Last of the Summer Series: Brandon Sanderson BYU Writing Class

Children are back in school, pumpkin spice lattes are making a reappearance, and I’m getting back to a more normalized schedule.  Fall is here and I have one last link to share as a part of the summer series of YouTube videos (and podcasts) I have found helpful for writing.

I was able to spend a lot of time this summer listening to writing podcasts and an assortment of audio books at work, all of which I believe have helped to strengthen my craft.  I’ve also developed a taste for Yoga and I’m hoping the introduction of a new discipline will also aid in getting back into the regularity of a writing routine (though bribing myself with pumpkin spice lattes are also likely to help).

That said, here’s the video of the week.  Brandon Sanderson, in addition to hosting “Writing Excuses”, also teaches a creative writing class over at BYU wherein the assignment of the semester is to create a novella.  I believe one of the stipulations of him teaching the class is that his lectures must be allowed to be available online.

What that means for the rest of us is a free workshop on writing fiction with one of the great high fantasy authors of our time.


“What Writers Should Learn From The Lord of the Rings” by Just Write

I ran across this video recently and thought the separation of a plot climax and story climax was intriguing. I had not honestly thought of it as two separate entities, especially in regard to Lord of the Rings.

I’ll be honest, I disagree with a few of the points that were made, but it may be because I’m thinking about the book more than the movie (the movie version of “The Return of the King” is this video’s focus).

Worth a watch.

This will be the penultimate summer post. Starting in September I will be going back to a more normal schedule. (Yes, it’s because I’m a writer that I get to use fancy words like penultimate, when “next-to-last” would do.)

“Why Do So Many People Love SAO – The Art of Mass Appeal” by Mother’s Basement

For those of you who missed my first summer series post, the idea is that with how crazy my summers are I will be posting helpful Youtube videos for the creative process.  This helps me keep up with the blog while diverting the majority of my attention to my current projects.

While I was looking through anime related videos, I came across this feature on Sword Art Online.  I have a soft spot for SAO myself since it got me back into anime last year.  I loved the first half of season one and all the emotions it carried with it.  I came to deeply care about the characters and whether or not they’d survive.

That being said, I hated the second part of season one for reasons this video addresses.  I do think the second season was far stronger, and while I didn’t connect with it as much as I had those initial episodes there was still some powerful storytelling going on.

What I like about this video, is that it does examine why Sword Art Online is loved by so many people. The practical reasons he lists for SAO’s success are points I can use as tools to examine aspects of my own work.

That being said, enjoy!

The Author Stories Podcast by Hank Garner

I ran across this podcast earlier this year and it has been formative in a few ways for me.

The first, and perhaps most importantly, it has been helping me realize that this writing thing is truly a good fit for me. It’s fascinating listening to the responses to his opening question regarding each author’s earliest memories of wanting to be a writer (or storyteller). In the responses to this question, I have found many similar themes to my own life.

The authors often discuss aspects of how they write. Each tidbit discussed I keep in mind for my own writing and marketing.

Lastly, the podcast is extremely affirming. I am a writer. The ominous “Have you sold anything yet?” is a cloud that does not and should not reside over my writing.

“Matt Mercer on Villains and What We Learn from Them”

Dungeons and Dragons is one more item on the list of geekery I know about but have not participated in myself.  That said, I know several storytellers who play and it seems to enhance their story crafting abilities.

I ran across this video, and while it may not be an author, I believe Matt Mercer brings up some valid points for creating villains in novels in addition to the intent of game play.

Summer Series 1: “How Movies Teach Manhood” Ted Talk

This summer I am going to be swamped between work and catching up on my stories.  Instead of extending my accidental blog hiatus, I’ll be highlighting various videos and resources that I have found helpful until life gets a bit more manageable again.

First up is “How Movies Teach Manhood” by Colin Stokes on the Ted Talks channel.

I think he brings up particularly poignant thoughts I would like to keep in mind while I’m working on my own characters.