Seventh video lesson James Patterson’s MasterClass Outlines part 2

James Patterson lesson 7

James Patterson MasterClass lesson 7
James Patterson MasterClass lesson 7

OUTLINES PART 2

“Only his editor has seen this outline,” we are told by James Patterson. “He hasn’t shared this before.”

I am not posting that outline nor the lessons. What I will do is give you my impression of those first three chapters in his book Honeymoon. And their ‘first and last’ sentences.

James Patterson’s chapters are short. His first chapter is only about 700 words. Now that is a guesstimate, 250 per page- guesstimate.

Before chapter one, the page is labeled:

Part One  PERFECT COUPLES

This part goes on and on according to my book.  In the ‘Honeymoon’ outline, Part Two starts with Chapter nineteen.

I posted 💡 in the comment section asking…

In the outline, I saw the book was cut into, not only chapters but, into Part-one, Part-Two, and Part Three. In the (actual) book, Honeymoon, or at least my copy. I only see Part One labeled. If the Parts were only for the outline, why start with Part One? Is this the storytelling arc- with a three-act structure?    

I await my answer. 😎 In the meantime read on.

Chapter one starts with:

“Nora could feel Connor watching her. “

Is this a stalker? We find out in the next sentence, -Connor always watches her pack. We are still getting to know this couple.

 It ends with a sentence that needs no explanation. 

“Now, what was that about tying somebody up?” she asked.

I can see how this chapter connects and then fills in with this couple joking, playing with each other. We see love; we are in love with them. These two, together, feel good. All happy, shiny lovey-dovey, and rich, what could go wrong?  This is the beginning, something has to happen or what’s the point of reading.

Chapter two has nearly 1,000 words in this chapter, which starts with:

“Thirty-minutes later, donning a plush pink terry-cloth robe, Nora descended the sprawling staircase of Connor’s 11,00-square-foot, three-story neoclassic Colonial.”

Nice description.

And here is the last sentence in this second chapter:

“She quickly dressed, and moments later, as the limousine started to drive away, Nora called to Connor out the open back window. “I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”

 All I think here is, Duh!

 Each chapter has its own beginning and end. Each one tells us about Nora and Connor. Each one is drawing us a little further into the story with very few words we connect to the main character.

 Chapter three: Is less than five hundred words. Remember my guesstimate, at 250-per page.

First sentence: “Nora couldn’t stop staring at the dazzling ring for most of the ride to the Westchester airport. “

And then the last two sentences:“Before reaching for the door, she glanced at her watch. It was showtime.”

That word, ‘showtime’ changed the tone of the story. We can hear, see and feel the change.

“The first couple of chapters really set up the third chapter.” James Patterson.

This class you can post comments, videos, and download the workbook. Listening to James Patterson is worth the price of admission.

Sixth Video Lesson Outlines part 1 James Patterson’ MasterClass

 

Friday’s Lesson 6Outlines part 1’ of James Patterson’ MasterClass

Video Lesson 6
Video Lesson 6

James Patterson starts this lesson saying, “The most common mistake that writers make, especially young writers -is,”

For this part, he leans in towards the camera and raises his voice.

“That they don’t do an outline!” ……“You will do a better book and it will take less time”

What Your Outline Needs:

Everything should be in the outline: the arc of the main character and the villain. Your villains need to be complex.

James Patterson said, “Outlines should have a lot of promise.”

My take on this: Arcs in an outline that shows us  how the character changes, mentally and  physically. Maybe, how he overcomes or flops big time.  Ask yourself, what does your character want out of life? An easy question right? Most flesh and blood humans have no clue what they want out of life and it can take them, their entire lives to figure it out. Your characters won’t have that long. So start your outline by writing out what your character wants and how he or she will get it.

For my example let’s start with Sam.

  1. Sam wants to be a photojournalist.
  2. Sam took Full Sail online classes.
  3. Sam graduated.
  4. Sam couldn’t find a job so he decided to start his own, online blog.  
  5. Sam was taking pictures in the park and saw a man getting kidnapped.

I could add a little depth to Sam, by giving him a fear, a fear of leaving his house.

Do you see how I can build up this outline? Add in a friend for Sam, how about a love interest. Have a couple of real jobs that Sam has to complete. This is a very simple start to an outline. Try one yourself. Don’t think about it just write.

Okay back to James Patterson’s MasterClass.

Focus On The Story

The only time, James Patterson faces the blank page is when he starts the outline.

He tells us, “Don’t think about the sentences-write the story.”

Great advice. When I start worrying my writing comes to a screeching halt.

In this class, like the others, I can make comments or ask questions and it comes with a downloadable PDF for this lesson.

If you are curious about this class, click on the link, for James Patterson’s MasterClass.   In the upper left sidebar. Check it out.

