Brandon Sanderson: Fantasy Writing Lectures

I’ve been watching a series of lectures by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson on the craft of writing with the focus on the fantasy genre. These lectures took place at BYU. Whether you write fantasy or not, much of the writing advice applies to all stories.

I’m working my way through them, but what I’ve learned so far is:

  • I’m a chef, not a cook.
  • Conflict connects characters, setting and plot.
  • Everyone must be good at something.
  • Yes, but; no, and.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow is the perfect character who is incompetent, yet highly proactive, and that’s what makes him (and SpongeBob) interesting and entertaining.

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Thought for the Day

Throught of the DayLast night I attended a workshop where four business owners talked about what it takes to operate a business.

Here are three key notes I walked away with. They are true for all types of businesses.

Network: Get out there, meet people, talk about your business, listen to how others run their business.

Smile: Regardless of what is going on in your life, when you’re with a customer, present a positive attitude. They’ll remember if you don’t. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Snow Day from Business Program

Well, this was unexpected. A snow day. My plans were to complete a three-day business program today, but I received word before 7:00 am that due to hazardous road conditions, it was postponed until next Saturday.

Today we were going to delve into marketing. I was looking forward to it more than the ‘business side’ of business. The business side of business is often the side many like to forget about, ignore and put off until they absolutely have to deal with it.

You know what I mean: bookkeeping, accounting and taxes.

I’ve learned a lot in the past two days about all three of these items. I am still far from being an expert, but I have a better grasp of keeping track of my financial responsibilities. This will not only help me in my new soap-making adventure, but with my writing, publishing and personal finances.

I would recommend anyone going into self-publishing to take one of these programs. Sometimes they are offered for free through your employment centre. Other times you can find them listed in night course programs (We call them continuing education in Nova Scotia). Local business organisations may offer them. I was told local commerce groups hosts similar workshops periodically. In fact I’m signing up for a marketing workshop hosted by our local group.

Although you might find one for free, more than likely you’ll need to pay a small fee to attend. Sixty bucks, however, is a great investment in your self-publishing company if it’s going to save you money and headaches, and get more sales.

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When a Business Goes Out of Business

5x5BusinessI spoke with a relative who has been in business for himself for the past few decades. He’s seen companies come and go, and come back again. He’s seen companies that owed his company money go out of business, leaving him wondering how he would get paid for the services and products he provided.

As a person owed money by a company that goes out of business, sometimes we’re left in the dark, wondering the exact same thing: can I get the money owed to me, and if so, how do I get it?

My relative told me that getting paid isn’t automatic. Well, it is if you’re dealing with an honourable, honest company that values its reputation. When a reliable company goes out of business, all their debts are paid in full without hassle. They not only respect themselves and the laws, but their former service and product providers.

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