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.

It's really great to hear advice from a thriller point of view.

I show my students you holding up your 2" thick binder of research which became 2.5 pages in your novel to illuminate the work behind the glory.

Love it, his teaching style and the way he explains things are perfect.

Practical, earnest and detailed. Daivd shared a lot of valuable advice. The class was fantastic!



Great class! love the ingenuity and the sincerity with which David has shared about his work, his process, his struggles, and his process as a master artiste! Cheers!

Richard C.

I only watched out of interest sake as I have (-had-) no intention of writing a mystery or thriller. However, this class was definitely worth it. I mostly appreciate how professional David is! Great teacher! Thank you for making this class.

Roselyn T.

I really enjoyed listening to David B. Some of the segments were wonderful. I especially enjoyed his insights about writing as a business, and how to get ideas. He's very personable and inspirational. Thank you!!

Neil H.

Loved the whole course, not only the writing 'technical' details but David's personal insight as a writer, which culminates in this lesson. Thanks, David

A fellow student

Amazing MasterClass. Im not a writer but listened to understand story telling better. Thank you, David

Kate C.

Thank you for this class. I'm struggling with my next book and have come away so inspired. I needed this!

Tracy B.

All of Baldacci's lessons are extremely helpful and easy to put to work right away. I think there were at least 5 places in my novel that benefitted from his lessons. Information is so well organized. Actual teaching to help with the craft and business of writing. Thank you!

Bruce S.

Thank you, for a motivational course. PS I have a succinct writing style. Works great for flash fiction, but not so much for novels.

Rennie S.

What incredible encouragement to find that a writer like David Baldacci uses many of the methods I do; I must be on the right track. He felt the same doubt I currently do which gives me the will to plunge forward regardless. I'm always writing but last year felt it was time to actually put things together into a completed book. Now I'm on the brink of starting to collect rejection letters and I am more prepared for what follows. Thank you Mr. Baldacci for taking the time to give tools for the mechanics and the life.


Thank you for the extraordinary gift you have given to all of us by teaching this course. As a non-fiction business author wanting to stretch outside my comfort zone, I am inspired to start writing fiction right now! I know that the ideas and tips you shared with us will stay with me throughout the process. Thank you so much.