Guest blog post by author Beverly Nault

I took a poll of authors I know, and asked them “What resources do you keep at your fingertips?” Here are the top five.

1. Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition – considered the go-to twelve-pounder on all things punctuation, this is the editing tool that will make you look and feel like a pro. Excellent for building upper body strength and solving every question about commas, split infinitives and when to use a semicolon. All right, it’s only three pounds, but worth its weight in royalties. Wait, did I punc that right? Lift and curl.

2. Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. Alongside his Plot & Structure, these twins from the Writer’s Digest Write Great Fiction series are not only fun and easy to read of themselves, their advice and techniques have transformed many a dull, hard-to-follow manuscript into blockbusters.

3. Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer. Subtitled, “For when you know what you want to say but can’t think of the word,” this gem is a cross between a thesaurus and an antonym/synonym dictionary. The Flip suggests alternates for boring words or clichés. The author also includes terrific lists like, “Horse Related Terms” and “Currencies of the World.”

4. Better than Great by Arthur Plotnik. I just got my copy, but I’d heard so much about this new guide from the great Plotnik I pre-ordered, and now I’m studying it from cover to cover. He’s not only compiled superlatives that are fun to read, he teaches how to combine phrases and expressions in new ways to go beyond merely awesome. Jaw-breakingly amazing (p 57).

5. Angela Ackerman and Becky Puglisi’s site discusses topics such as “how to describe a tornado” and “character and emotional traits” in their fantastic thesaural lists. You can click through for inspiration and creative ways to describe colors, weather, nature, people. I’m hoping they’ll compile it into book format soon.

Bonus Material! Before you go, here’s a site I’m learning to use myself:

6., a clever site to find the perfect character name.

What are you dog-earing or clicking on to support your writing? We’d love to hear from you. Thanks to the authors and editors of Lamp Post Publications for the assist! @lamppostpubs and @bevnault