James Patterson Writer's Master Class is not the Famous Writers School

And that is a good thing.

Photo of James Patterson by Rebecca Bortman
There are similarities, and I guess that would be true of any writing class that is worth anything. The good part of the James Patterson class is that you actually feel he is talking to you as a student in the classroom. The assignments I have seen before, but when you apply James Patterson's presentation along with that assignment you realize that it isn't only an assignment, but it is a way for you to actually develop whatever project you are working upon.

The third lesson is about "Raw Ideas". I am not giving anything away here, you can go to the website and see the entire lesson plan. Constructing any raw idea isn't new, but he does provide some additional assistance if you are having a problem coming up with one. Foe me the advantage is that I have the raw idea for my third book, the title is "The Case of the Jade Dragon".

Here is what I wrote:
Jonas Watcher:
The Case of the Jade Dragon

While returning from New Orleans to San Francisco Jonas Watcher rescues an elderly Chinese gentleman and his daughter fro ruffians at a train depot. When Jonas returns to his Office in San Francisco he is accosted by to oriental man who insist that he must come with them if he values his life. Jonas dispatches the two men and enters his office. As he is about to leave later that evening there is a knock at his door. It is the daughter of the Chinese gentleman from the day before. She apologizes for her cousins, they were supposed to extend an invitation to Jonas to come to see her great uncle. They were in need of a private detective and after Jonas dealt with the ruffians and her cousins so effectively, her great uncle wanted to interview him to see if he was the right man for a delicate job.

At the meeting, Jonas learns that two powerful families have arranged for a marriage in order to unite and bring an end to a two-hundred-year-old feud. The bride is in St Louis and is a great niece of the man interviewing him. Her father has agreed to the marriage, but Jonas' host does not know anyone he can trust to bring her to San Francisco who isn't too old to do the job. There is some danger as there are factions that do not want the marriage to take place. Jonas' job is a simple one of being her bodyguard.

As Jonas departs for St Louis he is joined by the granddaughter of his host. She is not a traditional Chinese woman and has been a thorn in her grandfather's side because of her forwardness and independent nature. Although the old gentleman indicated he trusted Jonas he decided to send his granddaughter along as an additional protection for the brides chastity.

When Jonas arrives at St Louis he encounters some of those who do not want the wedding to take place. In addition, he finds that although the bride's father supported the marriage, the bride is somewhat reluctant. Jonas must play hide and seek with assassins, deal with the a different suitor of the bride, and complete his assignment because he has learned that failure might me deadly.


As I listened to the fourth video I picked up some additional ideas for my story. I had intended to include some Chinese mythology, and I also wanted to include conflict between old traditions and modern Chinese life in the 1930s. But my main villain was still in the shadows, but listening to James Patterson, my villain revealed himself to me.  Thank you, James.

Gene Poschman

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