Chapter 7 of 22 from James Patterson

Outlines: Part 2


James has never shown the outline for his best-seller Honeymoon to anyone (not even his publisher) until now. Follow along with the outline provided in your Class Workbook as James further explains his process.

Topics include: Outline from Honeymoon • Troubleshoot your outline • Step back and start writing

James has never shown the outline for his best-seller Honeymoon to anyone (not even his publisher) until now. Follow along with the outline provided in your Class Workbook as James further explains his process.

Topics include: Outline from Honeymoon • Troubleshoot your outline • Step back and start writing

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.

I have gained a lot of knowledge from the master. I plan to revisit this course many times to catch something I might have missed.

I agree that you need to to research and really understand your topic well enough so that your made up bits are feasible.

Learnt a lot. Going to use the methods by James to outline a novel then complete it. Very useful course and nicely taught. Thanks a lot James!

I am so excited about taking this class. I love the tools that are offered along with the videos. At times, I have to review the videos. It helps.



Another gem in creating the story Outline. It's a itinerary to the story events .

Lorraine A.

It's nice to know that someone as fabulous as James Patterson uses an outline, too. I do it to keep track of my dates, especially when I'm writing about time travel or a murder that happened a decade ago. This course has me so excited about writing. What I've learned from this lesson is to really invest in my outline. I'm going to do that from now on.

George T.

I gotta admit that I have yet to create an outline from beginning to end and I paid dearly for that. Lucky enough for me, I haven't painted myself in a corner... yet. Jim's way of pushing the need for an outline brings me to develop a more rigorous way to write. I have discipline so I should be able to stick it.

Terry M.

Thank you so much for describing the writing process in detail. Your writing is fabulous. I am reading Violets are Blue, I read it every chance I get. Somehow I can bear reading the gory parts.

Patt S.

This man is really making me work and take my job as a writer much more seriously. I love it!

Delvin C.

Great reinforcement of the value of Outlines in writing a novel. I made all the rookie mistakes, wrote the outline after the manuscript was finished on the first novel, wrote and revised the outline and the manuscript simultaneously for number two. This time I'm doing it right, complete outline first! But I'm sticking to my approach - Outline is an Excel spreadsheet, for easy organizing of chapters and scenes , numbering sections, and showing columns for: Chapter # & Scene, Title, Action Summary , Characters, Scene description & Time period. Sorry, but I'm an engineer and entrepreneur before author and everything was done on a spreadsheet.!

Frank M.

James, I may call you that? I have found this class to be very helpful. I spent my whole career writing a monthly newsletter for the construction, mining and agricultural machinery industry. 25 to 30 pages a month for 35 years. I was trained as a civil engineer, have an MBA and earned an MLA from the UofC, but I wrote my whole life. However, I have no training as a fiction writer but have had to write academic papers and essays. I read a lot as well. I think I have a suspense novel in me. My son and I trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp and while walking (15 days) I came up with a mystery story and a plot line. The problem is, I have no experience with this type of writing. When I saw the chapter title, Outline, I immediately thought of what I encountered, and hated, in high school English, that is, writing outlines with bullet points, numbers and letters and sentence diagraming . At this point I have an idea for a story, have started writing, but it's still mostly in my head. This course has encouraged me to get started. Any suggestions, from you, Mr. Patterson, and from others on this forum will be greatly appreciated.

Donald C.

Mr. Patterson: I note in Chapter 35 of the Honeymoon outline you point out that the Red Sox fans are used to crying. Not anymore. Just sayin.

A fellow student

My outline is my notebook of ideas. Who are the main characters, (heroes/villains). The main plot of the story. Scenes that have to be in the story. What twists I may put in. Locations of scenes, etc. Then I start my first draft. I haven't written out, the whole story in outline form. I have found my characters sometimes take over the story and lead me to places I haven't thought of.

David P.

I downloaded the book Honeymoon and started to read it as I was reading James's outline. I was puzzled by how different the two were. Even one of the main characters has a different name in the book than he has in the outline. In the outline his name is Gordon. In the book his name is Connor. That's quite a difference.


Only my editor has seen this outline before, so I'm sharing something with you that I haven't shared before. And what happens in this outline and why it's important for you to listen to this is the first couple of chapters really set up the third chapter, and without the first couple of chapters, a third chapter wouldn't even work, so this is also an example of how you set things up in a book. In the first chapter, Nora Sinclair is packing for a business trip and we hear a voice over her shoulder and it's Gordon Brown, who is her lover. And he's kind of a boyish 40. She's sort of 35ish. And he tells her, you travel too much, because she's going off on this business trip, and we like them together. And it's important that this is written that way and even it's important that the outline stresses the fact that we have to really like them together. We have to love them together. We have to go, we're in love because they're in love when we read this chapter. It makes us feel terrific. In the second chapter, they're having a lunch, and it's a really neat lunch in Gordon's house and Gordon says he's never been happier. And Nora laughs and she says is that your idea of a proposal? And Gordon says no, this is and he reaches into the pocket of his robe. He removes a small Tiffany box, or maybe a good sized Tiffany box, and he gets down on one knee and he proposes to Nora, and we want them to be together. We love them. They are a terrific couple. We wish that we were with somebody like that. Third chapter, Nora is off on this business trip, same day, later that afternoon. She arrives at this spectacular brownstone in Boston. On the doorstep, she removes Gordon's engagement ring and as a reader we're going, what the hell is going on here? She puts on another engagement ring. She lets yourself inside. She has the key. She calls out, honey I'm home. And we realize that she's engaged to two men. So we are hooked as readers. And once again, we're playing this cat and mouse game with our readers. And they love this. They want to play cat and mouse. That's why they're in the other chair. [MUSIC PLAYING] The outline is the most creative of all of the disciplines. That's where your imagination is going crazy. And you're going to make mistakes, and you're going to put in stuff that's like, oh wait, that's just too much. And once again, as you read it, if you being honest, I just, I took it too far there. And you may find at times that as good as you try to make the outline be that it's sort of losing drama in a certain place. It just started being repetitive. I mean, and that happens a lot of times. And that's just a little bit your imagination leaving you for a while and you start repeating. And that, I mean that happens a lot when you write, and all of a sudden, we already heard that. Or you just keep repeating...