Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn masterclass

 Joyce Maynard seems pleased with the James Patterson MasterClass in writing fiction. You know - the one I've received adverts for - and I'm sure you have - over the last three weeks.

Patterson covers where he gets his ideas, designs his characters—and what makes a character compelling. Villains. Creating tension. Writing Dialogue that doesn’t sound like real life—which would be tedious. He writes dialogue that’s wittier, tighter, more filled with dramatic tension and suspense, than anything ever said around the dinner table.

He believes in the importance of a great outline which is the thing he actually writes before he turns it over to his "stable of co-authors." (The guys who actually write the books.)

He believes in research, surprises, action, and claims that if a story isn’t galloping along, it’s sinking. Fast. The first sentence must be a killer, every page needs to contain some drama and intrigue; suspense and excitement that keeps the reader in the chair.

“I’m not that concerned with style," Patterson says. "Don’t think about the sentences. Just keep that train roaring along.

Write in such a way that words “turn on the movie projector” in a reader’s head,”

Can James Patterson’s MasterClass turn out an accomplished author? Not if a person doesn’t have some natural instincts. The MasterClass has not been created—nor will it be—that can impart talent, or originality, or simply a good ear. For the three hours it takes to listen to all 22 segments of his MasterClass, students may actually get to feel like writers. And that in itself is a bonus.

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