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Arts & Entertainment


David Baldacci

Lesson time 03:52 min

Meet your new instructor: David Baldacci, the New York Times–bestselling author of 38 thrillers to date. David starts with an overview of his class and his hope that you’ll overcome any doubts you have about writing.

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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[THEME MUSIC] [MUSIC PLAYING] DAVID BALDACCI (VOICEOVER): For me, everything comes down to the story. Regardless of the story you're trying to tell, it's about building a world that didn't exist before you thought of it. [MUSIC PLAYING] - We're talking about the writings of David Baldacci. GAYLE KING: The best-selling author is known for his insider approach to political thrillers. - Well, his works can be found in libraries, bookstores, airports, and schools across the country, even the desks of members of Congress and men who've occupied the Oval Office. [MUSIC PLAYING] - When I was asked by MasterClass to do this, I thought about it long and hard. And I didn't get back to them right away because I wondered, what could I contribute to this? I wanted to dig into the hardcore foundation of what it means to me to be a writer. I wanted to get into the weeds with all of you about how I live my life as a writer and how I go about my craft. This course covers a lot of stuff, and I'm trying to give you the basics on a lot of things. For instance, I was a lawyer when I first started writing my first novel. So I had a day job, and I worked long hours. So I talk about, how do you, you know, divvy up your day, and when do you find time to write? As far as the story itself, great characters, how do you come up with them? How do you pace the story so that people can't stop turning the pages? How much research do you have to do? Where do you go? How do you get it? You know, what do you do with it once you have it? You know, do you leave it all in or you take most of it out? So I have filled this course, as you will see in the workbook, with editing manuscript pages, editorial letters, scenes that I read from books, lots of different applications that I have used over the course of my career to become a better writer. So any writer out there who's doubting their ability to actually sit down and tell a story, this is courses for you because I'm telling you, I got your back on this. I was there. I know what you're going through. I was on the outside of the glass looking in for well over-- almost two decades. I know what it's like to be on the outside thinking, this is never going to happen for me. In this course, I try to dispel some of those doubts. Because you know what? There's power in numbers. If you know you're not alone in something, then all of a sudden, those doubts and insecurities start to fade away. This is how I did it. These are some of the tools and the tactics and techniques that worked for me. I'm giving these to you as a takeaway so you can look at them and consider them. Use the ones you want, tweak the ones that you're interested in, throw away the ones you don't really care about or don't agree with, and then move on with your career. [MUSIC PLAYING] I'm David Baldacci, and this is my MasterClass. [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.

I am still writing every day. Though my story at present sustains my life and no one else. The day will come when it creates life in other readers. Until then... thanks for this Master Class.

I'm a fiction writer, and David Baldacci's class was fantastic from story and character development, to the business aspect, to motivation to keep writing. Thank you!

So informative and inspiring! I'd watch it again!

This is exactly what I had hoped to get out of David Baldacci's Masterclass! He was open and honest about the writing process, the writing life and how he pieces together stories. Loved it. Will definitely watch it again!


Alan K.

I'm a big fan of Mr. Baldacci. I've been reading him for many years. I'm looking forward to learning from him. Such a amazing and inspiring intro.

Kay A.

Clearly outlined David's intent to share the ways and means of the craft hard won from his mystery & thriller writing experience.

Brian H.

I’m really looking forward to this! I’ve been seeing various MasterClass ads for a while and I’ve been considering signing up, but Baldacci’s trailer is the one that finally got me to make the plunge.

Deborah B.

Enjoy his books and really enjoy his attitude. Very reassuring to have David on our side!

A fellow student

I first encountered Baldacci's work when my wife had left an Amos Decker novel laying around. It was very well written. He seems to have an interesting process and I'm looking forward to exploring it. Cheers!


Just finished my latest Masterclass, so I was looking for another writer I could look into. I was watching the trailers searching for something that called out to me. This class did. I'm looking forward to it.

Jamie B.

I purchased this masterclass yesterday and I'm thrilled to be able to learn from David Baldacci. I've written numerous books, but my last one was my first crime thriller. I met David this past May while he was on a book tour for "Redemption" and he's an incredible and nice guy! I've read and own many of his novels and although everyone has their own writing styles I believe I'll grow in my craft by taking this class. Thank you, David, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to help us!

Jack W.

I'm excited to go through this. I've been holding on to several audio drama series ideas for mystery writing. My problem has always been that I don't really care for procedurals but I love mysteries. Trying to write a mystery is very much like a puzzle for me.


there's a vibrancy and fascination to david's voice, his perspective, and the way he thinks about the art and craft of writing that energizes me. looking forward to learning more!


I guess I am insecure about telling stories. I've always thought I could and really want to write great compelling stories. But I've never been able to just get down and do it. And I'm very dedicated. E.g. I've been writing my morning pages daily for over a year among other things. So dedication, consistency and discipline, are not the issue. So again, I guess I'm insecure about writing. And I thought I had no insecurities! lol