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Lesson Plan

  • 01

    Introduction

    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.

  • 02

    Passion + Habit

    Getting into the proper mindset is an essential first step to writing a best-seller. This lesson explores James’s secrets for staying focused, productive, and motivated.

  • 03

    Raw Ideas

    How do you recognize a great idea? How do you figure out if it’s worthy of your effort? James spells out the techniques he uses to generate his ideas and then separate the good ones from the less compelling ones.

  • Show all 22 Lessons
    • 04

      Plot

      With the right plot, your reader won’t be able to stop turning the pages. In this lesson, James measures out his unique approach to developing plot lines that keep readers wanting more.

    • 05

      Research

      For James, conducting in-depth research not only makes his writing better, it also boosts his credibility with his readers. Find out when and how James conducts his research and how he incorporates it into his writing in a thoughtful way.

    • 06

      Outlines: Part 1

      James’ secret weapon is a comprehensive outline. Learn how he sets himself up for a fast and successful first draft. No matter what, don’t skip this lesson!

    • 07

      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.

    • 08

      Writer’s Block

      Even when you’ve written as many books as James has (76 best sellers and counting), there’s still nothing scarier than staring at the blank page. Here’s how to conquer those fears.

    • 09

      Creating Characters

      From Alex Cross to Michael Bennett, James has mastered the art of creating complex and memorable characters. Hero to villain, learn how to make your character stay with your reader well beyond the last page.

    • 10

      First Lines

      Grab your readers attention quickly, and make them hold on for dear life. James shares his tips for getting your reader hooked from the very first line.

    • 11

      Writing Dialogue

      Dialogue should always push the story forward. Listen to James explain a few common dialogue pitfalls and easy ways to avoid them.

    • 12

      Building A Chapter

      James is well known for his numerous short and snappy chapters. Learn how he propels the reader through the book with an outline as his roadmap.

    • 13

      Writing Suspense

      The secret to suspense is…

    • 14

      Ending The Book

      We’ve all read great books with terrible endings. Of the infinite possible endings, learn how James chooses the right one.

    • 15

      Editing

      James is liberal with a red pen; his editing is key to keeping the reader engaged. Learn how to trim the fat with our interactive editing assignment.

    • 16

      Working With A Co-Author

      When does James decide to use a co-author and is it a true collaboration? In this lesson, we meet two of his most trusted co-authors who share their process for making a collaboration truly successful.

    • 17

      Getting Published

      Author of 76 best-sellers and holder of the Guinness World Record for the first person to sell over 1 million eBooks, James knows a thing or two about getting published. In this lesson he shares what he’s learned.

    • 18

      Book Titles And Covers

      Readers do judge books by their covers. What should they think about yours?

    • 19

      Marketing The Patterson Way

      Before publishing his first book, James was an executive at a top ad agency in New York. Find out what James learned from his time in advertising, and how he used it to change the book marketing game.

    • 20

      Hollywood

      What happens when Hollywood takes an interest in your story? Sit back and listen as James shares the best and worst moments from his time on the set.

    • 21

      Personal Story

      Every master begins as a student. James shares his long, winding path to becoming the world’s best-selling author.

  • 22

    Closing

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

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