We can learn so much about stories and writing from reading, but not everyone learns the best from a book. Others have a preference for visual or auditive learning. That’s why today I wanted to highlight a few YouTube channels that talk about writing and stories. All of these have their own style and cover different topics. Any (aspiring) author could learn a thing or two from these channels. These are only five I’ve enjoyed, but there are many more. Why not link your favourite in the comments below?
Brandon Sanderson teaches a SFF writing course at BYU which he records for anyone to see. He’s a traditional published writer and uses examples from your favourite books and movies to teach you how stories work. You don’t need to read or have read any of his books to be able to enjoy his class, but don’t forget it’s a class setting. The videos are long and you might not be able to see what’s on the board very well. Do you have pen and paper ready to take notes?
Terrible Writing Advice
J.P. Beaubien runs this humor-based channel to teach you what not to do as a writer, or should you? It might not be for everyone, but it sure is enjoyable to watch. For the longest time I had problems describing what a Mary Sue is, but this video made the concept easy to understand.
Hello future me
Timothy Hickson talks about writing and worldbuilding, an important skill for any speculative fiction writer. He uses pop culture to explain complex topic like magic systems and power creep, but doesn’t shy away from critiquing them either. They’re hugely informative videos and will make you think about what your world needs. This video on monarchies is especially useful, even if you don’t have one in your story. Leadership comes in many forms.
Timothy also collected his knowledge in a book to read at your own convenience.
Buy on Amazon
Lessons From A Screenplay
Michael from Lessons From A Screenplay analyses movies and talks about various storytelling elements. Note that he uses the film medium as an example so it might not transfer 100% to writing, but it still taught me a lot about the basics of storytelling. And if you’re looking to have your story adapted, it might be useful to know what makes a good movie. The videos are bite size and focus on one specific element. Like this video on how a character’s actions show who he is.
Kate Cavanaugh is very active on her Youtube channel and talks about every aspect of the her writing business. What does it take to be a writer, besides knowing how to tell a story? Especially if you’re aiming to get published and want to start self publishing. There’s so much more to writing than just putting words on paper.
Check out her series about writing like famous authors.