In this James Patterson Masterclass Review, I’ll go through the pros and cons of James Patterson’s writing classes, who’s it for, and what lessons I’ve learned.
Masterclass is helpful if you want to improve your writing skills. There are several writing teachers on the platform, but few can compete with James Patterson. Like his novels, his classes are fast-paced and he wastes no time when it comes to diving deep into a specific topic.
This makes his classes engaging and fun to watch. emotionally investing them. He’s also a genius at hooking readers and getting them emotionally invested in his books. Anyone who has read a James Patterson novel knows it’s difficult to stop turning the pages. If you’re looking to adopt a writing style that readers can’t stop reading, then taking James Patterson’s Masterclass is a great starting point.
This detailed article forms part of our Masterclass review series.
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- Who Is James Patterson And Why Should You Listen To Him?
- Who Is James Patterson’s Masterclass For?
- Writing Tips That I Learnt
- What Is James Patterson’s Masterclass Course Like?
- James Patterson’s Masterclass Office Hours
- How Much Does It Cost?
- Is James Patterson’s Masterclass Worth It?
- Masterclass Resources
Who Is James Patterson And Why Should You Listen To Him?
James Patterson is an American best-selling author and philanthropist. He came on the scene with his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number.
This novel was first rejected by 31 publishers before it got published but it remains one of his best books since it sold over 10,000 copies. It also won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Since then, he has written bestsellers like 1st To Die, Along Came A Spider, and The Quickie. He also created interesting characters like Alex Cross, Laura Stillwell, and Lindsay Boxer.
His writing style is fast-paced. Everything happens quickly and there’s rarely a page where the story stagnates. This keeps readers interested and on the edge of their seats. Patterson famously said, “Don’t think about the sentences, think about the story. Write the story down.”
I’d encourage any aspiring writer who’s looking to write a bestseller, to read some of Patterson’s novels since it’s a great example of how you should write if you want people to be glued to your work.
Who Is James Patterson’s Masterclass For?
James Patterson’s Masterclass is a great option for anyone who’s a fiction writer and looking to improve their writing skills. It’s also helpful for nonfiction writers who’re looking to get into fiction.
In this Masterclass, Patterson goes through everything you’ll need to know about fiction writing, creative writing, and storytelling. His teaching style is engaging, informative, and it moves fast.
This is helpful for younger writers who are easily bored. When I watched Patterson’s videos, I never felt like the class was stagnating. There was always new and helpful information being introduced.
Writing Tips That I Learnt
This Masterclass is packed full of helpful information that all aspiring fiction writers can use. It shows you how to create an appealing outline, hook readers to your book, and ensure you have the proper information for your novel. The first lesson I learned is how important research is when writing fiction.
Research Is Crucial When Writing A Novel
If you’re a nonfiction writer, you already know that you should be doing research. It builds credibility and keeps your readers coming back. But one thing I didn’t realize is now important research is when writing fictional books. One could argue it’s even more important.
It builds your credibility which increases confidence and improves your writing. It’s also common for authors to get ideas while doing research. Who knows, maybe these new ideas give you a totally fresh and better angle to write from.
In one of his classes, Patterson says, “Research really helps your confidence.”
Here’s how Patterson advises us to conduct our research:
First, search engines are your best friend. Whenever you’re in doubt, simply type it into your favorite search engine. If you’re writing a book on kidnappings, then find out how kidnappings take place, how police respond to them, and how it affects the families involved.
Next, if your novel takes place in Berlin, it’ll greatly benefit you if you visit Berlin since it gives you a first-hand view of how the city is. This instantly makes your writing more accurate. Also, talk to the locals, visit famous hangouts, and immerse yourself in the culture of the city.
Last, interview people who’re relevant to whatever happens in your book. For example, if your book is about kidnappings, then it’ll help to interview police officers. They’ll be able to give you a more in-depth understanding than the internet.
Outlines Make Or Break Your Novel
We all know that creating an outline is important if you’re writing a blog post, but according to Patterson, it’s even more important when writing a novel.
One of the most common mistakes most new authors make is that they’ll just free-write without structure. The problem with this is, you can write yourself into a corner and be forced to throw away months of hard work.
But with a solid outline in place, you’ll know exactly where your story is heading. This makes your writing process a lot simpler. Most writers also wonder how fast to unload everything. Too slow and the reader gets bored. Too fast and there’s no suspense. With an outline, you know exactly when to unload everything so the reader doesn’t lose interest.
