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Arts & Entertainment

Follow the Words

David Baldacci

Lesson time 2:51 min

David believes the world always needs fresh voices. He offers his final words of encouragement for all aspiring writers.

David Baldacci
Teaches Mystery and Thriller Writing
In his MasterClass, bestselling thriller author David Baldacci teaches you how he fuses mystery and suspense to create pulse-pounding action.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - After watching this class, I would love it if people would take away from the lessons that this is just one person's opinion on how to approach the craft of writing. There are a billion others. And I'm sure every person who has sat in this chair or done this program have had different ways of telling stories, different methods and processes they use. But it really all comes down to commitment to wanting to be a writer and being a storyteller. This world always needs fresh voices. Writers change the world. Books change the world. Everybody's waiting for the next book that people will read and say, my god, you know, this is a brilliant piece, and it makes me examine my whole life and what the world should be. So that-- all of you are the next component. You're the next vital cog in keeping this world of publishing and books and reading going. So I am proud to sit in this chair and talk to all of you and encourage you to pursue this because as much as you might need a class from me and I'm giving you some advice and tidbits and pieces of things that you could use in your life, I and the rest of the publishing world and the world in general, we need you a lot more. So for that-- for that hardworking writer who's trying to make it, you know, they have a job, they have a family. They're writing in the middle of the night. They keep getting rejections. Their career seems to be stalled. Nothing seems to be working. They feel-- you know, their confidence is ebbing away that they're not going to be in the right place at the right time. Nobody is going to see their material and actually appreciate it, and it's just not going to happen for them. I was there. I was there with you in the same moment in time. And all of that was happening to me. All of those doubts were creeping into me. What kept me going was simple. I couldn't stop writing. Writers who are meant to be writers will be writers because there's that inner drive that will not allow you to stop. And I've told people over the years-- and I mean it-- that if I had never been published, even at this date, I would still be writing because it was such a critical vital part of my life that I could not give up. If I had given it up, even though I hadn't been published, I would be a lesser soul and a lesser person than I am today. I would be, you know, a shadow image of what I could have been as a human being. That's how important the words are to me. And that will stand you through these tests of time. That will stand you through these periods where you think, nothing is ever going to go right for me. That's the fuel that you can draw upon and the food you can draw upon to keep going. It's not a cliche. I'm not just saying it to make you feel good. I have lived that. So I know that it can work if you persevere. Follow the words and follow your hearts, and good things will happen. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Captivate your readers

David Baldacci has captivated readers across the world with gripping, suspense-fueled thrillers. Now the New York Times–bestselling author of 38 novels shares his techniques for crafting authentic characters, developing research-based plots, and navigating the world of publishing. Learn how to write a novel with red herrings, clues, and plot twists that will keep your readers turning the pages.


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

Very encouraging. He offers a lot of ideas in all aspects of the business,

Mr. Baldacci is an amazing teacher. I really enjoyed this Masterclass.

Excellent share! I had not read him before but was told he wrote awesome books. I loved his encouragement to RESEARCH!

My God! This man is a power house! I hope I can match his work ethics and his energy level.


Lynn U.

David Baldaci surpassed my hopes, dreams and expectations for a class on writing! I admire his talent but what he also shared was his passion. His guidance on building a career was extremely useful. Thank you David AND Masterclass for a class that was well-done! I would say, six or seven stars( out of five) is more like it!

Pedro Moraldo G.

As a writer, I feel comfortable and breathable learning from the best. I am motivated and more encouraged by words and the ways have appeared in the classes. Truthful, honest, passion encouraging words were spoken from Sr, David's heart, and experiences. I want to thank your time and effort, thank you for this opportunity.

Pete W.

I've always dreamed of writing novels. I live for those moments where I can flex my creativity through writing. Yet, I haven't done it. David has offered so many ideas for breaking through this paralysis that......I have no more excuses. Now is the time. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim M.

These are important and useful lessons on the craft of writing. Such encouragement and such a down to earth research. Thanks David, you are not only a fabulous author but a gifted teacher.


David Baldacci's class is excellent. Better than any books, courses, writers groups (yecch! detestable) or online semesters at uni where you are supposed to learn from people- your peers - who know less than you do. What teacher?? David Baldacci taught more in this masterclass than I have learnt in forty years. (doesn't sound quite right) - But it was Bloody Good. Thank You.


This whole coure was outstanding! The Winner by David Baldacci is my favorite fictional book (other than my own! lol). He's outstanding as an author and as an instructor. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! <3


David, this class was fabulous! I’ve heard many thriller writers talk about the ticking clock and the rollercoaster ride before at Thrillerfest, but your examples of using red herrings in a story were excellent. It made me think hard about how I want to explore those ideas in my own work. I wrote down your brilliant advice about world rights in publishing and about your creative ideas on moving a standalone into a series. Lastly, I want to tell you that I have your quote pinned to my cork board above my writing desk, “Follow your words, follow your heart and good things will happen.” Let’s hope so. Thank you so much.


For some reason this isn't playing. I know I have skipped ahead to watch the video after this, but I wouldn't have guessed that that would be unallowed. That is not really the problem, is it? If it is, and if it isn't. as well, I hope someone can fix it. (I keep getting sent to community and encouraged to download the workbook, again.)

David T.

David, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. I've revisited it several times and find your presentation clear and concise, and your insight, invaluable. Thank you. Thank you!

A fellow student

Thank you so much! I sometimes feel like a complete moron; like I'm not good enough or well-traveled enough to do this, but you made me understand that writing is a calling. And if I keep working at it and loving it, the words I write will change the life of someone, and that's all I can really ask for.