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  • M.C. Thomas

Four Great YouTubers for Writers

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

YouTube can be used for just about anything. Need a tutorial on how to tie a bowtie? Or how to perfect your putting game (in real life or on PGA Tour 2k21)? Want to see a review of the latest blockbuster movie before committing to renting it? YouTube's got you covered. It's a great tool for knowledge and entertainment, and writing is no exception.

Throughout my writing journey, I've watched several YouTubers who have a passion for storytelling, and it's helped me gain new perspectives and opinions on a field that can be very subjective. Four channels stand out as the ones that have had the biggest impact on me, whether through educating me, making me laugh, or both.

1) Terrible Writing Advice

I've been hooked on this series as of late. Beaubien's videos consist of exactly what NOT to do when writing a story. His narration gives off a sarcastic yet fun vibe, and is accompanied by hilarious animations. Whether it's creating a two-dimensional villain, a pointless love triangle, or the perfect and flawless "Mary Sue" protagonist, Beaubien effectively uses his brand of humor to point out the most common mistakes that storytellers make.

Through all the sarcasm is also legitimately great writing advice disguised as bad writing advice: "See, if I was all worried about characterization, I would have to have the protagonist overcome this obstacle in a clever and insightful way that conveys an aspect of the protagonist's character to the audience, like having a cunning character talk his way past the guards or have a craven character face their fears in order to move forward. But instead, I can just have the character blast this problem away with their super magic tech powers."

Beaubien also does videos where he drops his sarcastic persona to give his own honest thoughts and opinions about storytelling. His channel is a great for anyone who wants a laugh, but also information on how to avoid writing a boring and derivative story.

2) Natalia Leigh

This is a great channel to follow for anyone looking to self-publish. Her videos give advice about outlining, writing, and editing. But she also goes beyond that by talking about what self-publishing entails, how much it costs, marketing strategies, formatting, and more.

As someone working on self-publishing myself, these videos have been a great tool to help guide me through the entire process. Her organization and planning skills for each one of her book launches have been inspirational to me as I prepare for my own launch.

If you enjoy participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month every November), she also has plenty of videos on that.

3) Literature Devil

S.A. Rivera is the creator of this channel, which is described as being "media commentary with an edge." Rivera covers all forms of storytelling, whether it's books, graphic novels, comic books, and movies.

Many of his best videos are longer, coming in at thirty minutes or more. But his thorough research and well-spoken commentary on each topic keeps me engrossed. My favorite video is when he compares and contrasts eastern and western storytelling, citing differences in plot-driven versus character-driven stories, and emphasis on internal vs. external conflict. Rivera goes into deep detail with every topic and dissects storytelling in a way I'd never seen before.

He's also covered topics such as the relevance of a morally righteous character like Superman (compared to the morally gray characters that modern society seems to prefer), what makes a strong female character, and the faults of J.J. Abrams's well-known "mystery box" strategy for storytelling.

4) Page Nomad

Cam Wolfe is the creator of this channel, which truly has the most variety of any writing channel I've seen. He gives advice for writing several different genres, has top ten lists, book reviews (and even book cover reviews), book-to-movie adaptation rankings, personal opinions and stories, Q and A's, and so much more random stuff. You name it, he's probably got a video on it.

His humble nature enhances the appeal of his channel, as he isn't afraid to admit mistakes he's made in his early writing days and use them to give advice to new authors.

There are many other great YouTube channels about storytelling, so if there's one you want to give a shout-out to, mention it in the comments!

YouTube channels referenced in the opening paragraph: Howcast, Gamer Ability, Chris Stuckmann

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