15 James Patterson Quotes to Inspire Writers

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Jan 10, 2020 • 1 min read

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James Patterson Teaches Writing

James Patterson is the world’s best selling author and holds the distinction of writing more #1 New York Times bestsellers than any other writer in history. James has sold more than 300 million books worldwide and is characterized by unadorned prose, thrilling fast-paced plots, and bite-sized chapters.



James Patterson Teaches WritingJames Patterson Teaches Writing

James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.

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15 James Patterson Quotes

Learn about James’s writing philosophy with quotes straight from the source.

James Patterson on Research:

  • “The more you know about, the more likely you are to combine things to make an idea that’s striking.”
  • “Research really helps your confidence.”

James Patterson on Success:

  • “Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.”
  • “If you’re going to write a bestseller … it’s got to work for a lot of people.”

James Patterson on Writer’s Block:

  • “Don’t think about the sentences, think about the story. Write the story down.”
  • “Do not torture yourself. That’s how people get blocked.”
  • “Do not sit there like, ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow.’ Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.”

James Patterson on Crafting Characters:

  • “You want your readers to have strong feelings about your characters.”
  • “With respect to characters, you want things that really dig deep and say a lot very very quickly, to get us interested in the person.”
  • “I need to feel as involved as I want the reader to feel.”

James Patterson on Plot and Suspense:

  • “Everything you write should be moving your story forward.”
  • “At the end, something has you propel you into the next chapter.”
  • “In my opinion, one of the biggest secrets of suspense is setting up questions that the readers must have answered.”

James Patterson on Titles and Covers:

  • “Nobody buys a book that they don’t pick up.”
  • “You gotta put something out there that gets their attention and gets them curious.”

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