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.

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“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.)

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.

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.

Writing Excuses

The name of this post is a bit of a double entendre.  For one, I’d like to point those interested in writing to the podcast titled “Writing Excuses” put on by Wesley Chu, Piper J. Drake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mary Anne Monhanraj, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells.  It contains fantastic information and writing advice from established authors, I have enjoyed it and found that it does help my own writing.

Now, the other reason for the title is my excuses for not posting as often this spring.  I have been deep into edits and my day job has been extremely busy as of late, and both have cut into the time I have for keeping up with the blog as often as I’d like to.

There is some good news though, I have gotten a good deal of notes prepared on my novella and have been working on rewrites.  The short story collection I’m working has been put on pause for the moment.  I do have a few micro fictions I’d like to get posted here in the next few weeks.

And in the section of general geeky updates, I’m finding myself identifying more with Dr. Strange out of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes.  This has a great deal to do with my recognition that I need to take care of myself and not just my projects.  I tend toward worrying and anxiety, both of which have been catching up with me.  As a result, I’ve been looking into the benefits of yoga and aromatherapy to help keep myself centered and grounded.  There may be more here on that later.

Hope you are all having an amazing day!

Microfictions: Sentry & Shoes

I’ve been dealing with quite a few computer problems over the last couple of days and with my Camp NaNoWriMo participation this month I haven’t been able to post as often as I would like. So here’s a couple microfictions in the meantime.

Sentry

The hordes below the mountainside were as vast as a hill of ants. A cold sweat broke out on the sentry’s brow. His hand tightly held his sword for the comfort of its steel, as his fingers remained close to the trigger of the gun embedded in its hilt.  The enemy was moving directly toward his village.

Scurrying backwards he moved silently, a figure quickly obscured by trees as he raced through the night to make his report.

Shoes

He had found his lost show, along with the gold inside. The other guy hadn’t been so lucky.