Book Talk, Tips and Tricks, Writers' Resource

Helpful Writing Videos on YouTube

Hi, all! I’ve put together a list of a few writer’s resources here on the ole blog, from the CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style) to helpful and informative reads like Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook to wonderful YouTube channels to follow (I especially recommend Jenna Moreci and Overly Sarcastic Productions).

Now, I’d like to take a closer look at the video resources available on YouTube. It’s easy to get caught up in all the content online, especially when some of that content is more for pure entertainment than thought-provoking. But fear not! Once you refine your search a little (and find some channels you like), YouTube is actually a fun and educational place to find advice on writing.

Here are a few that I found helpful:

Trope Talk: Five Man Band (Overly Sarcastic Productions)

Despite it being about two years old, this video is still my favorite Trope Talk from OSP. “Red” outlines what a five man band is in writing, complete with examples, helpful visuals, and of course, humor.

OSP’s particular style makes the video fun and easy to understand. The five man band is explained in a way that both explains what it is and helps generate a few ideas on how to subvert the trope. In the end, all the Trope Talk videos circle around to showing tropes not as writing pitfalls to avoid but as overused writing tools just waiting to be subverted.

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Photo: From OSP’s Trope Talk: Five Man Band, click here to see more!

On Writing: The First Chapter (Hello Future Me)

So, you’re a writer. Are you also a nerd who enjoys any of the following: Avatar the Last Airbender, Logan, The Fault in Our Stars, or 1984? Do you want to know how to write a stellar first chapter?

Well, you’re in luck! Hello Future Me has the perfect video for you. With the same stylish atmosphere and fun examples as OSP usually uses, this video goes over how to use a basic three-act structure one would normally use for the entire story and shows you how to use the framework to structure your first chapter. It also gives more tips and tricks on how to grab the attention of your reader/audience and keep the tone of the first chapter consistent with the rest of the story.

If you end up loving the video as much as I do, try browsing through the rest of the On Writing videos on the channel! It was difficult choosing only one to mention here, and if you’re part of any nerdy fandom like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, or How to Train Your Dragon, then you’ll find a lot to love about the channel as a whole. It’d even be worth it to buy his book, On Writing and Worldbuilding: Vol I.

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Photo: From Hello Future Me’s On Writing: The First Chapter, click here to see more!

How to Query Literary Agents (Jenna Moreci)

While Jenna Moreci is a successful indie author who has self-published her books, there is one video on her channel that tackles the subject of querying to literary agents. Moreci interviews former literary agent (now writer and YouTuber for iWriterly) Meg Latorre, which is super helpful for those of us who are thinking about going the traditional publishing route.

Both Moreci and Latorre are wonderful people: easy to watch, friendly with each other, and above all, informative for the viewer. Moreci takes all her viewers’ questions about traditional publishing and literary agents and asks Latorre, creating a goldmine of personality and information.

Since this is an interview-style video, I highly recommend checking out other videos on Jenna Moreci’s channel, which have a different style (mainly, funny yet helpful advice for writers, as well as updates on her books, Eve: The Awakening and The Savior’s Champion).

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Photo: From Jenna Moreci’s How to Query Literary Agents, click here to see more!

How to Format a Book in Word (Vivien Reis)

Out of the many, many AuthorTubers out there, Vivien Reis is one of my favorites. This particular video, How to Format a Book in Word, is helpful to writers who are in the mood for a purely technical topic. While Reis’s videos include a wide variety of writerly topics, this one has been the most helpful to me.

Reis’s channel is entertaining for those who want to learn more about writing and publishing and useful for those writers interesting in self-publishing/indie publishing. This video is especially helpful in the latter area.

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Photo: From Vivien Reis’s How to Format a Book in Word, click here to see more!

Bad Fanfic Writing Habits You Need to Break (Alexa Donne)

This one is especially informative if you happen to dabble in fanfiction. Personally, I’ve never been a fan (writing other people’s characters never seemed as satisfying as writing my own; I’ve never even written a single word of fanfic), but many, many, many writers start off by honing their craft using fanfic. Plus, it was good to familiarize myself with some pitfalls that new writers fall into, whether or not it applies to only fanfic.

Alexa Donne herself is fond of fanfiction, so she is respectful in her listing of the five troublesome fanfic habits. She approaches the subject with warmth and advice, making for a very positive video.

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Photo: From Alexa Donne’s Bad Fanfic Writing Habits You Need to Break, click here to see more!

Anyway, these are just a few of my favorite writing videos on YouTube. If you happen to enjoy any or all of them, do visit their channels and see what else they’ve got! Since I wanted to keep this short for now, I only gave a small list, but here are some more channels that are worth looking into for similarly helpful writing material:

  • iWriterly: “A hybrid book publishing resource for genre fiction with how-to videos on traditional publishing and self-publishing.”
  • Kristen Martin: “Lifestyle design and inspiration for the creative individual!”
  • Ellen Brock: “Need help with your novel? Have a question about writing great characters, plotting your novel, outlining, or finding your voice? My videos aim to answer common novel writing questions.”
  • Mandi Lynn: “Videos on writing, marketing for authors and self-publishing.”
  • Hannah Lee Kidder: “About writing, editing, and publishing creative writing.”

Happy writing!


Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash