Thursday, October 15, 2015

Writing with James Patterson...and Joyce Maynard


Despite not writing a blog post for, whew, almost a year, I have been writing. Writing a short story, a novel, and two plays. In all honesty, I've only tinkered around with everything with the exception of the short story.

That story I actually finished (go me!), and I'm in the middle of a second major rewrite after feedback from a few friends. This will be the first piece of fiction that I'll be submitting -- I'm really to start my collection of rejection letters!!

Maybe I'll soon have a rejection letter of my very own!

I think I might actually finish one of the plays has a full outline and is coming along smoothly.

With all this writing practice and slow improvement, I figured this was the time to take James Patterson's MasterClass. This class seems perfect for me as I have no literary aspirations, but just want to tell a fun story. I am about halfway through watching the lectures. After that I plan on viewing them a second time and doing the writing exercises that come in the accompanying lesson plan.

He's a real sweetheart that James Patterson. He's so encouraging and is clear about what he thinks works -- and it must, the man sells a ton of books. But a better review than I could write, from a seasoned writer, is from Joyce Maynard. I've never heard of the woman, and I am a little embarrassed about that.

Joyce Maynard, photo by Micke

Joyce is charmed by Patterson, but I shouldn't paraphrase her -- simply reference her great article!

I now have read her Wikipedia page and know a bit more about her -- she wrote To Die For! I'm curious to read now to see how similar or different it is from Buck Henry's movie script. 

So although my work life is a bit nuts and less than inspiring at the moment, this month I hope to submit my first story, finish my little play, maybe complete Patterson's course, and start reading some Joyce Maynard. Wish me luck!


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