This will be a relatively short one today, but it should be immensely interesting to aspiring writers, especially of the fantasy genre. Brandon Sanderson teaches a creative writing class at Brigham Young University. This isn’t the creative writing class you probably took in college where you spent a short while on various different formats like poetry, flash fiction, and short stories, all in the stuffy “literary fiction” genre so beloved of most college English professors. No, no. This is a class that actually teaches you to write a novel—but not just any novel: a genre novel that you might make money from. This is a class that teaches you a set of practical writing tools that you can use, adapt, or discard as needed to get real writing done. There is more real knowledge in the first 10 minutes of this class than I got from an entire semester’s worth of class time in my old creative writing class in college.

OK, enough gushing. The cool thing is that some students filmed this class and are now posting the entire thing online. You should check it out. I’ll embed the first one here, but you should probably go visit their website, Write About Dragons, if you want to get the rest of them in order.


Brandon Sanderson’s College Writing Course

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Dang. I wish I could have taken a class like this. I was in school in the bad old days. My high school English teacher explicitly forbade the reading of Tolkien, saying “the characterization is flat.” End of story. On the bright side, however, I did get to take a mythology survey course in college that used The Lord of the Rings as a primary text. That was awesome. But to have a published, popular fantasy author as permanent faculty teaching people how to write in genres that they love and that lots of other people love to read…that’s even… Read more »