Helllooooo there! I’m doing something a little different this week. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve recently finished uploading all of the relevant links and introductions for my main WIP, Storge, which you can find here. I’m also working on the sequel series which makes up the rest of the Laoche Chronicles, but for now, a lot of that is brainstorming and I don’t want to post that information until I’ve outlined and can avoid redactions down the line. So instead we’re doing this! You all seemed to like my other informational posts about the writing process, like this interview about starting an author’s platform and this one about staying creative when life gets busy, so I thought it would make sense to continue that trend with some Resource Recommendations. Thanks to everyone who commented your favorites, and if you have another one that you don’t see here, feel free to leave it in the comments! Lets get started, shall we?
Hello Future Me: I’ve already talked about this one before on my IG, since it’s one of my all time favorite channels. Tim Hickson’s video series On Writing and Worldbuilding (and the book he subsequently compiled of the scripts) has been a massive help in teaching me how to tell a good story and create an immersive world. His research is second-to-none, the media analysis is insightful and helpful in learning how your favorite stories are built (specifically Avatar: The Last Airbender and Tolkien’s works), and you can tell a lot of work goes into each video. This is my go-to resource to learn about or brush up on the tools storytelling when I’m having trouble with a particular element of my writing.
Jenna Moreci: This is one of the first channels I found and still one of my favorites. Jenna has a great playlist of videos teaching how to write specific types of scenes or tropes, but also a lot of great practical advice on the business side of being an author that’s serving as my main point of reference for starting my writing platform. She’s a ridiculously hard worker and her quarterly goal lists inspired my monthly goals lists, which I can vouch for as being an extremely useful tool. She’s fun to watch, and is very active in the author community, so her channel is also how I found many of the others on this list. This is my go-to resource for info on building an author’s platform and the self publishing process.
iWriterly: This is a similar channel to Jenna’s that talks a lot about the business side of writing – but this one is run by Meg LaTorre and talks about how to break out into the traditional publishing industry. She worked as an agent and just self-published her debut novel, and so she’s very knowledgeable about this particular topic. I’ve been working through her videos on using Instagram for writers, which is a bewildering topic for me, and she presents the information in a clear and accessible manner. This is one that’s newer to me, but I like the content I’ve seen so far! I recommend this channel if you’re looking to traditional publish or start seriously working on an author’s platform.
Overly Sarcastic Productions: This channel is run by a two person team going by the names Red and Blue. Blue does videos on history, while Red does videos on mythology, classic literature, and most relevant to writers probably: Trope Talks, which dissect popular tropes, how to subvert them, and how to do them really well. They make “boring nerd subjects” absolutely hilarious, the research and video production is top-notch, and they have a lot of other ways to engage with their platform too! They have a huge discord server (link in the descriptions of their videos), and even though I don’t interact very much in there, it’s nice to be able to read the interesting conversations and have fast-access to people in fields you might not know that much about if you need an answer for your writing research. They also have a more informal podcast (link below in the ‘podcasts’ section of the post) that discusses their recent videos and answers fan questions, and sometimes do collabs and video game streams. This is my go to for general research, inspiration, and understanding how stories change and grow over time.
Tale Foundry: This is a really creative channel that does deep analysis of certain genres and pieces of literature to explain what can be learned from their writing style! They have a smaller but very interactive community that does story-share competitions and peer review, and recently started a new video series called “Tale Tips” that talk about how to improve your prose. Also, the channel “character”/avatar, is a robot and the whole channel has a vaguely steampunk aesthetic to it that I love. This is my go-to for understanding genre, how to portray a specific tone, and will be my go to community if I want to try short fiction one day.
Brandon Sanderson (recced by @siarven on tumblr): I’m a little late to the party but Sanderson has quickly become my new favorite author after reading the first two books of The Stormlight Archive, and I was thrilled to find out that not only does he have an entire channel full of informal discussions and short writing advice videos, he also has a whole college class recorded and available for free on how to tell stories. If you need a good hour of discussion on his truly enviable worldbuilding in the background while you wrap presents, it’s here. Beware of spoilers for his books though! He likes to use them as examples. Great for if you need a crash course on how to structure a novel or want to hear Sanderson talk about his own writing
Shadiversity: This channel focuses mostly on historical weapons, tactics, and, military strategy, but its also a goldmine for writers looking for resources on how to write that big final battle or an awesome underrated weapon to give a character. He does a lot of his own demonstrations with the weapons, and also has a really fun series on “what weapons would be best for this fantasy creature” which inspired some of the Avians tactics in Storge. This is my go-to for researching anything that has to do with fight scenes or worldbuilding a fictional military.
Just Write (recced by @lunarmoment on tumblr): This channel does video essays analyzing popular media for their storytelling and demonstrating what writers can learn from them. It focuses mostly on movies, so if you’re looking to be a screenwriter or need to brush up on the three-act plot structure, this would probably be a good channel for you. I’ve watched a few of their videos, and from what I can tell, they’re all put together very well, like watching mini documentaries.
