As I continue my quest to understand writing, the writer and the craft better, I stumbled across an old video from 2010 with a bunch of great fantasy authors. They talk about their influences, their advice, and their approach in brutal honesty. It is worth the hour of your time but here are a few highlights below…
Brandon Sanderson has made his creative fantasy 2012 creative writing course available for free online. In a series of 13 lectures (broken in 5-7 individual parts each) he covers off on all sorts of topics related to writing, the craft of writing, editing, and the business.
The content is amazing and while it is long (c’mon, it is Sanderson, of course it is going to be long!) it is worth it. I would highly recommending using some of the free YouTube download software (like Freemake.com) to pull the shows down overnight and then throw them on your iOS/Android device for offline viewing!
Lastly, if you don’t know who Brandon Sanderson is…check out his amazing books:
The Phone Call is the story of one woman’s past revisiting her in the future.
Length: 1 page
The purpose behind this story was to see if I could write a short story in half a page. I have a tendency to long stories. I was reasonably happy with the results.
How ready are you for the THREE Hobbit movies that are about to come out?
Do you want to know more about Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit? Understand how he influenced the fantasy worlds you are exposed to today?
I have been a Tolkien fan since 7th Grade when I was first introduced to “The Hobbit”. I learned about The Tolkien Professor and his podcasts over a year ago when my 2nd son was born and I found myself up at all times of the night taking care of him. I poured through hundreds of hours of free lectures that the Tolkien Professor has put online for you to enjoy. He covers Tolkien influences, the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and many of his earlier works unknown by many readers. His lectures are well recorded with energy and a great flow to the content. Students participate in some of the podcasts and help keep things fluid and interesting. You can choose to go through whole courses or narrowly focus in on particular books & chapters.
Highly recommended for any fan of Tolkien and fantasy!
On Fairy Stories: http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/wp/lectures/introduction/
(Great background to understand how Tolkien cared for and approached all his works)
Undergraduate Tolkien Survey: http://tolkienprofessor.com/wp/lectures/courses/the-undergraduate-tolkien-survey/
(This covers everything, not as deep as some others, but if you want a great
Lectures on the Hobbit: http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/wp/lectures/the-hobbit/
(Multi chapter podcasts about the Hobbit that go even deeper than the Survey)
(Chapter-by-chapter lectures on one of the most amazing and complicated fantasy & literature books out there!)
Riddles in the Dark: http://www.mythgard.org/exclusives/riddles-in-the-dark/
(A new series about the Hobbit, with guest lecturers and also very topical with discussions around the new movies. I have not done these yet.)
Tolkien Q&A Sessions: http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/wp/lectures/bonus/
(Lots of little good nuggets in here – like Tom Bombadil and “winged” Balrogs)
Non-Tolkien Related Lectures:
Faerie & Fantasy: http://tolkienprofessor.com/wp/lectures/courses/faerie-and-fantasy/ (I have not taken this one yet)
The Mythgard Institute
In addition to all these great (FREE) lectures, you can also expand your Tolkien, fantasy and scifi knowledge further by taking credited and non-credited classes at The Mythgard Institute. One of the most affordable ways to take classes and/or get a degree in this area – which is one of their commitments to their students. I have wanted to take courses here for the past year and am intimiated by the time commitment that it would take to read, listen to lectures, participate in class sessions, and write the papers that I still haven’t signed up for a class. But I hope to one day soon!
Check out the catalog here: Mythgard Fall 2012 Course Catalog – http://www.mythgard.org/academics/fall-2012-course/
Corey Olson (the Tolkien Professor) also has a new book out called “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit” (http://www.mythgard.org/exclusives/exploring-the-hobbit/) that I am excited to read in the near future.
For a fan of Tolkien, his works or epic storytelling and world building – these classes and podcasts are for you!