It’s time again for leads to some online tools and resources for authors. Remember, as an author, you want to—painstakingly—do your research, verify your facts, get your characters, professions, names, settings and language right for the periods you are writing about. You also want to use tools that save time, effort and cost.
Having said that, let’s get down to it.
Handling obese emails
Do you find it a pain in the neck sending bulky files as attachments to your emails—like maybe an ARC to your cousin or a draft to your editor or proofreader? All email services have severe size restrictions on how much stuff you can send in an email.
So use wetransfer.com. The free version allows you to send emails of up to 2 GB.
Let’s get that in perspective. The average email service (Yahoo, Gmail) allow you up to 25 MB per message. Wetransfer allows you upto 2,048 MB per message on its free version. Wetransfer also has a paid version that allows you to send messages of up to a mindboggling 10 GB (10,240 MB). The paid version offers perks like password protection and long-term storage. You’ll probably not need it.
The truth, the whole historical truth and nothing but…
History.com is associated with the History TV channel. As the site blurb (“Historical information ranging from Great Speeches (in audio) to facts about This Day in History”) suggests, it is full of historical information.
Under “This Day in History”, I found that on September 19, 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to officially grant voting rights to women. I did not know this fact, probably because I was not around in 1893.
Three cheers for the Kiwis.
A reference site about reference sites
This is an excellent resource on online tools and resources. The blurb for the site refdesk.com says, “Since 1995, Refdeskis a free and family-friendly web site that indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current web-based resources”.
The options (“Daily Diversions”, “Facts-At-A-Glance”, “Just for Fun”, just to name three) make up a whole library. While rummaging, I reached the site Daily Writing Tips, where under “Ten words that don’t mean what you may think they do”, I found this:
Disinterested: Commonly employed to mean “not interested,” disinterested has a precise, useful meaning of “neutral, unbiased.”
I plead guilty to common employment of the word disinterested, and will mend my ways.
You can get burried here
Here is a small part of what burryman.com offers visitors:
The site blurb says “freelance job links, resources for playwrights, screenwriters, fiction and nonfiction writers, working professionals and dedicated beginners with particular support for writing about Scotland.”
No idea why Scotland; the site promoters are possibly Scottish. There is no doubt this site has a ton of information for authors.
Terminate with extreme prejudice
Want to terminate your accounts with some sites, but don’t know how because nothing on the site tells you how you can do that? I suspect it is a deliberate ploy used to ensure members don’t quit, even if they become inactive. That way, the membership statistics stay healthy.
Anyway. You can find one solution in accountkiller.com. The blurb says, “Do you care about your personal data? We provide instructions to remove your account or public profile on most popular websites, including Skype, Facebook, Windows Live, Hotmail/ Live, Twitter, MSN/ Messenger, Google and many more. Want to create an account somewhere? Check our Blacklist first to see if it’s even possible to remove your profile!”
That pretty much tells you what you need to know, I think.
Sorry, you are probably sick of image sites, but I thought you might as well get to know the site from which I derive almost all the images I use on my posts: compfight.com.
The site blurb says, “Compfight is an image search engine tailored to efficiently locate images for blogs, comps, inspiration, and research. We make good use of the flickr™ API, but aren’t affiliated with flickr.”
Somehow, I always seem to find what I want on this site. Maybe you can try it out, too.
The grand finale
One of the more interesting online tools for authors. The Guide to Grammar and Writing is an astonishing site. It is a kind of grammarpedia with pretty much everything you may want to know by way of grammar, punctuation and other language usage rules. I have just started dabbling in it, and I suspect I am going to be doing so on and off for a long time.
I like the first two lines of the page “A Brief Caveat” on this site. See if you can find the rest of it.
To the Users of this Web Site:
The Guide to Grammar and Writing (including the “Principles of Composition”) is meant to provide some suggestions about writing in a convenient, hyperlinked format. Be warned, however, that following all these suggestions and rules about grammar and scoring 100% on all the quizzes will not guarantee good writing.
In other words, a rigid adherence to writing a book by the book may not always be the best way to do it.
Well, that wraps up this post on online tools. Anything you would like to add, we would like to know. The comment section awaits below.