Here are a few of my new favorite toys, procrastination tools, and helpful resources for writers (though not in that order) …
Seattle-based writer Angela Fountas runs Quoterly, a wonderful site that “hopes to inspire you to forget every rule you’ve ever learned about writing, because the writing process is bigger, and more mysterious, than any set of rules.” Visit often for new and inspiring quotes from writers’ interviews and readings.
And I love this new application, Omm Writer, which is meant to keep you from distraction while writing. It gives you a lovely page (see below) with a text box in the middle (not pictured), and you can choose from several different soothing melodies if you’d like some background music. Just looking at it makes me feel relaxed.
I enjoyed seeing Charles Dickens’ revisions to “A Christmas Carol” here (though how he read his own handwriting I have no idea). But it’s a nice reminder that every writer not only writes but rewrites, and a lot. Check out this NY Times blog for more on Dickens the editor.
For writers who tweet (or would like to), check out Jane Friedman’s post on Twitter Tips for Writers.
Speaking of social networking, try (for material as well as procrastination) Lamebook, in which — you guessed it — lame and often hilarious pictures, status updates, and other items are posted (anonymously, of course).
And finally, one thing I love about inventing new characters is exploring who they are and what makes them tick. I just discovered this site, which is designed to “explore your morality” and features tests that cover everything from personality to work ethic to vengeance. The site notes, “Many aspects of personality are related to morality. Many aspects of behavior are influenced by moral motives. And many conflicts and misunderstandings are driven by differences in morality” — and what better ways to explore a new character? Keep in mind that while the site is designed to help you explore these issues, the five social psychologists who created it hope to expand their research … so for the sake of scientific accuracy, you may want to avoid registering for ten different fictional characters and instead just use their questions as a guideline.