Resources for Writers

A blog by Shalon Sims about creative writing, literacy, education and psychology

The following resources are in my media library from some of my blog posts:

  • my personal writing style guide
  • my quick reference sheet on Writing Advanced Sentences (with some basic grammar rules that everyone needs!)
  • my favourite free mind-mapping tool: xmind.  Great for mapping out your complicated plot-lines and characters in an easy to visualise format
  • YWriter is a free novel-writing software that I haven’t tried myself becuase I use a mac, but it seems awesome and I wish I could try it.  It helps you organize your chapters, characters, notes, and plans for your book.
  • This post by Auston Kleon, How to Steal Like an Artist, is truly inspiring and I encourage anyone who is starting out, or who, for whatever reason, has lost some of their passion to read it and become inspired again!
  • is an online writing community that became famous for its sci-fi & fantasy critique group, but which has now branched out to help writers of all genres find the support they need to write their best book.  Also, see my blog post about this topic.
  • This site, the Writer’s Journey, has a great breakdown of Joseph Campbell’s concept of ‘the Hero’s Journey’, which talks about how stories are all basically mirroring the same archetypal processes that take place in each person’s life.  This concept is a crucial point for writers to understand, as employing archetypes and archetypal journeys properly will undoubtedly add amazing dimension to your characters and their experiences.
  • The Seven Basic Plots is a book about, you guessed it, the seven basic plots that reportedly make up the majority of story lines that exist.  The author gives a good argument to support his theory, and better than that, reviews many famous stories for their basic plots.
  • Living the Writer’s Life by Eric Maisel is a guide to overcoming the challenges that writers face, including motivation, speaking about your work to others, writing education, writers blocks and phobias, completing work, setting a writing practice and overcoming creative anxiety. I really found this book helpful and I like the conversational tone. Eric Maisel is an internationally known psychotherapist, writer and creativity consultant.