From Dan Brown's MasterClass


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.

Topics include: 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.

Topics include: Introduction

Dan Brown

Teaches Writing Thrillers

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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.

I finished 1/4 of a book and got writer's block. In my mind I finished the book. But, I only had 100 pages. Not quite a book yet. I'm going to outline this book and use what I wrote as a skeleton the finished book. I learned how to outline after aI wrote it. I am pretty good at it too. The notes that came after thee classes are worth their weight in gold. Thank you!

Great information and really inspiring, especially for self doubt. I also really liked the information on setting and research which you can really see in Dan Brown's books.

Another incredible class. Loved the setting as well.

this class open my eyes in one thing. I can be a great writer!


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!

Lara L.

So far, so great. He sounds enthusiastic about the work and it's always so much more engaging when what your learning about has an enthusiastic teacher. Excited :)

Miriam S.

This course is awesome! Dan Browne is a really great teacher. I recommend this course to everyone interested in writing in any genre. Ten out of ten. Thank you Dan!

Simon L.

Dan talks with passion, love and devotion toward the creation and books writing process. Dan is a scholar but always humble. He is the most interesting person to learn from. I feel very lucky to have him as a teacher.

Fülöp B.

Ok, that "first lesson" hit. :D I mean, I completely fell for it, and than I was like... Autsch. Should have seen that one coming REALLY should have seen that one coming. Oldest trick in the book. Works every time, doesn't it? :D

Joseph S.

In the spirit of the thriller, the introduction makes me want more. The quality of the video and audio is superb.


It's fine--nicely photographed, good audio. Mr. Brown seems likable and trustworthy. We already know he's adept at his craft. It's good.

Federica T.

Sì! Credo di aver trovato, finalmente, l'insegnante che stavo cercando! (is italian allowed?)