James Patterson

Lesson time 2:47 min

Your instructor, James Patterson—currently the best-selling author in the world—lets you know what he has planned for your class and what you'll need to learn to start writing your own best-sellers.

James Patterson
Teaches Writing
James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.
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Hi, I'm Stephen King. Well, actually I'm not Stephen King, but the purpose of my saying that is that's the first line in our story. And first lines are hugely important. And what I do in those four words is I'm letting you know that this is going to be irreverent, and fun, and it's going to be a little jokey at times, and I know who writers like Stephen King are. I hope that people who take this course or listen to me will pick up a lot of tricks of the trade. And I think it's a couple levels. I think one are people that want to write books or think they want to write books, and it can help them to make that decision about whether they're actually good at investing time or not. And I'll give them a lot of tips in terms of how to invest that time well. I'm very, very efficient, and I'll take a lot of the time wasting things out of the process if you'll listen. But also people who like to read books-- like to read mystery, suspense, even kids books-- I think they'll find it very, very interesting. I think it'll be very cool. I don't think they'll read books the same way again after listening to this. One I'm going to try to do what the class is go right from the beginning-- from the raw ideas for books, character, how to build a character, how to create a scene. We'll deal with how to make a chapter work. We'll deal with outlines. Outlines are huge. We might do a couple of chapters on outlines. We'll talk about marketing it at some point, which is more of a curiosity, I think, for most of you. Because you shouldn't worry too much about marketing. I think a lot of people who watch this, it's going to turn them on. It can be very stimulating. And I think along the way, I had a couple of people. I had a professor at Vanderbilt, and he did get me excited about one, just the process of writing the book and two, my own talent. And just a lot of things that he said clicked with me. And so when I left his class, I had to write a book. By the way, that book didn't get published, but it was part of the process. Because I've been there. Starting out, you just you don't know if you're any good. You don't know if you're ever going to get published. It's a very difficult-- it's a daunting thing to sit down and start a book. Because at the end of the trail can be embarrassment, or heartbreak, or all sorts of things. So we're going to get over that-- no heartbreak, no embarrassment. We're going to have the tools to do this, and I think that's very exciting. And it's exciting to me to stimulate people to go out there and write not just great mysteries but whatever kind of book you want to write.

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.

This is a great class. Hearing the words come from the man himself is educational and inspirational.

The importance of efficiency, organization, and prioritization. Most importantly, I believe I’ve gained a great understanding for the full value of researching.

I’m so grateful to Mr. Patterson for taking the time to share his knowledge, wisdom, and expertise with laypersons like me.

I am so very excited to learn from James Patterson!


A fellow student

First course on MasterClass. Can’t wait to see what wisdom I can pull to make me a better writer!

Dani H.

After purchasing this and going through it a few times (without making it past lesson 11), I am now ready to start all over and do this for real!!!

Freddy L R.

I've been a fan of Mr. Patterson's books for quite some time now. Having this opportunity to learn from him, and grow as a writer; is monumental for me. Truly looking forward to an awesome journey. Freddy L Robinson

Marcy S.

I have been awe stricken because of how prolific an author James Patterson is. It seemed like every month or two a new James Patterson book was being advertised. I have written a first novel and have gotten rejections for it (but not 31 rejections) After going through this class in its entirety I have realized the mistakes I made and am so grateful to have been given the learn at the feet of the Master, so to speak. Thank you for putting this course together and for keeping it affordable.

Rik Z.

I just saw the interview Mr. Patterson did on Fox about his non-fiction book, "Filthy Rich". The research he and his team did for it is impressive! And. The book was published 3 years before this horror story broke in the media!

Ashleigh H.

I'm so excited to be going through this course! My hope is that this course will provide new insight into the craft of fiction writing, and that I'll be able to take some of the wisdom of Mr. Patterson and apply it to my own work. It's very cool to be a part of a huge writing community as well. Hi everyone! My favourite James Patterson novel, so far, has got to be "The Black Book".


My hopes for this course? To learn something. I have been working on getting that first book "on paper" so to speak, for about four or five years now and I can see that there are things I lack or that I lack an understanding in.

Joey L.

I want to become a professional writer. I thought that this class can help me achieve my goal.

Brennan B.

I have to say, I love this series. I devoured every lesson, went back and watched them again. Then after a day or two of letting them swirl around in my mind, I went back and watched them all for a third time. Life happened, I got off track and somewhere at the point of having to make a few small corrections on my thirteenth novel and finishing the expanded outline for my fourteenth novel, I caught a bad flu, then I caught a cold. Needless to say, I got badly off track. There’s nothing like listening to James Patterson to get the fire burning again. Well done Mr. Patterson and well done MasterClass.

A fellow student

I have started my first book and have felt overwhelmed as to where to go from here. I am hoping that this class will help me to persevere with the book and give me tools to perfect the manuscript so I can confidently send it to a publisher. I have wanted to do write since I was young but had one professor turn me off, saying she did not think I should pursue this career path. Previous to her, however, I had several teachers encourage me in my work. I was given more support today listening to how Mr. Patterson stuck with it even with rejections. Thank you for re-igniting a passion I feared was lost.