Category Archives: simple outlines

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.