Fifth Video Lesson Research James Patterson’s MasterClass

Friday’s Video Lesson 5  from James Patterson’s MasterClass.

For those who don’t understand these posts. I am taking James Patterson’s MasterClass. Every Friday I will post  a few words about what I learned and what I am pondering , about this lesson. This week is lesson five. If you have questions post them here. Or, if you want to join this class, then click the link in the left top sidebar.

James Patterson masterclass lesson five
James Patterson masterclass lesson five

This lesson is about the information you will need to fill out your story.

RESEARCH

“The more you BS when you are writing a book the worse it is” ~ James Patterson

SEEK INSPIRATION

“For male readers, details can never be enough. If you get it wrong you lose them. If you as a writer can’t get your facts straight, how can your readers believe anything in the story? Don’t fake it! Don’t make it up.”~ James Patterson

KNOW YOUR LOCATIONS

“If you are writing about a city it is important in your story you need to be there. Wandering around a new city, what do you notice?”~James Patterson

My thoughts went off in the direction of  drawing up a map. You will need a map of ‘where’ your story takes place.  Your characters won’t be floating in space. They need a place to live, to move around, to cause damage.

If your setting is in a city block, how many houses are on this street? If it is in the country or an apartment building, how many people live there? How many pets? How many kids? Where are the trees? Fences and the grocery store, the library? Just like in your neighborhood show where your characters’ take a walk, and how do they get to work? A bus? A car? Do they walk or jog or ride a bike?

Can’t draw. Then do a search on Google Maps. Try your own home address. Or go right to the location of your novel. Move the map around, find the right street. Make sure you have the local flavor, the grocery store, library, or coffee shop. You will see each street labeled. You can get in closer and explore the area right on ground level.

copy a map from google maps
copy a map from google maps

Try this with any town. Take a screen shot. Copy it out by hand or print it out. You have the beginnings of your setting. Your story map.

Be as detailed as you like

Now back to James Patterson’s MasterClass.

CONDUCT INTERVIEWS
James Patterson said, “Mostly you won’t have trouble getting an interview. People like to talk about what they do.”

I wonder if in his  first interview he was nervous?  Is he still nervous? I wonder if he was ever turned down for an interview?

With the Cross book, James Patterson had to learn about forensic psychology to make his book believable.

What I got out of this, was to write about what you know- then learn the rest. Talk to people. Find someone, who can do what you need to learn. Go to the library. Look on the Internet, ask questions, find the information then write about it.

As an example: You need to learn how to fly a hot air balloon. Check out the Internet. Find a company who will take you up in a hot air balloon. Then once you are up in the big blue yonder, you can start asking questions. Always be polite and request that interview instead of cornering people.

I just did a Google search on ‘Hot Air Balloon’ rides near me and found, Nostalgia Ballooning. So many beautiful pictures!

Lesson Five has a workbook,  a comment section, and a video critique if you have questions on this or any lesson, you can post a video for Mr. Patterson.

From me: read, read, read, you will learn a lot about how to write,  by reading and picking apart someone else’s stories.

See you next Friday for lesson six of James Patterson’s MasterClass. If you want to take this class, click on the link in the -top-left sidebar.

Fourth Video Lesson Plot James Patterson’s MasterClass

Lesson 4 Plot James Patterson's MasterClass
Lesson 4 Plot James Patterson’s MasterClass

Video Lesson 4 PLOT

“Story is about the thrills, and twists and turns, but more than anything else it’s about revealing character.” ~James Patterson

What I learned from Jim Patterson in lesson four.

  1. Characters are revealed by their action
  2. Try to write every chapter, as it was your first chapter in a book.
  3. Set out to write a number one story thriller, with a number one story idea.
  4. Don’t write a single chapter that doesn’t ‘t propel the story forward
  5. Leave out all the parts readers are going to skim.
  6. Tell my story, map out my story, in ten or fifteen minutes

James Patterson mentions E.M Forster and his famous description of a plot.

The king died and the queen died is a story

The king died and the queen died of grief, is a plot

What does this mean? What I see… When that Queen died from grief you can add the love story, the reason for her death. The cause of her death, from there you have the beginnings of a story. From there you add in the ‘why’ that Queen loved the King so much she died when he did. You will wonder how the King died. You get it?

James Patterson said to, “Find the conflict in your characters.”

He also used The Great Gatsby’s plot: Gatsby has everything anyone could dream of except love. Gatsby gets love. Gatsby loses love and loses everything. And that’s Gatsby.

The rest are all those questions, problems, and the reasons why Gatsby did what he did.

Listen carefully to lesson 4 video, do the assignment. Have a question ask it. Have a comment post it.  Watch that video as many times as you need to.

See you in class.

The writer finished James Patterson’s Masterclass.

The writer finished James Patterson’s Masterclass then wrote a mystery.