Eliot showed me his signed copy of James Patterson’s first novel. I’m not allowed to touch it because any scratch would devalue its worth.
I consider myself so lucky. A few months ago I decided to write a non-fiction book. I’m not going to reveal the topic until the book is done. It’s a sensitive topic and it requires many confidential conversations.
I also don’t want to talk about it because I’m not sure how I’m going to tell the story. All I am doing now is gathering the information. I’m so grateful to the people who are helping me. I’m also checking out how some of my favorite authors structured their stories. I might follow their path.
Today, I found out about Master Class, an online video-based tutorial site where I can learn more about writing a book. They also have a few other topics. The teachers are the best in their field: Dustin Hoffman for acting, Serena Williams for tennis, Annie Leibovitz for photography, and James Patterson for writing. I am sure other categories will be added soon. I consider myself so lucky because James Patterson, one of the most successful authors in the world, is going to give me encouragement and tips on how to write my book.
The best part of this is that the classes are all online and I can go at my own speed. Each Master Class costs $90. I get up to three hours of video-based lessons as well as a series of interactive exercises. I will also receive teaching materials that include some of James Patterson’s early drafts to see how his novels developed.
I just took my first two lessons today. I can’t believe that so many of my questions have already been answered. Watch the videos below to get a flavor of what this is all about. I am so excited that I am a participant.
Here are some of my lessons.
Your instructor, James Patterson—currently the best-selling author in the world—lets you know what he has planned for your class and what you’ll need to learn to start writing your own best-sellers.
PASSION + HABIT
Getting into the proper mindset is an essential first step to writing a best-seller. This lesson explores James’s secrets for staying focused, productive, and motivated.
How do you recognize a great idea? How do you figure out if it’s worthy of your effort? James spells out the techniques he uses to generate his ideas and then separate the good ones from the less compelling ones.
With the right plot, your reader won’t be able to stop turning the pages. In this lesson, James measures out his unique approach to developing plot lines that keep readers wanting more.
For James, conducting in-depth research not only makes his writing better, it also boosts his credibility with his readers. Find out when and how James conducts his research and how he incorporates it into his writing in a thoughtful way.
OUTLINES PART 1
James’s secret weapon is a comprehensive outline. Learn how he sets himself up for a fast and successful first draft. No matter what, don’t skip this lesson!
OUTLINES PART 2
James has never shown the outline for his best-seller Honeymoon to anyone (not even his publisher) until now. Follow along with the outline provided in your Class Workbook as James further explains his process.
Even when you’ve written as many books as James has (76 best sellers and counting), there’s still nothing scarier than staring at the blank page. Here’s how to conquer those fears.
From Alex Cross to Michael Bennett, James has mastered the art of creating complex and memorable characters. Hero to villain, learn how to make your character stay with your reader well beyond the last page.
Grab your readers attention quickly, and make them hold on for dear life. James shares his tips for getting your reader hooked from the very first line.
Dialogue should always push the story forward. Listen to James explain a few common dialogue pitfalls and easy ways to avoid them.
BUILDING A CHAPTER
James is well known for his numerous short and snappy chapters. Learn how he propels the reader through the book with an outline as his roadmap.
The secret to suspense is…
ENDING THE BOOK
We’ve all read great books with terrible endings. Of the infinite possible endings, learn how James chooses the right one.
James is liberal with a red pen; his editing is key to keeping the reader engaged. Learn how to trim the fat with our interactive editing assignment.
WORKING WITH A CO-AUTHOR
When does James decide to use a co-author and is it a true collaboration? In this lesson, we meet two of his most trusted co-authors who share their process for making a collaboration truly successful.
Author of 76 best-sellers and holder of the Guinness World Record for the first person to sell over 1 million eBooks, James knows a thing or two about getting published. In this lesson he shares what he’s learned.
BOOK TITLES AND COVERS
Readers do judge books by their covers. What should they think about yours?
MARKETING THE PATTERSON WAY
Before publishing his first book, James was an executive at a top ad agency in New York. Find out what James learned from his time in advertising, and how he used it to change the book marketing game.
What happens when Hollywood takes an interest in your story? Sit back and listen as James shares the best and worst moments from his time on the set.
Every master begins as a student. James shares his long, winding path to becoming the world’s best-selling author.
You’ve been given the tools to help write your next book. Now what?