Dan BrownTeaches Writing Thrillers

Dan BrownTeaches Writing Thrillers

Craft page-turning suspense

Packed with secret symbols and high-stakes suspense, Dan Brown’s thrillers have sold more than 250 million copies, including one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code. In his MasterClass, Dan unveils his step-by-step process for turning ideas into gripping narratives. Learn his methods for researching like a pro, crafting characters, and sustaining suspense all the way to a dramatic surprise ending.

19 LESSONS

The author of The Da Vinci Code teaches his process for researching and writing novels infused with tension, urgency, and burning questions.

CLASS WORKBOOK

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

OFFICE HOURS

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Dan will also critique select student work.

Lesson Plan

  • 01

    Introduction

    Meet your new instructor: best-selling author Dan Brown. In your first lesson, Dan lays out the practical takeaways you’ll get in his class and provides his first lesson in suspense.

  • 02

    The Anatomy of a Thriller

    Dan believes that all stories are comprised of the same elements. Learn the essential components that every compelling story needs, as well as Dan’s personal checklist for creating some of the most successful thrillers in history.

  • 03

    Finding the Idea

    Dan teaches you how to mine the world around you for big ideas, how to choose the right topic for your book, and how to find the moral dilemma at the core of your story.

  • Show all 19 Lessons

    • 04

      Choosing Locations

      Learn how to use location to create interest, generate suspense, and build the structure of your book.

    • 05

      Creating Heroes and Villains

      Dan teaches his techniques for crafting heroes that your readers will connect with on a human level. Then, learn how to create complex villains who function as catalysts for action and conflict.

    • 06

      Universal Character Tools

      Dan shares valuable tips for developing authentic secondary characters, and teaches you how to strategically design relationships between characters to maximize conflict and drive plot.

    • 07

      Character Case Study: The Da Vinci Code

      Dan takes a detailed look at the characters from his best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, to illustrate how different character types can be used to create suspense and propel the narrative.

    • 08

      Research, Part 1

      For Dan, research is one of the most important parts of his creative process. Learn how to use on-location research and subject-matter experts to bring specificity and authenticity to your writing.

    • 09

      Research, Part 2

      Dan goes deeper into his research process to show you how he uncovers the shocking connections between seemingly unrelated elements in his stories.

    • 10

      Building a Story From the Ground Up

      From the initial idea to the final chapter, Dan walks you through his entire process for building a story, and provides a step-by-step guide to transforming your vision into a captivating thriller.

    • 11

      Creating Suspense, Part 1

      Using his novel, Origin, and exclusive content from a never-before-seen project, Dan explains how to use parallel plotlines and dramatic opening paragraphs to create suspense that will keep readers turning the pages.

    • 12

      Creating Suspense, Part 2

      Dan teaches you his strategies to pull your readers into your scenes and craft cliffhangers that will leave them on the edge of their seats.

    • 13

      Writing Chapters and Scenes

      Learn Dan’s guiding principles for moving from an outline into a first draft, including how to develop stand-out, big moments and manipulate tension and release.

    • 14

      Selecting and Utilizing Point of View

      Dan teaches you how to strategically use narrative point of view to maximize suspense, withhold information, and reveal character.

    • 15

      Exposition and Dialogue

      Learn how to craft exposition that appeals to your reader's senses and write dialogue that communicates essential information while simultaneously revealing character.

    • 16

      Editing and Rewriting

      Dan shares his practical system for tracking the status of an edit and demonstrates how to strengthen your project through revision.

    • 17

      Protecting Your Process

      When it comes to writing, Dan’s philosophy is simple: protect the process and the results will take care of themselves. Learn how to beat writer’s block and structure your writing habits in a way that maximizes your creative output.

    • 18

      Life As A Writer

      Dan explains the importance of persistence, shares tips on how to build a team that believes in you, and teaches you how to write a query letter that will stand out in agency slush piles.

  • 19

    The Secret of Secrets

    Dan provides parting words of wisdom and encouragement and reveals the never-before-seen artifact he promised to share in the first lesson of his class.

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Dan Brown

Teaches Writing Thrillers

Take the class