20 James Patterson Quotes to Make You Want to Write

by Cherise Teed on November 11, 2020

Prolific author James Patterson has not only inspired millions of readers to pick up one of his 114 New York Times bestselling novels, but he's also motivated countless writers to put words to paper in an attempt to match the direct prose of the world’s bestselling author. His words can help writers stay motivated during each step of the writing process from drafting an outline to completing a manuscript and everything in between — even when writer’s block strikes. Here are 20 quotes from Jame Patterson to make you want to write — right now!

James Patterson on intention

“Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.”

“If you’re going to write a bestseller … it’s got to work for a lot of people.”

“If you want to write for yourself, get a diary. If you want to write for your friends, get a blog. If you want to write for others … become an author.”

“You’re lucky if you find something you like to do, and it’s a miracle if somebody will pay you for it.”

Advice on getting started with your writing

“The more you know about, the more likely you are to combine things to make an idea that’s striking.”

Research really helps your confidence.”

“Your mind creates your reality. If you expect nothing, you open up the universe to give you options. If you expect the worst, you usually get it.”

The importance of crafting eye-catching titles and cover images

“Nobody buys a book that they don’t pick up.”

“You gotta put something out there that gets their attention and gets them curious.”

James Patterson's advice for overcoming writer’s block

“Do not sit there like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow.’ Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.”

“Don’t think about the sentences; think about the story. Write the story down.”

“Don’t depend on others to give you strength. … Find it within yourself.”

Character development

“With respect to characters, you want things that really dig deep and say a lot very very quickly to get us interested in the person.”

“You want your readers to have strong feelings about your characters.”

How to write page-turning manuscripts

“In my opinion, one of the biggest secrets of suspense is setting up questions that the readers must have answered.”

“At the end, something has to propel you into the next chapter.”

A good love story always keeps the pot boiling.”

“Ultimately, a great thriller is a roller coaster ride.”

James Patterson's advice for editing

“A lot of times you get people writing wonderful sentences and paragraphs, and they fall in love with their prose style, but the stories really aren’t that terrific.”

On being an eternal reader

“Better readers are better thinkers.”

20 Quotes from James Patterson to inspire your prose

Writing is a craft. You have to work at it. Take advice from pros like James Patterson and apply yourself to a dedicated plan to take your writing from a dream job to a reality. And if you have a book or short story ready to go, why not submit it to the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book and Cinematic Short Story Competitions. Your story might be the next big screen smash.

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