Dan Brown

Lesson time 04:31 min

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.

Dan Brown
Teaches Writing Thrillers
In his first-ever online class, best-selling author Dan Brown teaches you his step-by-step process for turning ideas into page-turning novels.
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One of the things I love about books is that they are different things to all people. When you write a novel, you're not writing one novel. You're writing a million novels. And each person reads it in a different way, imagines your character in a different way. Your job is to create a framework, to create the points of interest that the reader's imagination fills in and connects. Help them imagine the story. Give them just enough to move to the next point and to bring their imagination to fill in all the blanks. At the end of this MasterClass, I'm going to admit something to you that I have never admitted to anyone on Earth. I'm also going to show you an artifact that nobody except me has ever seen. And that is your first lesson in suspense. I love the creative process of writing. And I wanted to teach this MasterClass in hopes of helping other writers overcome some of the natural obstacles and frustrations that are inherent in the process of writing a novel, so they could get to the point where they're actually doing it, loving the process, and being successful at it. I can't tell you what idea to have or what to write your novel about. But I'm hoping that I can give you a roadmap of sorts to turn your idea into a story. This class is specifically designed to talk about writing thrillers. But I'm hoping that it actually helps writers of all different genres. Because what makes thrillers work are elements that actually make all stories work. And this art form of storytelling is at the core of every single art form. Paintings tell stories. Music tells stories. You, as a writer, as a storyteller, are participating in the oldest creative art form on Earth. I was very fortunate to grow up the son of a teacher. My father was a was a mathematics professor. My mom actually was a music teacher. Some of the people I've respected most in my life are teachers. So when I set out to write a thriller and to create a hero, I said, well, he's going to be a teacher. He's going to be just like these people that I respect, that have helped me so much. And in some way, you sort of feel like you're giving back a little. You're reminding people that teaching is the noblest of all professions, and that if we can do one thing for the people around us, it's to help them. And that's what teachers do. That's what this class is trying to do. Written language is how our species has progressed. It's how we remember what we've accomplished and pass it on to the next generation. When I first started out as a writer, I got a lot of very ethereal advice. Write what I know. Write what I'm passionate about. Write a page a day. Show, don't tell. And there's some truth to all of that. But the reality is, it's not all that helpful when you're trying to sit down to figure out how to put a book together. What I'm hoping to do in this class is give the actual nuts and bolts of, how do you put a story together? How do you create tension? How do you buil...

Craft page-turning suspense

Packed with secret symbols and high-stakes suspense, Dan Brown’s thrillers have sold more than 250 million copies and include one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code. In his writing class, 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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

He was well prepared to teach and went over parts other teachers skipped, making it complimentary to the writing classes also offered in masterclass for passholders

This class was a fast paced and interesting as one of Dan Brown's novels. He has an easy, engaging style that kept me completely committed to the class. I took notes for each chapter and intend to use them. Thank you for an amazing experience, Mr. Brown!

Stick to your process, persist, get an Agent, and believe in your work.

It is amazing to learn that the self-doubt I experience are actually common. Most popular writers aren't just filled to the brim with self-confidence; they struggle too. Love that. Dan Brown's advice has helped me make significant changes to the novel I'm working on and I'm really grateful that he was willing to just put it all out there. Thank you!



Dan Brown is a master writer, but as it turned out he is also a masterful teacher. The Da Vinci Code was a book that got me into the enjoyment of reading thrillers. His writing was so convincing that I wasn't sure whether I was reading true history or just fictional writing. He inspired me to actually research historical themes in the novel. As a teacher in these lessons, he could not have been more inspirational or insightful into what writing means to him. I LOVED THIS CLASS!!!


Great start. I didn't like the revisionist 'history' aspect of some of Dan's books. But I had to admit that I kept turning the pages. As a writer he's excellent, and I need help with the mechanics. This SEEMS to be what I was looking for, based on lesson one. Cautiously hopeful.

Mischa E.

After just this introduction, I loved this class even more- and I didn't even know that was possible. What Dan just said alone has me telling myself, "This is exactly what I've been looking for," I can't wait to see what's next!

A fellow student

Loved loved loved Dan Brown's Master class! Illuminating, clear and concise and practical advice! His enthusiasm for the subject of writing is so catchy and inspiring, I'm listening to them a second time around.

Jack L.

Enjoyed it. Like Dan's manner, delivery, and charisma. "Learn from my mistakes, and learned by doing." "Hope the class provides truly practical tools to help you create your story." "In world of writing, you learn by doing."

Joel Kirk R.

Yes, Dan Brown is REALLY as MASTER!!! I know I will LOVE WHATEVER he has to teach me!

Jordan R.

I enjoyed this lesson very much. It was clear, concise and intentional. I know what I'm getting into, which was the goal of this lesson. Thank you, Mr. Brown! I'm excited to get started!

Joyce S.

I've taken a bunch of master classes and there are two that I love enough to watch them over and over: Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Brown. Excellent content, awesome presentation, so useful.


I am actually working on screenplays, but I thought there may still be valuable lessons to learn from this class.

Vassa O.

Prior to Dan joining the Master Class, I did not find a truly inspiring teacher for me personally, although they are all very good. I am starting to write a thriller a little later in life building loosely on the events from my own life. Thank you, Dan, for such a clear and honest presentation. Absolutely inspiring Love your class!