Lesson 12- Building A Chapter
Friday with James Patterson’s MasterClass
James Patterson starts this lesson saying:
“Mike Connelly said, What Jim does, is, every single chapter moves the characterization and the action forward. -Every chapter. And turns on the movie projector in our heads.”
Then James continued.
“That movie projector in our heads means, that I can see the scene. I can hear the scene. I can smell the scene. I taste the scene. Something about it, I was getting enough information that sets me in that scene. So I can be there ‘with’ that character. And that’s really, really useful.”
He tells us to hear, smell, and see the scene- be there with the character. My take on this is –get in close– and personal. Chapters can be one scene or a few scenes. It all depends on what you have in mind for your story, your novel.
Choose a View Point
James Patterson likes to write in 1st person and 3rd person limited
Then he tells us, ‘It is your creation you can do whatever you want to do if it works.’ There are no rules that’s says you can’t use 1st and 3rd in the same story.
He likes to follow the villains and some secondary characters – you can switch off and write from a different character’s point of view. Who makes it more interesting? Which point of view feels right? The victim? The Detective, or the Killer? What is the best point of view you need to make the chapter come alive?
Other points of view emotionally how do you want your reader to feel? What is going to make it sad, happy, scary or sexy – then write in that point of view or rewrite it?
In ‘1st To Die’ all the main character are introduced in that first chapter. 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club #1) by James Patterson
Starts with a murder of a couple, in a hotel, while on their honeymoon. We are introduced to Lindsay Boxer who is a police officer. The medical examiner, Claire Washburn. We meet Jill Bernhardt an assistant D.A. We see their connection. In this first chapter, we met three key characters. Then we meet a young reporter, Cindy Thomas, the fourth member, and she doesn’t belong there. She lies her way in. By the end of the book they are a unit – James Patterson says, “good shit”
This lesson has a PDF, a comments section, and an assignment.