I’m approaching this adventure with very little knowledge of writing aside from my work experience with memos, a class on composition I took in my last year of high school, and a lifetime of reading. The vocabulary and culture of the writing world seem very different from the land of industrial engineering, and I haven’t yet found a flowchart to success. I need to find some resources to help me along!
Here are some of the books, podcasts, videos, and classes I’ve been consuming on my quest:
- Story Doctor / David Farland Classes. I attended the Writing Enchanting Prose class in Dallas, and it was epic. I learned so much about writing and met awesome people as a bonus. He has many courses and books to select from, and he shows up as a class option at many conferences. The site also includes a blog with many excellent writing tips.
- Writing Excuses Podcast. A friend told me about this, and it is both funny and informative. When I first started listening, and even when I added it to this page, I had no idea it was an award-winning podcast with award-winning people. I didn’t know anything about writing and didn’t know they were talented, but I could tell it was excellent. Go listen now!
- Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat. It is a workshop and retreat hosted by the above podcast, on a cruise ship. The instruction is excellent, the other writers are amazing, and the cost per day is actually lower than many other workshops I’ve researched.
- 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. By Rachel Aaron. Perhaps I shouldn’t have worried about speed so early, but NaNoWriMo was approaching! I really liked the tips about planning what I was going to write before I started each day, as the process made me much faster.
- Brandon Sanderson’s BYU Lectures. This is fantastic because it is a college class! It doesn’t have math, which is a bit new for me, but I’ll manage. There are four semesters of lectures on YouTube.
- Dan Wells on Story Structure. Look! Another class! Jackpot.
- Mary Robinette Kowal. I’ve taken a worldbuilding class as well as a short story intensive weekend with Mary Robinette. They were both amazing.
- MasterClass with James Patterson. This was a very different format than the videos above, but enjoyable nonetheless. I think the non-writing classes would be entertaining as well, even if not directly applicable. We must have fun to continue.
- Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. He wrote one of my favorite novels, so this was a no-brainer. It also happens to be excellent.
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. This was more motivational and enjoyable versus technical, but technical only gets you so far if you’re not motivated.
This list isn’t exhaustive but is a good summary of my efforts so far. What would you recommend I add? Excellent books, videos, podcasts, conferences or something else I don’t know about? I suspect there’s a big list of this!
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- My camera phone: cats, mostly.
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