it.
    Admiral Volshe and jcgoble3 like this.
  6. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 SFTC Bonanza Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Nov 7, 2010
    MY EYES!
    Admiral Volshe and Ewok Poet like this.
  7. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    I don't know how you would put it in the list since it's a bunch of things, but over on the NaNo forums someone posted a link to a huge writer's resource page that has over 100 links to helpful things for writers. (Sections on outlining, plot, character and world building, etc. Some of the links there are already on this list.)

    It's called NaNoWriMo Prep Tools, but the vast majority of them are writing based and really have nothing to do with NaNo specifically.
    Master_Lok , Exeter, Chyntuck and 3 others like this.
  8. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 2, 2005
    About ten years ago we had a pretty awesome thread in FanFic called The Parthenon that was specifically for deep discussion on writing in the Star Wars universe (sort of like what goes on in the Lit forum, but for writers instead of readers). Most of it's probably unreadable due to truncation, but there might still be some interesting stuff in there:

    The Parthenon
    The Parthenon II
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    You clearly meant "lovers and enthusiasts" instead of "haters and people who are entitled". :p
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I tracked down the (partial) backup of the two Parthenon threads on the Wayback Machine and included them in the index too.

    Oh, and I need to meet the hosts of the second thread. People who chose Pericles_and_Phidias as a sock name are definitely worth meeting :p
  11. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 2, 2005
    Awesome! Now I can take my own advice and reread the entire threads.

    You'd like them. TKeira_Lea was very involved in Fanfic's day-to-day for years and eventually became one of our success stories here by getting published and moving on up in the world. Art_Of_War was a chip off the ol' Cormac McCarthy block (my irritation at his lack of capitalization and punctuation was only matched by my envy of his descriptive skills [face_frustrated]) and a pure pro when it came to desert-dry sarcasm.

    Maybe we'll see them again after TFA hits!
    Ewok Poet and Chyntuck like this.
  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Been meaning to post this for a few days, but

    Family Echo is a super fast, easy, simple way to make a family tree, either for yourself, or for your readers.
  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I added a couple of links about SW swear words, hyperspace travel times and creative writing lectures by Brandon Sanderson.
    Master_Lok , Snokers, Exeter and 2 others like this.
  14. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
  15. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    A link to a great little piece of free software that jcgoble3 mentioned in the social thread: calibre. It's an e-book management thingy and allows you to convert your fics into e-books with minimum effort.
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    There used to be a whole thread in Resource about colours (here). It includes a list of synonyms, a discussion and two very useful external links. I listed it under 'Grammar, syntax and vocabulary' above. Findswoman you may find an equivalent of nut brown somewhere in there :)
  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, I really like that—I'm a huge color fiend, so this is perfect for me. :cool: Thanks so much for sharing and adding to the list!

    (Though, oh my gosh, was "brandy-brown" really a thing? Tsk, tsk, tsk! I don't think I've ever seen brandy that was brown. Myers Dark Rum, maybe, but not brandy. :p )
  18. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Love the link with the colours. May permalink to it. Visiting for third time in one piece alone.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  19. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
  20. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Ewok Poet, Exeter, Sith-I-5 and 3 others like this.
  21. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Found this a while ago and it looks like it might be a great tool to combat that nagging feeling -- you know, the one that always says "I think I use certain words or phrases too much but can't pinpoint which ones." It basically goes through any text that you paste into it and analyzes for frequent words and phrases. Seems pretty useful! :)
    mavjade , Exeter, Ewok Poet and 3 others like this.
  22. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I've noticed that also adds up how many times I have used the more "popular" words in my text.

    Admiral Volshe , thank you , thank you, thank you, for the architectural terms thing. I really missed that vocabulary subset when I was doing my Lara Croft story!

    Chyntuck, Kahara and Admiral Volshe like this.
  23. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    I don't think this is already on this list, it's a free program calledGrammarly that claims it's the most accurate grammar checker. There is a paid version that does more, that looks really cool, I'm just not up for paying for it at the moment.

    I've only used it a very small amount, so I don't know how great it is, but so far it's at least been helpful in spotting silly mistakes that other processers haven't caught. I found it on a university website as a useful tool for writing papers, but I thought it could be helpful for writing fiction too.
    jcgoble3 and Chyntuck like this.
  24. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    There are two writing magazines here in the UK. I subscribe to both and have found them useful. They also run monthly writing competitions - some subscriber-only, some for everyone. Writers Forum is one and Writing Magazine is the other. I know WH Smiths (bookstore/newstand) sells copies of both magazines.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    This is essentially an article about long-term goals, but the author explains how he turned time-wasting into writing his novel and his organisation of long-term goals and proposed steps on how to improve oneself can be super-useful to us writers, too.

    Airtable is a spreadsheet tool which can be useful in tracking own fic, as well as others' (e.g. when running contents or bookmarking stuff to read and review later) and multiple people can edit the same spreadsheet.
    Findswoman likes this.