Patterson advises us to include everything in the outline. The character’s names, dates of birth, plot, and the relationships each character has with one another. This allows you to keep the story moving forward all the time.
The First Few Lines Are Everything
Your first few lines should hook the reader, gluing them to your novel. This isn’t only important when writing blog posts and ads, but novels too.
The sooner you grip the reader, the more suspense you create. Mr. Patterson’s 3 favorite ways of starting off a book are;
- Providing your readers with important information
- Creating shock
- Creating mystery
First, you could tell your readers the date, time, and location of your characters. This paints a picture in their head about what’s happening and you can work from there.
Second, you could create a shock in your reader’s mind that’ll force them to take notice. Patterson makes the perfect example. “For 15 months, the killer lived inside the walls of their beach house”. This first line hooks the reader since nobody would want a killer to live in their house for 15 months.
Last, you can create mystery. This works well if you’re writing a crime novel. Stephen Fry uses this perfectly with the Sherlock Holmes novels. It leaves the reader asking a lot of questions but receiving few answers.
Editing Doesn’t Have To Be A Hassle
In my opinion, writing is easy since you can enter a flow state after a few minutes. But editing is the real struggle. It seems like your writing process stands still and you start to bleed. But according to Patterson, editing can be manageable if you break it into small chunks.
He’d start by cutting out anything that doesn’t move the story forward. It’s normal for a writer’s creativity to run dry and this can cause stagnation in the middle of your book. But when you edit, try to reduce this as much as possible.
He will then go through his book and look for sentences that don’t make sense and rewrite it.
This makes editing more manageable and less like a chore.
What Is James Patterson’s Masterclass Course Like?
James Patterson’s Masterclass consists of 23 high-quality videos and over 3 hours and 30 minutes worth of informative content. Here he teaches you how to create an engaging plot, realistic characters, and get readers turning the page. His videos are;
- Introduction: 03:09
- Passion + Habit: 08:37
- Raw ideas: 13:14
- Plot: 09:18
- Research: 11:25
- Outlines: Part 1: 09:38
- Outlines: Part 2: 05:44
- Writer’s block: 10:26
- Creating characters: 14:09
- First lines: 09:41
- Writing dialogue: 10:20
- Writing suspense: 10:21
- Building a chapter: 10:21
- Writing suspense: 10:21
- Ending the book: 13:55
- Editing: 09:03
- Working with a co-author: 12:42
- Getting published: 11:12
- Book titles and covers: 06:08
- Marketing the Patterson way: 07:16
- Hollywood: 09:30
- Personal story: 12:03
- Closing 03:11
Masterclass.com also gives you access to a PDF workbook that covers everything he speaks about in the video classes.
James Patterson’s Masterclass Office Hours
Office hours is a unique feature that comes along with video lessons. This feature allows you to connect with these bestselling authors and ask them important questions. This is a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience since you get to connect with your heroes.
It’s not just famous writers that you can connect with on Office Hours, but chefs, actors, poker players, and musicians. Office hours also allow you to connect with fellow students and watch video lessons together. This is important since you can learn from each other and guide one another.
How Much Does It Cost?
You’ll get access to James Patterson’s classes when you buy an all-access pass that costs $180. This can seem a bit pricey, but it’s cheaper than buying each class separately. The value you receive from these world-renowned, bestselling authors is priceless.
With this, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you’re unsatisfied with Masterclass, you can always get your money back. You also get access to every class on the platform and they’re always releasing new classes.
Is James Patterson’s Masterclass Worth It?
James Patterson’s Masterclass videos are a must-watch if you’re an aspiring author. He teaches things that you normally won’t learn by reading blogs or online videos. This is because it compiles the list of information and knowledge he had gathered throughout his lifetime.
James Patterson Teaches Storytelling
The Bottom Line
James Patterson has one of the best writing styles since it’s fast-paced and exciting. It’s similar to Margaret Atwood or Dan Brown‘s Masterclass course. If you’re an aspiring fictional writer, then his classes are a must since it teaches you everything you need to know about storytelling, creating plots, and conducting research.
- He teaches everything you need to know about storytelling and creating an engaging plot
- You’ll understand the basics of publishing your novel and working with a co-author
- You learn from one of the most famous authors in the world and get access to his PDF workbook.
- You can only get access to it when you buy an all-access Masterclass subscription
- If you’re a nonfiction writer, then you’re better off taking a course from Malcolm Gladwell
- His classes move fast, so you’ll need to pause and rewind quite a bit.