James Patterson

Lesson time 3:17 min

You've been given the tools to help write your next book. Now what?

James Patterson
Teaches Writing
James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.
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I am peculiar, obviously, and that peculiarity has had its rewards. So I share things with you and you have to pick what's going to be relevant to you. I think, and I said this to somebody yesterday, that the things that seem the dumbest to you right now, the most foreign, that I'm just dead wrong, those are the things you really want to pay the most attention to and really analyze whether they-- because those are the things that are farthest from what you're doing now, and maybe the most interesting, and maybe the most beneficial. The things that seem like oh my God, that's really, that wouldn't work for me, or that's crazy. There's nothing I'm going to tell you that's crazy. That I will guarantee. I am crazy, but what I do is sane. People get too into, this is the way it's been, here's the rules of writing, here's the rules of literature, here's the rule-- who said? Really God does not come down and lay down, here are the 20 commandments of writing a story. And just because it's been done in a certain way forever does not necessarily mean it's right. And also means don't walk away from what's been done, but also you don't have to follow it blindly. Things change. We do new shit. Why am I doing this? I like the feeling of doing something that's going to help people. I just, I like giving pleasure to other people, whatever. That's not the worst thing in the world. There was a story in the San Francisco Chronicle at one point and a whale was kind of hopelessly trapped in a bunch of fishing lines and crab traps and whatever, and it was decided that the only way that they could get the whale out was a bunch of rescuers had to literally swim out there and start clipping away with little scissors all of these lines and ropes. And it took them half a day to get this whale loose and what happened is the whale did not swim out to sea, rather the whale went around, literally, from person to person, these rescuers, nudged them, and these people who rescued said that they would never forget that experience and it changed their lives. And that I think is what it's about to give to somebody else. And that's what really moves me. That kind of thing that I'm going to be out there and to some extent for some of you, it's what I'm saying will change your lives and free you from whatever's stopping you from writing your books or stopping you from writing them successfully. And that maybe you'll nudge me a little bit before you swim back out to sea and become famous.

Set out to write a best-selling book

James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, reveals his tricks of the trade. In his first online writing class, he guides you from the start to the finish of your book.


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

Loved it. Very authentic and honest. Very funny. Respect the work. Fear mediocrity. Love the process. Read more. Write better. Curse more. Give to others.

I am absolutely loving this class. Thank you, Mr. Patterson for taking the time to teach me your methods for writing a novel.

Loved it. Good, sound, practical advice. Great Masterclass.

I am an actress and writer of screenplays, features and shorts. Information James introduces has been very helpful in character development for writing as well as for acting. I have recommend this class to fellow actors and writers. Thank you for offering this class.


Ethan H.

working back through this and other lessons here and I am pleased with the knowledge contained and gleaned within this series.

Valerie B.

Thank you for this class. Mr. Patterson is interesting and fun to listen to, the information he gives is informative and encouraging. He said at the end that he hopes what he shared with us will free us from whatever hinders us from writing our books. That is what I feel I got from this class.

Melinda S.

Thank you James Patterson. I think you rock! The two epiphanies I had were your outline - oh so helpful - and writing dialogue so it isn't boring. Also, I think it's pretty cool that among thousands of writers you have your very own section called "James Patterson" at my local Indigo store, ;-)

Mary D.

I like the conclusion very much. Just hearing this dynamic author say there are no hard and fast rules.

Roland C.

Another Masterclass masterpiece. Geez, I just spent 2 or 3 hours with James Patterson up close and personal!

Drea R.

What I find most fascinating and appealing is in his approach. Clearly, "Jim" knows how to sell things and has worked it into a proven personal formula that knocks 'em out of the park. As a salesperson myself, these are the little tactics that I feel I needed to hear. I've never read his work but his candid, jovial attitude towards it encourages me to do so.


Fantastic Masterclass by James! ...so many precious and enlightening stories and advice that would be treasured forever! Hope to nudge him someday when my first book comes out and thank him as the whale thanked the rescuers:)

Marisa P.

I live in Rome, Italy and have just finished an amazing Masterclass with James Patterson. Isn’t that amazing? Thank you Mr Patterson and all the Materclass team for the incredible work! 🙏

A fellow student

I mostly like listening to Patterson talk. In spite of his incredible wealth and accomplishments, he seems humble, kind and helpful. This is encouraging to me.

E S.

Loved James' unvarnished advice on commercial novel writing. Learned a lot about pace and the value of outlines, rewriting and editing dialogue. Hoping I can apply it all!