Even More Writing Resources and References: Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The differences between crime, mystery, and thrillers

Basic Analysis of a Fingerprint

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Lawlessness, Anarchy, and Power Vacuums

Almost Everything You Need to Write Crime/Mystery/Thriller

What it’s like to be a homicide detective

A Day in the Life of an FBI Special Agent

The life of a PI

How Stuff Works: Catching a Serial Killer

FBI Investigative Practices for Serial Murder

Serial Killers: A Homicide Detective’s Take

Even More Writing Resources and References: Steampunk

Who knew that the internet could be such a great resource for resources? (I knew. I knew that.)


If you write or read steampunk fiction and are not following this blog, you’re doing something wrong.

Quick Guide to Steampunk Gadgets and Technology

Steampunk Archetypes

Clockwork Couture (A shop of steampunk clothing, absolutely wonderful if you’re looking for drawing or description references)

Beyond Victoriana (multicultural steampunk)

Art of Swords

Free the Princess: A Practical Literary Guide to Steampunk and the Victorian Era

Helpful Resources for Writers

I’ve been away for a while, but there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation: I was kidnapped by mutant ninjas (not the cool turtle kind, either) and carted off to a secret laboratory where they wanted to put me through a series of experiments. After a few weeks of eating nothing but Turkish Delight and sleeping on straw before waking up at 2:37:43 AM precisely to babysit the neighboring cell-block’s kids, I decided I’d had enough. I made like a shepherd and got the flock out, and the rest, as they say, will be forgotten within a few months and after I die no one will ever remember the entire episode.


Anyway, to tide you over till the next review (spoilers: I’m currently working on the review of The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly), here’s a list of some excellent world-building resources for writers.

How to Build an Oppressive Government

Xtreme Culture Questions (A list of excellent questions to ask yourself when designing a culture [the society kind, not the old dairy kind {yes I just used brackets in parentheses}]).

Language Construction Kit

Generators! Name generators, inn generators, map generators (that one’s pretty cool), generators for all sorts of fantasy/RPG related needs. Excellent for when you’re stuck on describing something.

Inkscape (OpenSource vector graphics editor similar to CorelDraw or Illustrator. Good for maps!)

Worldbuilding Rants (What it sounds like: Limyaeel’s LiveJournal of rants about dozens of aspects in fantasy worldbuilding.)

Go forth and build worlds, only to shake their very foundations/utterly destroy them by the end of the book. Because let’s face it, who ever built a castle out of Legos and then calmly took it apart brick by brick when they were finished with it?

A Collection of Helpful Writing Articles and Tools

In the interim between reviews, every now and then I’d like to point out some excellent articles and tools I’ve come across around the web that deal with the many aspects of writing. As an English major and a novelist, I always want to assist and encourage other writers at whatever stage of writing.


How will I know if I’m making it better, not worse?

When do you stop revising?

Scene Composition:

Things A Scene Needs


Dialogue Writing Tips

Writing Believable Dialogue


Character Survey

“The Mother Of All Character Questionnaires” (No, really. There are roughly 18.5 billion questions here.)

Fantasy World-building Questions (This is one of the most useful resources I’ve come across for fantasy writers. It asks questions about everything from religion and politics to trade and style of dress. Very exhaustive. Be prepared to set aside a few days to go through and answer it all. Also, check out Patrick Rothfuss’s advice on worldbuilding.)

50 British Insults (Beware this one at work, music automatically plays on this site.)

Kitten Motivation (I.e. this site gives you a fresh picture of a kitten for every hundred words you write.)

Write or Die (For those of you who are a little too hard-core for kittens [admit it, you only act tough], Write or Die has more serious consequences for those who don’t write fast enough.)

Write World’s Toolbox (A lovely conglomeration of tools and helpful articles on all sorts of aspects of writing: from plot to theme to editing, and a billion things in between.)

And finally, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve read about writing in a long time: “Treat all your secondary characters like they think the book’s about them.” -Jocelyn Hughes