Kate Cavanaugh (recced by @inkwell-attitude on tumblr): Kate does vlogs about her writing process, challenges, and goals, and is a great source of some writerly motivation. She also does regular write-in streams, which are a fun way to meet other writers and get in your daily word goals. It’s a more casual and community-oriented channel with a lot of interesting down-to-earth insights.
Shaelin Writes (recced by @gloriafrimpong on tumblr): Shaelin is part of the authortube community, talks about her writing process, has videos on writing tips, and talks about what she’s learned on her own writing journey. She also features on the channel Reedsy, which has a ton of advice on self-publishing.
On Writing and Worldbuilding: Volume 1 by Tim Hickson: this is the one I mentioned above, under Hello Future Me’s youtube channel. I have this book and like to use it as a fast reference if I don’t have the time or access to the internet to go watch the original video associated with the topic I need. An audio book version just came out recently, and he’s planning to release another volume eventually with the newer video’s scripts.
No Plot No Problem by Chris Baty: This little handbook is a fun crash course in novel writing by Chris Baty, one of the founders of NaNoWriMo. The first half is an introduction to the core elements of a novel and how to develop them before you start drafting, and the second half is a NaNo survival guide.
Anatomy of Prose by Sasha Black: I haven’t actually read this one yet, but it looks really good and I enjoy Sasha’s other work on her youtube channel and podcast. It discusses storytelling on a sentence by line basis, explaining how understanding grammar and vocabulary can improve your prose.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (recced by @zielenbloesem on tumblr): This book is partially a memoir and partially a self help book, talking about what it takes to be a writer and how to overcome some of the challenges along the way. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks interesting!
How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster (recced by @uraniumwriting on tumblr): This book is something you might find in an English class, and talks about how people (professors specifically) interpret books. It discusses narrative devices, symbolism, and can serve as a helpful exercise to help you think about how your own writing might be perceived. I haven’t had to take an English class in a few years, but I’ll be checking this out for sure.
Helping Writers Become Authors: The name really says it all, this website is a database of helpful articles on how to develop your writing style and other elements of the author life. I used this blog a lot when I was first learning how to write, and have since enjoyed going back to it to see what else there is to learn.
Hannah Heath: This is one of the first blogs I found when I started writing, and her articles have been a huge help in learning how to develop meaningful stories with strong themes. She’s a self-published speculative fiction author of not-preachy and super creative Christian lit, and also has a Youtube Channel where she vlogs about her favorite tropes and characters. I’m listing her here, rather than in the youtube section because I found her through her blog originally, and because that section was getting really long.
Name Generators and Meaning sites: There’s a million on the internet but they can be invaluable when trying to figure out what to call your fictional children or that place mentioned briefly in chapter 2 that’s definitely not foreshadowing or anything. Two of my favorites are Springhole and BehindtheName.
Krista Jain: Another great resource for folklore and inspiration! I met Krista recently through this blog, and I’ve really enjoyed reading about her inspirations and seeing the research she does for the folklore spotlights. I’m looking forward to using this site as a reference for worldbuilding as I outline the Laoche Chronicles!
Unsplash and Canva: These are free stock photo and graphic making sites that I use for all of my edits and aesthetic images! Both have a pretty broad range of photos and features to choose from, and they’re easy to use. While this doesn’t have to do with writing, they can help you promote your writing platform!
The Overly Sarcastic Podcast: as mentioned above! This is a newer channel development, so there aren’t many episodes yet, but they more than make up for it in the promise for more consistent content, their hour length, and the informal, unscripted humor.
The Rebel Author Podcast: Created by Sasha Black, this discusses How To’s of the writing life and how to create a successful platform for your writing. She often collabs with Jenna Moreci, and while I’ve only listened to a few episodes, I’ve learned a ton already and want to take notes so I don’t forget anything.
Hyba is Writing: I met Hyba on writeblr originally and while I still need to catch up on the newer episodes, I’ve enjoyed listening to her discuss her writing and self-publishing journey! The episodes have both a professional and informal sort of quality to them, if that makes any sense, like you’re listening to a friend who’s really clever and put together and I really enjoy how calm and friendly they are.
Catastrotivity by Exurb2a: This is hosted on youtube, but it’s essentially a 6 episode podcast that works as a series of personal anecdotes, sympathy for the difficult parts of the creative process, and a pep talk. This is actually the side channel of the creator, who’s main channel has other really creative off-beat videos that toe the line between existential sci-fi and motivational speaking. It’s really weird and really entertaining (in my opinion), and a great example of how you’re never alone in your creative struggles.
That’s all I have for now, but I hope you can use this as a helpful reference post the next time you’re looking for writing help! Do you have a favorite creator or resource that wasn’t featured here? Feel free to leave a link in the comments, and help this become a collaborative list for other readers! Thank you again to my friends who answered my posts asking for recs! I really enjoyed seeing what you had to share. Until next time, happy writing! 🙂