I’ve got a bit of a different post for you all today. Since most of us are spending more time on the internet and (hopefully) more time writing or researching our current WIPs, I thought I might share with you my top ten YouTube channels for writing and researching.
These resources are quite varied, so obviously not every one is going to find them helpful, but hopefully you find at least one or two that help you in your writing journey.
(Disclaimer: Not all YouTube channels are made alike and while I have made every effort to ensure these ones are suitable for a younger audience, I can’t guarantee anything. Watch them with discretion).
[EDIT: Since I published this a lot of serious allegations of unethical conduct have come out against Kati Morton, and I also became aware of some other issues that have been circulating the internet for about two years. It is not my place to judge whether some of these allegations are true or not, however, some of the things she has said on YouTube make me very uncomfortable and I no longer watch or recommend her videos. As such, I am deleting my recommendation here, but leaving this for transparency and accountability reasons)
If you write fantasy or medieval fiction, you need to follow Shadiversity! He’s got some great content all about weaponry and armoury and castles. Just generally cool stuff. He’s got content on swords, weird weapons, historical accuracy, what sort of weapons elves would use, women in warfare, realism in fantasy and a host of other things. He’s fun to listen to and I always learn something after watching one of his videos. So if his content falls into your genre of writing (or if you’re just curious) check out his channel.
Merphy is one of my absolute favourite YouTubers. She’s so friendly and chatty and when you watch her videos it feels like you’re sitting down to a cuppa with a friend. Her channel is dedicated to reviewing stories and discussing tropes and characters. She has a series where she gets feedback from her viewers on popular tropes and cliches and presents them to authors. She also breaks down books (such as her Harry Potter…Doesn’t Make Sense) and examines them.
Definitely check out her channel for tips on writing as well as some fun discussions on books and reading.
Hello Future Me (aka, Tim) does absolutely fantastic break downs of popular movies, TV shows and books, but the absolute gems on his channel are his worldbuilding videos. They are honestly the best worldbuilding videos on YouTube. He also a counselor and sometimes makes long, indepth discussions on mental health portrayals in fiction.
If you find worldbuilding fascinating, or a struggle, his videos will definitely help you out. If you’re an Avatar fan, he’s got heaps of content examining the plots and characters. And he’s also got a lot of technical content on things such as first-person point of view, magic systems and philosophy.
Simple History is an absolute gem. To sum this channel up, it uses short, simple animated clips to highlight pieces of history. These videos make great resources if you just need a quick overview of an event that takes place during your story. Or if you want inspiration for worldbuilding, or if you just want to know some random facts. There’s videos on broad areas in history (The Vietnam War, The Industrial Age, The Wild West) and then on incredibly specific events (The Great Emu War, The Monk that Burned Himself to Death, The Convict that Escaped Using only a Bowl of Miso Soup).
Kevin is the sort of person most of us ex-homeschoolers will probably relate to. He’s kind of quirky (ok, weird) but he’s pretty cool, and he has a very good grasp on storytelling. He specialises in reviewing and critiquing Christian movies, and as a lot of my readers are Christians too, you would probably find his thoughts helpful. I have to say, when it comes to writing quality Christian fiction, his reviews have been incredibly helpful. He really breaks down why certain tropes and cliches in Christian movies (which have a lot of crossover in fiction) work or don’t work, and how so many things these movies rely on actually dilute their message instead of strengthening them. If you write Christian stories and haven’t already, check out Kevin’s channel.
Another one for the historical and fantasy novelists. Modern History TV breaks down stereotypes and myths about the medieval period, as well as examining lifestyles ranging from kings and knights, to peasants and squires. They focus a lot on overlooked areas of life, such as food, clothing and horses (there’s a whole playlist on medieval horses and it is glorious!)
If you’re looking for focus on the finer details, check this channel out. It’s sure to have something helpful!
Yet another channel for the historical writers! Townsends is mainly a food related channel, but the twist is that all his recipes are historical ones, taken from recipes contemporary to the period! There’s so much content on this channel that is absolute gold for the historical writer, from recipes to “how to” videos, to how laundry was done and sealing wax used. Another channel for discovering the finer details.
Abbie is a member of our very own writing community, so if you’ve never heard of her go and check her YouTube out straight away. She’s an awesome woman and has so much good advice in her videos that have saved my plots/characters/worldbuilding so many times. Just to give you a hint of the things her content covers, she’s chatted about enneagram, writing great dialogue, backstories, unforgettable villains and creating perfect characters!
Wired is a fascinating channel that delves into a lot of different topics. However, my favourite playlist is their “Technique Critique”. In these videos, experts break down topics in movies and television. While it might not be directly related to writing, I’ve found these videos helpful for knowing how to tackle different topics in writing and what is commonly misunderstood and portrayed poorly. Some of their topics include, lawyers critiquing court scenes, forensic experts reviewing crime shows, language experts breaking down accents and languages and disease experts breaking down pandemics. They also have other playlists, such as experts talking about their trade and explanations of things such as dog breeds, dinosaurs, cars and C3PO costumes.