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Mixed Tape of Weblinks: 1 Nov. – Writing Guides

We write to communicate. I’m not the bestest writer so any tips or suggestions I find that I may use to make writing easier and more effective – the better.

Here are a few links I’ve recently discovered (many using, StumbleUpon). StumbleUpon let’s you ‘channel surf’ the internet for topics interesting to you. BBC World explains StumbelUpon as:

“StumbleUpon is a brilliant downloadable toolbar that beds into your browser and gives you the chance to surf through thousands of excellent pages that have been stumbled upon by other web-users”

Writing Resources

  1. OneLook – OneLook is one of my favorite sites when I’m struggling with just the right word or phrase. Enter a word and you get results from nearly 100 dictionary sites… from traditional dictionary and thesaurus to word origin and rhyming dictionary. Awesome. There is even a Reverse Dictionary if you know the concept you’re looking for but not the word.

  2. Fifty Tools Which Can Help You in Writing – on the LifeHack.org site, I guarantee you’d find one or more of these helpful.
  3. Phrase Thesaurus – Steve Martin (the comedian) once said, “Some people have a way with words, others… not have way.” If you want to ‘have way’ it may be worth the £28/$51 annual subscription… Using their ‘free sample’ search… I used the words “stupid” and “money” and these are the phrases it returned for me…
      Penny wise, pound foolish

    • More money than sense
    • It’s the economy stupid
    • Fool and his money are soon parted
    • A fool and his money are soon parted
  1. Writing Hacks: Getting Started – If you’re having trouble getting started writing or having writer’s block, read this recent article by Scott Berkun. You’ll find Scott’s ideas and his writing style interesting. You may also want to check out Scott’s blog.

  2. Style Guide – If you want to ensure consistency in a publication, whether it be a newspaper, magazine, multi-authored blog, or just as an individual writer a style guide is essential. This is the on-line version of the style guide developed and used at the Economist. (Interesting to check out the section called “Americanisms” – so many words in the American vocabulary that I didn’t even know may not have international context!) You can also purchase the printed/bound version on-line.
  3. HTML Related – if you spend more than 5-minutes a week messing with HTML codes… perhaps trying to get tricky on your website within your blog posts… I highly recommend visiting the VisiBone website. They have all sorts of reference guides for web design. I use the Web Designer’s HTML card, a 4-page laminated card the helps me know what code to make this list be numbered instead of bullets, make this type red, strike this out or how to display these funky characters… ♠ ℑ and ‰.

Update

I nearly forgot one of my all time favorite word helpers… the Visual Thesaurus… It basically offers word search in the form of an idea map. Here’s a search for the word “imagination.”

Visual Thesaurus

When you click the a word that branches off of the original word, you begin to explore THAT word… VERY cool!

What sites have you found helpful? Add your comments!

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  1. seasarahwrite
    seasarahwriteNovember 1,06

    lovely, paul. thanks! and you write well, don’t put yourself down on your blog. it’s unbecoming;) as a writer, i’m constantly struggling with the right word for the right situation. i use visual thesaurus (.com) daily, i also found this new website that has come in useful a few time, but cool nevertheless: http://thevisualdictionary.net/recent/

  2. jurgen wolff
    jurgen wolffNovember 1,06

    Those are great, especially the floating aspect of the visual thesaurus. I find that writing sites often take themselves very seriously, so i’ve created a little cartoon gallery at http://www.timetowrite.com which is geared just to writers.

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