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What is your highest quality free resource for fantasy writing?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Second Breakfast, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Second Breakfast

    Second Breakfast Acolyte

    I'll go first: Brandon Sandersons YouTube lecture videos for his college class at BYU.
    Absolutely love this. What's your highest quality free resource for fantasy writing?
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Sanderson seems to be the go-to for writing tips. I definitely prefer his Writing Excuses podcast.

    Writing Excuses

    But a bit of writing advice only gets you so far. More important is to practice, connect with a community, workshop with other writers, and get feedback specifically on your own story. Nano, Wattpad, Scribophile, AO3, forum communities, and similar platforms all fill their own roles, but collectively can be a bit overwhelming. The best is really whichever you can stick to and motivates you.
  3. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Inkling

    If you don't want to leave your house, Wikipedia. Will help you with all sorts of stuff.

    If you don't want to open up your computer, the Dictionary.com app for your phone. You can buy it to get rid of ads/allow it to be used offline, but you don't have to do that. Then you'll have no excuse for using right click > thesaurus without knowing what the word actually means.

    If you're cool leaving your house, then your local library. Read what's popular in your genre, and recent, not just what was published in the 70s, to get a good idea of what publishers and agents are looking for and what sorts of stories sell. Many libraries will be able to help you look up info if you hate Google for some reason. Many also have tool lending libraries: mine has stuff like stand mixers and my sister's even has video games. Like if you really, really need to know about making fancy cakes for a scene, borrow a fancy cake pan and make it yourself for the experience. Libraries also have eBooks, audiobooks, and you can borrow from other libraries, too, so you can get some really good research done.
    Summoner and Second Breakfast like this.
  4. Second Breakfast

    Second Breakfast Acolyte

    Woah. That podcast is new to me, thanks a million!
  5. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Inkling

    Myself. My life, my experiences. What else can you base your writing on? You might imagine a good story, but you have to fill it with something, and that something can only come from your own experiences. Sure you can read up on things, but its your experiences of people in particular which will bring your world to life.
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Insanity comes cheap, and I find it does wonders for story-telling.
    LAG likes this.
  7. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

    Imagination, knowledge and life experience, and for me the work of other authors. To study their language, worlds, style and pacing can aid you much.
    scholar-in-distress likes this.
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Books, so because you said free, it'd have to be the public library.

    Books over experience because my life experience is incredibly narrow compared to the thousands upon thousands of lives to experience inside of books. Also, life rarely has a solid character arc. <g>
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  9. Youtube has a bunch of other writing related channels. A fair few of them are a bit shallow or really good at stating the obvious, but there's a few out there which offer good advise. jenna moreci has a pretty good one, although she might not be everyones cup of tea (also, just fast forward the first 2 minutes of her video's to skip the ad part...). "Hello future me" is another one. He has a bunch of writing related videos, mainly on worldbuilding which are pretty good (and a whole lot of not directly writing related stuff). Of course, if you want something a bit more lighthearted (and sarcastic) with a serious undertone, you have to check out "Terrible Writing Advice".
  10. Ban

    Ban Troglodytic Trouvère Article Team

    Writing contests. I've learned more from submitting entries for writing challenges on this site, especially back in the day when ThinkerXThinkerX ran them, than I have ever learned from any other source. No better way in my opinion to figure out your voice and strengthen your skills than direct feedback on short stories.
  11. pmmg

    pmmg Istar

    I learned the most about writing by reviewing others. Specially with those that were the most challenging to edit.
  12. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Thank you...

    Might bring those back in a month or three, once things settle down (been insanely busy the past couple years)
  13. scholar-in-distress

    scholar-in-distress Acolyte

    That is exactly what I was going to say! I would mention imagination as the primary asset because I find pleasure in creating worlds and stories in my mind (I find designing adventures to be the most gratifying thing about gamemastering); and if practice makes perfect, I am getting there all the time (and hopefully will eventually get close enough) while doing the dishes, going for a walk or listening to music :D :D
    LAG likes this.
  14. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Maester

    tea, nature, music, hunting, being around and talking to very unusual people about very unusual things.
    Luís Santana likes this.
  15. Karlin

    Karlin Scribe

  16. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    A wonderful resource! The Internet Archive (and Scribes) comes through again. Where else will one find phrases like "Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness"? or "An empty hand is no lure for the hawk"?

    Or explanations about the City of Lanterns, the City of the Violated Treaty.

    Rabbit hole bookmarked!
    Luís Santana likes this.
  17. OrangeAngel12

    OrangeAngel12 New Member

    OMG, I love this guy; how could I not know him before? I'm starting to watch all of his videos.
    The first reply that came to mind when I read your thread was: imagining my family as fantasy characters. I set up everything in my mind, their outfits, personality, and superpowers. I try to guess who and how they would be in a fantasy world (exaggerating all of their actual characteristics, LOL).
    Working as a virtual assistant from home and using my laptop the whole damn week, I try to stay away from it while writing.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2022
  18. Luís Santana

    Luís Santana Minstrel

    Anything that makes sense to me from a dream; all the words or phrases that come to my mind when I'm taking one of my naps; when I'm tired and I don't know what to do or I'm unable to answer a question I've asked myself, lie down on the couch and relax the tensions in the body (meditation), sometimes with key words (or phrases) in my head; intermitent fasting; daily energy routine; to walk; take life seriously and be fun.

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