I’m still just a writer (can scribble semi-coherent words), not quite an author (published for money) yet. Along my journey thus far I’ve collected a few websites that I find really useful. This is not to say that everyone will like them or should use them, but I find these ??? worth the time and occasionally money.
Everyone needs a good place to get critique from. If you’re not lucky enough to have writing friends with enough free time to read your magnum opus, or to find a reliable writing group in your area, online is a good place to look. Sort of. I’ve tried a couple different sites but was never really able to get involved, or in some cases break into the little groups that would pop up.
I like Scribophile in particular because while I really love being in a specific group of people who give great critiques of my work, it’s not necessary to my usage of the site. In order to post your work, you have to critique other people’s work, and you’re rewarded for longer, more detailed critiques. There are some duds, of course, because not every story is meant to be read by every critiquer, but it’s a good way to get diverse opinions on a piece.
Also, there are some really great groups to join.
Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before, but even so, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s probably the best resource for writers out there, because it does pretty much everything, and for those areas not specifically covered there are usually links to other sites you can go to. Also, their magazine is amazing and I’ve learned so much.
This site is still in beta mode right now, but speaking as someone who’s been using it since before it even got that far, this site is fun. You write words to defeat monsters, which gives you an excuse and a motivation to write a certain amount each day (or in the next half hour, or in the next three hours, depending on the monster). It’s not for everyone, but it’s fun.
And then there’s Tumblr.
In general, the site has way too many ways to draw your attention away from writing, so that’s a major drawback, but there are some great resources to be found here. Writing inspiration, advice, and help with looking up some more unusual topics (like how long a body can last at a specific temperature or which cultures to be careful of imitating).
Also, while it’s not a website, I love Scrivener, and I think it’s one of the best writing tools ever. Check it out here.