To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Arts & Entertainment


Dan Brown

Lesson time 04:41 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.
Get Started


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.

Thank you Dan Brown. You gave me a lot of insights that I needed. I like how this lesson was tailored to writing thrillers but could also be applied to general novels.

Llike a filmaker I find this story telling process so important to my work, and now with the help of the writers who express the most strong element in cinema that for me is suspence, now I have the tools to creat that from my own story, in the moment I write it.

Dan Brown provided excellent insight for successful writing.

I've done several of these masterclasses and this was, by far, the best. Dan Brown was so thorough and understandable in showing the writing process, it renewed by confidence as a writer.


Jeffrey B.

I think he says it all right in the intro--that "ethereal advice" has its place and works but doesn't actually teach anything.

A fellow student

Great intro, makes you want to keep going. Looking forward to the rest of the lessons!

Gail E.

This was an incredible Masterclass! I loved it! Dan has such an inspiring way of speaking and I love that he walks you through the process of writing and gives you solid techniques to improve your writing. The price of the courses was worth it just for his course alone. His manner is engaging and shows he has a true love of writing and the craft of storytelling.

A fellow student

This was the best masterclass I have taken. He is a natural teacher and I want to take it again!! Worth the cost of membership just for this. Its a MUST WATCH if you want to improve your writing or storytelling. Totally motivated me to open up my book and start making impactful edits.

Liz L.

Thank you for this! I am a teacher and it is good to here that we are valued. I like your approach to writing. I believe that I am going to enjoy this class.

Jade J.

This is the first class I'm taking - have the all access pass - I'm excited!

Jane E.

I'm re-watching Dan's masterclass because it is solid gold. Dan has a lovely personable style and is generous in his sharing. I feel confident that he has worked for this workshop, that he provides real insight and solid tips for those who wish to work this craft.

Josh B.

3rd time is a charm. I have tried to do this class twice before but life got in the way (I'm a busy teacher). Now that I am stuck at home, maybe I'll be able to do this once and for all! Can't wait!

Dale U.

Brilliant entrance! Plus the mention of a mysterious artifact no one else has seen. This class is going to be extraordinary.


A mystery writer who appears through a secret door...! I loved the Da Vinci Code, both movie and book: the linking of all that history, architecture, art, literature, theory and speculation. Looking forward to the rest of the classes after such an enthusiastic and charismatic introduction.