MasterClass for Writing - Should You Try it? [Courses and Reviews]
Are you hoping to write a hit book or screenplay? The writing courses on MasterClass can help. Learn writing techniques online, with self-paced video lessons from famous authors and screenwriters. In this article, I provide reviews of recommended MasterClass courses on book and screenplay writing from various instructors.
What is MasterClass?
MasterClass is an online-education platform that features video courses taught by accomplished people in various fields. Subscribers to MasterClass gain access to all courses on the platform.
One of the fields MasterClass offers many courses in is writing. Since I'm a fiction writer, in this article, I focus on classes pertaining to books and scripts, however, MasterClass provides narrative writing courses in poetry and journalism too.
You can view all of the MasterClass writing courses on its website:
Who are MasterClass writing courses for?
MasterClass courses were designed with new writers in mind. You should be able to understand the material even if you haven't tried writing a book or screenplay yet.
Experienced authors or screenwriters may already be familiar with various topics covered, however, can surely pick up new tips.
Certain classes revolve around book writing and others screenwriting. However, most of the underlying concepts the instructors speak about apply to both formats.
Some courses go into detail on specific genres - ex, thrillers - however, most of the underlying concepts apply to various genres across narrative writing.
If you are an author or screenwriter in any genre - or would like to be someday - all of the classes listed in this article should benefit you in some way.
Here's a look at the major topics the courses cover...
MasterClass writing topics
Many lessons are aimed at helping writers create an outline for their story. Example topics:
Lessons also cover the writing stage after an outline is completed and a writer has moved on to creating scenes. Example topics:
Finally, various lessons go over elements of a writing career that aren't directly related to what's written on a page. Example topics:
How much does MasterClass cost?
A MasterClass Individual membership costs $10/month, billed annually. Subscribers receive instant access to all courses on the platform, which they can view on one device (ie, computer, tablet, phone, or TV).
For $15/month, billed annually, you can access all course content on two devices, known as the Duo membership. The Family membership - which costs $20/month billed annually - lets you access content on six devices.
All three plans have a 30-day guarantee. If you aren't certain the platform is a fit for you, I encourage you to sign up and try it.
If you'd rather not remain a member, you can easily cancel your subscription for a full refund.
MasterClass writing courses and reviews
Below are overviews and links to MasterClass writing courses I recommend. I looked into classes in areas related to what I write.
I am sure many other classes on MasterClass are helpful too. Just because a class isn't on this list, does not mean you should skip it. Possibly you write in an area much different than me (ex, children's books) and other classes may be of interest to you.
Once you subscribe to MasterClass, I suggest you browse all the writing classes and take as many as possible with material relevant to you.
My list of recommended classes, with reviews...
James Patterson MasterClass review
James Patterson is the bestselling novelist of thriller series such as Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club. His MasterClass features 22 video lessons, covering topics like:
I recommend this class to anyone interested in writing fast-paced fiction, particularly in the mystery and thriller genres. Though James Patterson is an author, the class would also be helpful for screenwriters.
To take the James Patterson MasterClass, just register on the website and you can start immediately:
David Baldacci MasterClass review
David Baldacci is the bestselling author of various thriller series. In his MasterClass, you can take 18 video lessons on topics like:
I recommend this class to anyone interested in writing page-turning fiction, especially in the mystery and thriller genres. Though David Baldacci is a novelist, the lessons would apply to screenwriters too.
To take the David Baldacci MasterClass, just sign up on the website and you can begin immediately:
Malcolm Gladwell MasterClass review
Malcolm Gladwell is the bestselling author of non-fiction books such as The Tipping Point and Blink. Since Malcolm Gladwell writes in a narrative style, I've included his course on this list, even though his books aren't fiction. He teaches 24 video lessons, on topics like:
I recommend this course to anyone interested in writing narrative non-fiction, or fiction, whether articles, short stories, or books. Screenwriters and documentary filmmakers could benefit from these lessons too.
To take the Malcolm Gladwell MasterClass, just register on the website and you can start right away:
Aaron Sorkin MasterClass review
Aaron Sorkin is the acclaimed writer of The Social Network, The West Wing, and other films and television shows. His class offers 35 video lessons, on topics such as:
I recommend this course to anyone interested in writing screenplays, teleplays, plays, or novels.
To take the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass, just sign up on the MasterClass website and you can start instantly:
Neil Gaiman MasterClass review
Neil Gaiman is a popular writer of short stories, novels, graphic novels, and more. His MasterClass features 19 video lessons, on topics like:
I recommend this course to anyone interested in writing novels, short stories, screenplays, graphic novels, or comic books. Though the class may be particularly helpful to fantasy writers, any fiction writer could benefit from it.
To take the Neil Gaiman MasterClass, just sign up on the website and you can begin immediately:
Dan Brown MasterClass review
Dan Brown is the bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and other thriller novels. His course offers 19 video lessons, on topics such as:
I recommend this class to anyone interested in writing mysteries and thrillers, whether in novel or screenplay form. The class could also be helpful to writers in other genres who are hoping to incorporate suspense into their stories.
To take the Dan Brown MasterClass, just register on the website and you can start instantly:
David Mamet MasterClass review
David Mamet is the acclaimed writer of plays, such as Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo, screenplays, and more. His class features 26 video lessons, on topics like:
I recommend this class to anyone interested in writing screenplays, plays, or novels.
To take the David Mamet MasterClass, just sign up on the MasterClass website and you can begin immediately:
More recommended MasterClass courses for writers
The MasterClass courses listed above are designed for writers. Some other courses are designed for directors, however, address storytelling concepts a writer could find helpful. Below, I've provided a brief bio of these instructors and links to learn more about their classes:
David Lynch is the acclaimed screenwriter and director of the films Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and more. To learn more about the David Lynch MasterClass, visit the course page.
Martin Scorsese is the Oscar-winning director of Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, and other films. To learn more about the Martin Scorsese MasterClass, visit the course page.
Judd Apatow is the popular screenwriter and director of the films Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and more. To learn more about the Judd Apatow MasterClass, visit the course page.
Ron Howard is the Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind, Backdraft, and other movies. To learn more about the Ron Howard MasterClass, visit the course page.
James Cameron is the Oscar-winning screenwriter and director of The Terminator, Aliens, and other films. To learn more about the James Cameron MasterClass, visit the course page.
Try MasterClass free
Do any of the MasterClass courses mentioned in this article seem like they could help you? If so, I suggest you sign up for MasterClass and start watching the lessons. You have a 30-day money-back guarantee. If the platform isn't right for you, easily cancel without losing a dime.
To begin your MasterClass free trial, just visit the website and select "Sign Up":
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