MasterClass is one of my favorite sources for writing advice. It's a platform where some of the world’s most renowned writers create full-length courses to share their valuable expertise.
I’ve put together the best MasterClass courses that every writer should take. These courses will show you how to create timeless, beautiful masterpieces. Your instructors know how to write stories that sell, and they give you the exact path you need to take to make your own writing dreams happen.
If you want to write incredible stories...
If you have dreamed of becoming a full-time author...
...this is one of the best places to start. Try just one of these courses, and you’ll get to steal the strategies of the world’s best-selling authors:
Neil Gaiman has written across so many boundaries, it’s impossible to put him in a box. But if there’s one thing Neil always does well, it’s making his loveable characters come to life.
If you want to write fantasy, or if you just love listening to Neil tell stories, you need to take Neil Gaiman’s course. You’re going to love his tricks for building believable worlds.
If you know Neil Gaiman, if you’ve ever read Sandman or Neverwhere or any of his countless stories, you know this his course is worth your time.
There is magic in your written words, and Neil Gaiman will show you how to find it.
He will show you how to tug on the strings of your inspiration and craft characters who spring to life. After you start applying his techniques, everything else in your story will fall into place.
They call her the “Prophet of Dystopia.” Margaret Atwood is perhaps the most legendary science fiction writer and her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a story that will exist as long as women do. It’s incredible.
In Margaret Atwood’s course, she shows you how to take the seeds of your best ideas... and turn them into full-fledged stories.
Then, she shows you how to sharpen your story into a bloody dagger you can use to pierce your readers’ emotions. If you’ve ever read one of Atwood’s novels, you’ll know what a treasure this talent is.
Margaret Atwood will give you the tools to turn your ideas into masterpieces. Take this course if you want to write timeless, beautiful stories that stick with your readers, forever.
That’s the best way I can describe David Mamet’s course because I was not expecting to gain so much from a screenwriter.
Before I found him on MasterClass, I had no idea who David was. You should know he helped write Hannibal, Glengarry Glen Ross, and more Hollywood hits than you can shake an Oscar at.
Do you ever feel like your writing is “missing something?” Do you feel like it's not exciting enough, or that your characters feel like paper cut-outs?
The missing ingredient is DRAMA, and David Mamet is a master of dramatic writing. He'll show you how to sharpen every scene into a gripping, conflict-rich powder keg.
If you can only watch one course, take this one. I promise you, it’s worth it.
I put James Patterson’s course on this list because it completely changed the way I looked at the writing profession.
James puts out multiple bestselling novels every year, and he’s been doing it for decades. It’s not luck.
There are some very specific steps that Patterson takes with every novel he writes and in this course, he shares them all.
James Patterson’s advice on plotting is simple, yet genius, but my favorite takeaway was more about how Patterson approaches writing.
This course walks you through his whole process: from your outline, to your final chapter. If you want to see the exact path you need to take to write bestsellers, go take this course right now.
Before I took Dan Brown’s course, I didn’t know how to feel about him as an author.
Sure, I read Angels & Demons in one sitting…
But after I watched him share his process, I gained a whole new level of respect for Dan Brown.
Dan Brown explains exactly what it takes to write a book - with a special emphasis on gathering the right inspiration for your plot. I also found his teaching style was surprising easy to follow. He takes the most daunting writing tasks, breaks them apart, and puts them in easy-to-follow terms.
Take this course, and Dan Brown will show you exactly how he builds a novel from start to finish. After this, you’ll be able to craft your own unique, addicting novels.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to plot a novel, you will love his ideas on outlining and “crucibles.” This course will help you write dramatically more impressive novels… with far less wasted time.
It’s not just about the advice.
It’s about who the advice is coming from. When you get to look over your favorite author’s shoulder, you get to see every step in the process to becoming a professional writer.
It makes you see that YES, this is absolutely possible for you to do, too. It’s not a gamble. Writing is a career you can follow.
It’s about taking the time to learn from the best and combine their advice with your experience. And then practicing what you’ve learned again, and again.
These five amazing writing courses from MasterClass will keep you sharp and focused, and they will inspire you to continue the journey towards your writing career.
Good luck & happy writing.
- P. S. Hoffman