James Patterson Quotes on Writing: The Complete Collection

james patterson quptes on writing
by CJ McDaniel // April 5 // 0 Comments

For many writers, it’s an incredible accomplishment to find their name or book’s title under the best-selling list. If you’re looking for a writer who constantly makes an appearance on the list in the late 20th and early 21st century, the name would be James Patterson. His prolific output predominantly involves crime thriller and suspense novels, branching to other literary genres like science fiction and romance. Patterson has written hundreds of books from the start of his career. Hence, every kind of writer can learn a lot from his works and James Patterson’s quotes about writing.

American author and novelist James Brendan Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, 1947. Before becoming one of today’s most prolific contemporary American authors, Patterson took a job as an advertising executive at J. Walter Thompson. Writing novels was something he’ll do during his spare time, not until he retired from advertising in 1996. From then on, he was a full-time writer, already an established best-selling author writing fiction.

Patterson’s ability to connect with different types of readers undoubtedly made him a trusted storyteller and bestselling author today. His thrillers, mysteries, young adult novels, and other works continue to become the sought-after books, generation after generation. Of course, his impact doesn’t end with his writings—James Patterson’s quotes on writing also proved their relevance over the years.

James Patterson Quotes About Writing

Patterson’s professional writing career started around 1976. His long years of work paid off eventually, earning him several awards. These awards include the prestigious Edgar Award, The International Thriller of the Year Award, and the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year. Moreover, he currently holds the Guinness World Record for having the most books on New York Times number one bestsellers list.

The recognition Patterson received throughout his career proves his excellence in his craft. Hence, if you’re looking for a reliable source of inspiration, these James Patterson quotes about writing are what you need!

When I write I pretend I’m telling a story to someone in the room and I don’t want them to get up until I’m finished.

James Patterson

Stop trying to write sentences and start trying to write stories.

James Patterson

Hey. Not sure what’s going on-gonna go find out. Be careful and don’t do anything stupid. Don’t come after me-your better on your own. See you. F I sat on the edge of the bed, holding the note. Okay, so Fang had looked up vague in the dictionary and this was what it had said to write.

James Patterson

I write larger than life. It’s what I do.

James Patterson

If I’m writing and a chapter isn’t coming, I just move ahead.

James Patterson

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.

James Patterson

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.

James Patterson

I did know that the book would end with a mind-boggling trial, but I didn’t know exactly how it would turn out. I like a little suspense when I am writing, too.

James Patterson

I have a number of writers I work with regularly. I write an outline for a book. The outlines are very specific about what each scene is supposed to accomplish.

James Patterson

The writing in Mission to Paris, sentence after sentence, page after page, is dazzling. If you are a John le Carr fan, this is definitely a novel for you.

James Patterson

I never read detective novels. I started out in graduate school writing a more serious book. Right around that time I read ‘The Day of the Jackal’ and ‘The Exorcist’. I hadn’t read a lot of commercial fiction, and I liked them.

James Patterson

I think sometimes we give people a lot of credit just because they’re writing nice sentences even if it isn’t adding up to much.

James Patterson

I’m big on having a blistering pace. That’s one of the hallmarks of what I do, and that’s not easy. I never blow up cars and things like that, so it’s something else that keeps the suspense flowing. I try not to write a chapter that isn’t going to turn on the movie projector in your head.

James Patterson

If it’s commercial fiction that you want to write, it’s story, story, story. You’ve got to get a story where if you tell it to somebody in a paragraph, they’ll go, “Tell me more.” And then when you start to write it, they continue to want to read more. And if you don’t, it won’t work.

James Patterson

In my office in Florida I have, I think, 30 manuscript piles around the room. Some are screenplays or comic books or graphic novels. Some are almost done. Some I’m rewriting. If I’m working with a co-writer, they’ll usually write the first draft. And then I write subsequent drafts.

James Patterson

I guess I write four or five hours a day, but I do it seven days a week. It’s very disciplined, yes, but it’s joy for me.

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes for Writers

Apart from capturing the hearts of millions of readers, prolific author James Patterson was also a source of inspiration for many writers. It’s no surprise why, considering how he’s the world’s bestselling author. His career also began in 1976—his long years of work in the field shaped him into the writer he is now.

If you’re a writer looking for motivation to keep moving and never give up, James Patterson has something to say! Check out the collection below for his quotes for writers.

