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.

Great insights and encouragements, as well as practical steps to writing novels. THANK YOU!

I LOVED this, it was so inspiring! The writers prism, I do this daily and has no idea what to call it. I seriously thought there was something wrong with me, I’m more a huge huge fan and I’ve never read any of his books yet. I think maybe I should!

I really liked David Baldacci's instructional style. He made it interesting and informative. I got so much out of his class!

This was a subject I really wanted to explore and it was nice seeing that there was someone out there who had some of the same passions, some of the same doubts and some of the same ambitions that I do. I really appreciate this class and am glad that David was able to share his passion with me.



David's knowledge and experience in the publishing business are priceless. Thank you for letting me into your world.

Valerie B.

You are a great teacher, an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your encouragement.

Gary K.

Thank you. This was a well balanced class, delivered by someone who works successfully in the trade. That writing is a balance of an art, a craft, and a business is part of every lesson.


Excellent class. Provided insight into writing from every aspect. And all this from one of the most successful writers today.


Thank you so much David, for giving out so much. I have learnt so much that I'm overwhelmed! I'm writing a literary-fantasy-fiction novel at the moment and his advice has been invaluable in helping me to focus on the plot and the narrative. Thanks again. Take Care.


What a terrific course. Gobs of information for first-time writers and for experienced authors who thought they had heard it all. I talk to my writer friends about this course--it's so good! David strikes the right tone throughout, too: he's never boring, angry, or condescending--just humble, impassioned, supportive, and very generous with his knowledge. I'm going to watch these lessons again. I'm a nonfiction author, ghostwriter, and columnist--and a fiction book coach-in-training--and this is some of the best advice I've ever heard or read for writing manuscripts.


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