I just signed up for James Patterson’s course. I am so stoked. The whole thing costs ninety bucks for the entire shebang. I figure; how can I go wrong?
I’ve been through the first three lessons so far. Well, okay, one was the intro. It took less than three minutes. But still… And right now James is covering attitude and mindset. One story he likes to tell is about his first book. He sent it to thirty-seven publishing companies. They turned him down. Then he asks; “What is I had quit after five rejections?” (sic) He’s convinced that those thirty-seven people were wrong in their opinion. NYTimes.com lists James as having fifty-one books listed with them. Thirty-five went number one. When the first thirty-seven publishers found that out, don’t you think they were just a little peeved?
He gets personal with his lessons in that he tells the story from where he is coming. I was surprised about his past. I would have never guessed. (Think Johnny Cash.) But all that was a good two decades ago.
A lot of what Mr. Patterson says is very forgiving, to me anyway. One of the pieces of advice is; “Write at least one hour a day, every day.” Steven King advises to write at least two thousand words a day no matter what. Quite a difference of opinion. That is one of the things I love about getting more than one idea or opinion. You can not learn too much about this profession. And there are so many different ways to do it that none of them is wrong.
K.M. Weiland said and Mr. Patterson implied that there is no wrong way of writing a story. But the other side of that same coin is that there are still rules one has to follow. What a conundrum. Instead of me trying to explain things to you, read how the experienced professionals do it. They can explain themselves better than I.
The thing that really shows Mr. Patterson’s talent is where he gets his ideas from. Basically, he lives life, sees something that’s interesting to him and comes up with ideas to make an interesting story about it.
Anybody can take that idea to an extreme. What if you saw an elderly lady fall in the street while walking with a walker in front of her? The insightful can see a story there. I would imagine the first question would be; What brought that ailment on? Not, why did she fall? How did she wind up getting the illness she had to need a walker? But this way of thinking never came to me until after I went through only an hour of watching James Patterson’s Master Class video.
Here is something I hear from every writer I have listened to. Read. When you get done reading, read some more. James read eight to ten books a week. A week! Stephen King reads at least six hours a day, every day. Then he starts writing. Evidently, reading is important. Just don’t forget to write one hour to two thousand words a day.