Sometimes you need a break from Microsoft Word (or WordPerfect, Scrivener, whatever). These links will provide you with information and resources that will hopefully break your latest bout of writer’s block and help you start producing top-notch prose and poetry again.
TV Tropes is the premier site for every genre trope and convention you could think to imagine. Each entry has an easy to understand description of the trope and a list of examples that employ said convention garnered from literature, films, television, anime, video games. The wiki-style site is a useful tool for writers that want to learn the conventions of various genres (such as speculative fiction, action, comedy, drama, horror, etc) to adapt, remold, or avoid in their own writing but it also happens to be incredibly entertaining and worth a scroll session or two…or three.
This archive features online text interviews with writers of the latter half of the 20th and early 21st. From 1950 to the current decade, read interviews with Ursula LeGuin, Jonathan Franzen, Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, and Jack Kerouac to name just a few.
Simply Scripts hosts free-to-read scrips from current and classic movies, television shows, musicals, and plays. In addition, the site also features a section where you can read film treatments and a store where you can buy bound editions of certain scripts. Simply Scripts is a useful resource for up-and-coming screenwriters who want to see how their favorite works were written prior to appearing on the silver screen but also supplies fiction writers with a tool for improving their dialogue.
Diabolical Plots is a non-fiction fanzine focused on speculative fiction. Their non-fiction pieces take the form of “reviews, interviews, Best of lists, how-to articles on the subject of writing, and editorials.” Their non-fiction pieces stretch across multiple mediums including books, movies, anime, and video games. More recently, Diabolical Plots have opened their doors to original science fiction and fantasy.
In 2012, the submission tracker site, “Duotrope” announced it would begin charging for the use of it’s service. “This left a void for those who were either unwilling or unable to pay for submission tracking and market search. We aim to fill that void.” Thanks to the good people at Diabolical Plots, there’s no reason those without the cash can’t enjoy the same luxuries Duotrope provided. The Grinder leans heavily toward genre (which is no surprise, considering it’s founding organization) but there’s evidence those submitting to realist-based magazines also input information.
Every writer strives for originality but even the best sometimes find themselves falling into familiar territory. The online speculative magazine, Strange Horizons, has compiled this list of cliched plots and concepts on their submission page. I’m positive if their magazine are tired to seeing these patterns pop up in their slush piles, most magazines feel the same way. Definitely worth skimming.