Chapter 1 of 22 from James Patterson



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.

Topics include: Welcome to MasterClass

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.

Topics include: Welcome to MasterClass

James Patterson

James Patterson Teaches Writing

James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.

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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 for the very first time. In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process.

22 lessons totaling 3+ hours of video from James covering everything from starting your outline to getting published.

Each video lesson is paired with notes, reading materials, and assignments to make sure you get the most out of your class.

Submit your rough drafts and assignments for feedback from other students taking the class (and possibly James himself!).


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

It's given me the guts to go for it... - write this book inside me! So very grateful... C

So far this is inspiring and food for the writer's soul. I'm already seeing what's slowing me down and how to fix it.

I expected an introduction to the presenter and an overview of the program. The big plus for me was experiencing James in a more personal way.

I'm so enjoying it! A little fast on the commentary, however; I haven't done my notes or assignments so that will bring it all together for me.


A fellow student

Just like one of Mr. Patterson's books, engaged and invested from the first sentence!

Electricfred S.

Good for an intro. Things were explained. With talent, these guidelines, and effort, creativity can be enhanced.

Michael V.

The introduction provides hope that one can publish, assuming talent exists if time and effort is ​spent in developing the skills. For me understanding the amount of energy spent in learning the trade is encouraging. I mean if everyone could be published simply by desire, I would be discouraged. Bring on the work, I say!

A fellow student

I enjoyed a number of James Patterson's books. I have no interest in becoming an author but I would like to know the techniques of writing.

Bob C.

I have read many of "Jim's" books. Totally enjoyable. His on-screen persona here is different than on TV. Here he comes across personable with humor. On TV a little arrogant, and I don't do arrogant. I loved the "Hi, I am Stephan King" intro. The looseness and irreverence are right up my alley. This intro made me want to go forward. Bob

A fellow student

Very excited to go through this course! I have been doing writing as a hobby on and off, always finding my way back to the blank page and attempting to create something out of nothing. Thank You, James, for creating this course and helping people like me to be one step (or several leps) closer to our dreams.

Patt S.

I just finished Margaret Atwood's course- LOVED IT! - and I'm sure I'll love this one just as much.

Ellary E.

Though he is chatty as hell, he imparts a lot of great tips and does it all with warmth and humor and humanity. Thanks James!


I just completed a manuscript for my first novel, a type of suspense/thriller. I'm the process of finishing a round of revisions. I hope to gain new insights and tools about the craft of writing fiction.

Mary P.

I have started so many books, but have yet to finish one. Hoping to get some inspiration in this class that will see me through to the end.


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.