This Video Series Will Turn You Into A Writer

Matthew Donnellon

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What if I told you there’s a video series that will spell out not only how to become a good writer, but essentially walk you step by step to becoming a published writer.

I know what you’re thinking.

Right about now is where you start hearing about email lists and there’s an e-course by someone claiming to be a best selling author but the only thing they sell are books about writing and other how-to books.

The course is always an outrageous amount and instead of learning how to become a published author, all you did was help buy some guy another boat.

No, this isn’t anything like that at all.

It’s free.

It’s actually all on Youtube.

And, it’s not some person telling you how to get rich peddling self-published books through Amazon.

There are plenty of those.

Most of which, like the e-course people, tend to mostly sell books about selling books on Amazon.

No, it’s great and full of information. I probably learned more from one lecture series than I did studying English for four years.

It’s a video series which are filmed lectures by Brandon Sanderson.

Brandon Sanderson, the author of Mistborn and the writer who finished The Wheel of Time Series, is a prolific fantasy author who sells brick sized books by the truckful.

I first came across Brandon Sanderson while listening to the podcast, Writing Excuses, that he does with Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Dan Wells. It was actually the first podcast I ever listened to, it was 2008, and I didn’t even know what a podcast was when I started listening to it.

They dispense writerly wisdom in 15 minute chunks and have been doing so for 12 years. It’s fantastic and it in of itself is an amazing writer resource but that’s for another article.

Several times while discussing certain topics, it came up that Sanderson teaches writing class at BYU. Each week of class is filmed and the whole semester’s worth of lectures was uploaded.

I knew it was available on Youtube, but I never got around to listening to it, until I was in college. One day I decided to finally watch it.

And it was gold.

I was learning how to write in school, but it wasn’t the writing I wanted to do. I learned how to write in the same academic style that every else does.

But this, he spoke about writing scenes. He taught me how to create characters, and how to build a world that the reader wants to visit.

He covers everything. Writing dialogue. Pacing. How to create storylines. But, later in the course, he walks the students how to start going done the path to be a published author.

He lectures about finding an agent. He writes about publishing deals and contracts and the finer points of making a career as an author.

This is something that would be hard to get.

Here I was, getting a lesson in what I wanted to do from someone who did everything I wanted to do.

See, you can take creative writing classes. But, very rarely are going to take it from someone who makes their living selling books and stories. If you take a bunch of creative writing classes the only thing you are going to learn is how to teach creative writing classes.

Also, he was a genre author.

Show up to a creative class and try writing about vampires and demons and any kind of magical creature. It probably won’t be well received.

I stayed away from creative writing because it never covered what I wanted to write.

If you want to right a coming of age tale about a young farm boy in the depression era Midwest. They will eat that up. Tell them he’s a werewolf and suddenly everyone’s like “that’s not what we teach, and why are here? You’re not in this class.”

So, if you are looking for something to watch and you’d like to learn more about becoming a published author. This is the video series for you. It’s not a scam. There are n strings attached. It’s just a guy teaching about what he likes to do.

Sanderson could easily put it behind the paywall, and charge an arm and leg (which is why I think it’s crummy that so many people that have no business selling similar courses rip people off). Or he could sell it as a DVD like it was 2006. Actually, he has to be doing very at this point and really seems to teach the class because he likes doing it.

I really enjoy it and if you watch it I’m sure you will too.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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