James Patterson Teaches How To Write A Best-Selling Book | MasterClass So... I got a bit curious after the discussion thread in here about classes. This one had been popping up in my news feed for a while on Facebook, so I checked out the reviews. Only one "bad" one in a bunch. I knew it would be basic, but returning to basics is never a bad thing. One of my writing goals for 2017 was to return to basics in terms of my own craft. Figure out where I slipped into lazy writing habits, break them, and take my time crafting stories. Even if that meant slowing down the releases. The results have been liberating in many ways, and I'm much happier in my writing journey now that I have been during the last few years. So anyway... I thought I'd spring for the $90 and take the class. It's a tax write-off, after all. It is basic. Very basic. But there are resources from James himself, detailed lesson plans, practice exercises, and even a very active hub where students share ideas, assignments, encouragement, and support. Not like this place - not even close - but it's there just the same for those who need that kind of system in place. Do I feel it was a waste of money for me? Not at all. Is it teaching me anything I didn't already know? No, it's not. But what it is teaching me is that there is a *process* to this, and if you take your time and follow the process, and of course have the talent to begin with, understand mechanics already, and come up with an idea that appeals to the masses, you already have the tools necessary to write a great book that will catch the right agent's/publisher's attention. Notice I mentioned mechanics. This class does not teach those. It assumes you already have spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure down pat. And that got me thinking along the lines of this thing we call CRAFT. I believe it has two parts. (Stick with me here...) One part is the stuff we learn in school. Spelling, grammar, where to put the commas, how to structure a sentence so it makes sense and isn't a big mess or a run-on, with no real direction, or one in which we try to shove too much into it because we don't understand pacing, or because we're trying too hard to get a point across and haven't yet learned how to slow down and build on an idea... (see what I did there?? LOL!! ) The second part comes either with developing the gift you have inside, or spending a very long time learning story structure, pacing, character development, etc., etc., etc. I still maintain (I've said this before in here) that writers can't be *taught* this second part. They are born with it. But like musicians who are born with their gift, or painters who are born with theirs, they need practice to *develop* that gift. Writers write. You've heard it before because it's true. Musicians spend hours practicing and taking lessons. Painters paint. They study the technique of other painters. Why, then, do we as writers resist doing the same for our craft? You don't learn to write by reading a book, or taking a class. You learn theory and technique by doing that. You learn the basics. But you develop your gift and the basics of your craft that you learned by WRITING. By practicing. And, with feedback from trusted sources. We're fortunate in that we have trusted sources right here on this forum! So, if you're looking for a class where you can be guided through the basics of this craft of writing, step-by-step, with no promises of glory or guarantees of writing the next best seller, you might want to check this one out. I'm happy with it so far. And what's really nice is you have lifetime access, so you can go through the lessons at your own pace. There is no deadline for each one. You don't even have to view them in order, although I'd recommend that because they do build on one another.