A lot of times, if you’re a fiction writer, you just make shit up.

James Patterson

I know and empathize with a lot of things that people go through.

James Patterson

I have a folder in my office with about 400 ideas in it. So it will take me another 40 years to get through those.

James Patterson

I never give anyone writing advice.

James Patterson

I write in a very simple way. I don’t have to. I know the rules—I could write more complex sentences if I wanted to. But I choose not to, and I think it’s a valid approach.

James Patterson

It’s all right to put the weight of the world on your shoulders sometimes, if you know how to take it off.

James Patterson

I’ve always been big on, ‘Have a dream and a backup dream.

James Patterson

Originality is a big thing.

James Patterson

People think free books are great, but it’s a problem when publishers want to give away writing.

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

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.

James Patterson

I’m a very good storyteller; I have a lot of compassion for people. That’s very useful for a novelist.

James Patterson

A lot of writers fall in love with their sentences or their construction of sentences, and sometimes that’s great, but not everybody is Gabriel Garcia Marquez or James Joyce. A lot of people like to pretend that they are, and they wind up not giving people a good read or enlightening them.

James Patterson

I’m not a writer’s writer. I’m not a craftsman. I could be, and that would be a one-book-a-year operation.

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is undeniably a writer’s worst enemy. It’s a creative slump that many authors face, keeping them from progressing further in their writing process.

A quote or two from someone who sold more than 300 million books worldwide can help overcome and combat this foe! Like many others, James Patterson faced the same dilemma despite his brilliance and creativity. Hence, his quotes on writer’s block will help you defeat it!

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.

James Patterson

Do not torture yourself. That’s how people get blocked.

James Patterson

Don’t think about the sentences, think about the story. Write the story down.

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Crafting Characters

One of the things that made James Patterson recognizable was his ability to craft enduring fictional characters. For example, his first successful series grew popular because of the detective/psychologist named Alex Cross. Sources even say that Patterson created more unforgettable fictional characters than any other writer today.

For writers stuck in crafting characters, check the following collection of quotes for valuable tips in creating your next big thing!

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

James Patterson

I need to feel as involved as I want the reader to feel.

James Patterson

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.

James Patterson

I never miss a good chance to shut up.

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Plot and Suspense

James Patterson mostly wrote detective stories, crime thrillers, science fiction, and young adult novels. Among his famous books include Along Came a Spider—the crime thriller where Alex Cross was the protagonist. His approach to writing fiction involves using bite-sized chapters and thrilling, fast-paced plots for people to enjoy. While Patterson explored other genres to cater to various audiences, his crime thrillers were always a hit for loyal and casual readers.

The quotes below are among his words on plot and suspense, a valuable collection for writers and readers interested in Patterson’s ideas on this.

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

James Patterson

Everything you write should be moving your story forward.

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

A good love story always keeps the pot boiling.

James Patterson

Ultimately, a great thriller is a roller coaster ride.

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Titles and Covers

A compelling title and cover attract potential readers online or in a bookstore. Patterson’s expertise in his craft is undeniable—but his title and cover choice also contributed to his book sales worldwide. Although the following list is short, it gives a quick insight into Patterson’s view on the mentioned subject.

Come and look at these quotes on titles and covers from James Patterson.

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

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Success

One can’t deny Jame Patterson’s impact and influence in and out of the literary field. His career and success inspire and motivate many professionals today, most especially writers who want to venture on the same track as him. True enough, writing a successful thriller book sounds daunting. However, James Patterson’s quotes on success will keep aspiring thriller writers rooting for success!

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

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

James Patterson Quotes on Research

Writing, like other professions, involves research work. The research process itself helps writers form their characters, settings, and plot, aiming to make each aspect realistic, if necessary. James Patterson acknowledges the importance of research in writing. Hence, the collection of quotes below provides a preview of his thoughts on research.

Research really helps your confidence.

James Patterson

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

James Patterson

James Patterson’s passion for writing serves as an inspiration for readers and writers, whether they’re professional or not. He was a prolific author recognized for his work of fiction and outstanding service to the literary community. His achievements and recognitions throughout his writing career prove his excellence in the field—further explaining why James Patterson’s quotes on writing make a constant appearance in many search engines.

Need more motivation on writing other than James Patterson’s quotes? Check out our selection of quotes on writing from other authors here.

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!