Checking Channels: Brandon Sanderson’s BYU Lecture Series


This year, we’ve started a new segment called Checking Channels and here we’ll be looking at videos and podcasts about writing.

I came across a writing mentor called Brandon Sanderson, a New York Bestselling author whose lectures at BYU are all available for free on YouTube. He was on the shortlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award eight times in seven years and he won the award in 2011. His BYU lectures were recorded by a student, Scott Ashton, and became an instant hit.

The introductory lecture I listened to was pretty long…it went on for fifty-eight minutes. There are twelve videos, each dealing with different aspects of writing genre fiction including character, dialog and plot.

The video I watched provided an overview of the sci-fi and fantasy writing craft. Sanderson throws some home truths out there- like we don’t need to be slaves to tropes. He offers what he calls a toolbox and he talks about the importance of writing groups: ‘J. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were in the same writing group.’ Writing well is also about critiquing well as it’s only when you know how to critique work by others can you look at your own work objectively.

If you have the time and are really inclined to write genre fiction, it would be worth investing time in listening to his lectures as there are very few sci-fi and fantasy mentors whose lessons are so generously available.

Check out his YouTube playlist here:


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