Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Brandon Sanderson's BYU Lectures


This week's tool is free series of lectures that cover the basics and more advanced techniques of writing genre fiction.

Brandon Sanderson's BYU Lectures

Brandon Sanderson is a sci-fi and fantasy writer known for the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive, and for finishing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  He also gave some handy lectures on writing sci-fi and fantasy.

The lectures cover all sorts of topics, from story and character arcs to how to construct magic systems, to publishing basics.  Really informative, and oh, yeah, free.

The Facts:

Type: Videos
Maker/Publisher: Brandon Sanderson/Camera Panda
Price: Free

Length: 12+ Hours
Year Created: 2016

What I liked most:

  • Fairly Comprehensive:  These lectures cover a lot of really important ground for those of us with experience and those just starting out.
  • Interesting:  These lectures are an hour long each, but they're really informative and interesting, even if the subject is something you're familiar with.
  • Advice from a Successful Author:  Unlike many "how to write your book," video essays, etc. you can find on Youtube, this guy actually has had some serious successes, so I'm willing to bet at least some of his advice is worth taking seriously.


What I liked least:

  • Student Participation: He asks questions to his class.  Some responses are good, some not so good, not unlike sitting in an actual college class.  Sometimes things get off topic, sometimes people are trying to be clever.  Certainly not a deal breaker.
  • Organization:  It can be a little hard to find the exact advice you want again, unless you remember exactly which video it's in and when.  Each video is labelled with a subject, but that subject isn't always what the entire lecture is all about.
  • Sound and Video Quality:  Not always super great, but not impossible to put up with.

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