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High-tech literary coaches: get past that writer's block with a little help from your cyberfriends.

Second in a three-part series on Web sites and technology for writers

Still sitting at the computer staring at a blank page in Microsoft Word? Need a jump start? These helpful Web sites could assist and inspire you to create the next great American novel.

* Instruction and Resources

If fiction writing is yore niche, you'll find this Web site useful and enjoyable.

At FictionAddiction.Net, articles on writing technique including, "Breaking Out of Writer's Block." Another article, "Emotional Rollercoaster," discusses methods for writing about anger, love and revenge, for example. To tap into your creativity, the site offers writing exercises, as well as a daily writing prompt, located in the Writer's Toolbox. With each prompt, you are instructed to write the first words that come to mind. Scanning the writing-prompt archives, I found thought provokers like, "You are posting an ad on a computer dating service. Describe yourself." Among its many other features, FictionAddiction.Net allows you to post short stories and read book reviews. It tells how to write query letters to publishers and even provides contact information for authors.


This site offers both free memberships and reasonably priced memberships to assist you with your writing. Registering for a free membership allows you to create an online writing portfolio and to use creative writing tools such as their Ideanary (locate by using the Search tool), a thesaurus in which words are linked against meanings instead of predetermined synonyms; or Edit Points (EPs) for your posted work given by readers. Basic, Upgraded and Premium Memberships offer added features such as the ability to upload images.

* Writing Center Homepages lesson/articles, developed for today's woman, includes a Writing Center among its many useful features. Aspiring writers are guided in a three-step process: Step One: monthly writing exercises. Step Two: post your work on Writing Class message boards. Step Three: join free weekly online writing classes. even includes a section they say will help you jump-start your writing in 15 minutes. Complete their free registration, and you're on your way.


A directory of American and Canadian book publishing, the Literary Market Place (LMP) has been, for more than 50 years, a valuable resource for everyone from seasoned publishing professionals to novice writers seeking to make headway in the business.

According to the site, free users and subscribers have full access to small presses. In the Publishers and Agents categories, free user access is limited to company names and addresses; only subscribers have access to full profiles. There is also information on literary agencies. Just egister (no charge) before you begin.

* Union for All Media

The National Writers Union (NWU) is the only labor union that represents freelance writers in all formats, genres and media. According to the site, "Whether you're a journalist, a book author or a technical or business write--whether you write poetry or miscellaneous copy--the NWU is already working to improve your professional life" (In Part 1, BOOKBYTES listed, The Writer's Guild of America site, which is active on behalf of television and film writers.)

* Eyes on the Prizes

The Internet is chock-full of writing contests; here are three sites to get you started:; www.wordsmitten. com (click on 1010 Fiction) (click on Contest)

* Writing Software--for Free

The StoryMind Writing Store,, offers free writing software downloads. Here are a few:

* StoryWeaver 3.0, Free Version: 200 Story Cards lake you step-by-step from concept to completed manuscript. (Windows Only)

* Dramatica Pro 4.0, Story Development Software for Novelists and Screenwriters: with this free software you get all the features in the paid version, except for printing and saving. (Windows and Macintosh)
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Title Annotation:bookbytes
Author:Estrada, Sheryl
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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