What You'll Need to Write With

Reference publications

As you begin to write, you might find that you want to have a few reference books at your disposal. Some recommended titles include:

Keep these at your work area if possible, so you can make immediate reference to them when you need to. Take look at our Reference Books page for some quick links that will help you get a hold of some of these books, and more.

You’ll find the internet to be an excellent source of reference and inspiration. If you have access to the internet from your writing desk, you’ll be able to check facts or look for answers to your questions almost instantly as you write. Be careful though, the internet is largely unregulated. Websites can contain whatever the owner of the website wants to publish or say and many websites can contain misleading or incorrect information. If you find a piece of information, it’s always good to recheck the info on other websites or in other sources, for corroboration if nothing else.

Your cuttings library and notes will grow with time and should come to form a valuable source of reference. This collection will be unique to you and will contain whatever you believe to be relevant material for your own writing.

There is still a huge array of reference material out there for you to access that you will never have access to at your writing desk. Make good use of public libraries as these not only contain fiction and non-fiction book collections, but usually have a comprehensive reference section that you could never hope to achieve at home. Libraries can also order books for loan that you may want to read but don’t wish to go to the expense of purchasing yourself.

The links and resources section of this site contains some links to help you track down some very useful sites for research.

Have a look at the free downloads area as well, to see what free templates are available from freewritingadvice.com to help you.


Many writers still prefer to handwrite their work. While there is nothing wrong with working this way, most publishers and editors no longer accept hand-written manuscripts. This means that you will probably want to have your writing typed before submission. If you have a competent typist to help you, this should present little problem. If, however, like the majority of writers, you are working on your own, you will probably want to type up your work as you go. Modern word processing software is easy to use and gives very professional results. You don’t need to be a trained typist; some of the most successful authors out there are two-fingered typists!

Since you’re reading this website, you already have access to a computer, but you may not have access to one everyday, or in your favoured writing environment. With advances in computer hardware and software over recent years, laptops (also known as notebooks) are more accessible now than ever, with prices dropping every day. If you can get a hold of a decent laptop that you can take with you wherever you go, you’ll find that you can write whenever the feeling takes you. It’s important to capitalise upon times like this because you will probably have been inspired by an event or something you’ve seen, and may therefore be quite productive.

Printing your work is easy too. Inkjet printers are now very cheap and give fantastic results. For printing manuscript text pages, a small inkjet printer is ideal and should work with your computer without any specialist software.