Masterclass Review Neil Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman MasterClass Review

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Today on the blog, I’m going to share my review of the Nail Gaiman MasterClass. If you’ve type “MasterClass Review Neil Gaiman” into Google Search, then this is the place to be! If, instead, you’re looking for a thorough review review of the MasterClass platform, click HERE.

Today I’m going to be sharing a review specifically of the Masterclass with Neil Gaiman.

Masterclass Review Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a super popular fantasy writer, and I, myself, *love* his novel, Good Omens.  His children’s book, Coraline, has also given me nightmares – as an adult –  so, love that for me. 

Those button eyes, man.

Truly creeptastic, right?

There’s no question (in my mind) about whether or not Neil Gaiman is an world class writer – the question is:

Is Neil Gaiman good at *teaching people* how to write?

Is Neil Gaiman good at *teaching people* how to write?

Can he *do* as well as *teach*?

And, you might be wondering, “Is Neil Gaiman so good at teaching writing that the Neil Gaiman MasterClass is worth the money?”

Because this is a lengthy review, I’ve shared the outline below – so you can scroll to get to where you need to go:

Heads up, I do use affiliate links in this blog post.  If you use my link, I’ll earn a commission – which helps me write more posts.  That said, I don’t think MasterClass is for everyone, as I shared in this MasterClass review here

  • My Background:  I loathe when reviewers fail to include their respective backgrounds – how else am I supposed to know how my needs/wants line up to yours?
  • What I Didn’t Learn // A Few Notes on What NOT to Expect
  • What I Learned from the Neil Gaiman MasterClass
  • Final Recommendation:  Is Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass worth the money?

My Background

Hi, I’m Brianne Huntsman (she/her), and you’re reading my blog.  I’ve been a fantasy nerd all my life (see my urban fantasy recommendations here), and, like, many people have a lot of moleskins full of writing ideas, some half-started google docs and a few published short stories.

I’m 30 (almost 31 at the time of this writing), a woman, a member of the LGBTQ+ community with no kids.  I’ve taken other writing courses and attempt NaNoWriMo.  I love LOTR, and I’m not a Star Wars fan – except, I love Carrie Fisher.  I’m a fashion designer and model, and I’m also a creative director for fashion editorials.

I’m a professional creative, but I’m not a professional fiction writer… person.

Put another way, I’m a wannabe fantasy writer and a professional fan.

Put another way, I’m a wannabe fantasy writer and a professional fan.

Great, now let’s look at the course!

What I Didn’t Learn // A Few Notes on What NOT to Expect

This MasterClass is not a step-by-step overview of how Neil Gaiman writes his various works.  Now that I think on it, I would’ve loved to see him share a sort of map or timeline on how he writes, but that’s not what the course is.

This course is not:

  • A comprehensive guide to writing a book, screenplay, comic, whatever
  • Guaranteed to make you as successful as Neil Gaiman

I also think the course has writing advice that critics will say they “already know,” but there’s a difference between knowing about a concept and being able to use it in you creative work.

The Neil Gaiman MasterClass is *not* a comprehensive guid to writing a story.

How the Neil Gaiman MasterClass Works

In the course, Neil takes storytelling concepts, many of which we know, and then he shows you how he used those concepts in specific works.  He reads aloud from his stories, or talks about a specific comic or shares how he had to tweak an ending in a book to make it work for television.

It’s easy to miss the nuggets of actionable info, because you’re listening to him talk about the story.  It’s very easy In this MasterClass to go from eager student to rapt audience member.  

In the MasterClass, Neil does share actionable pieces of info, but you really have to be listening – and pulling back your inner Self from just raptly listening. For example, in one lesson, Neil talks about how surprises the reader by moving an adjective in a sentence – when describing a character.  That was a beautiful nugget!  (I am intentionally not sharing that nugget, because it would be unethical!) 

In the MasterClass, Neil does share actionable pieces of info, but you really have to be listening

Okay, the only “problem” in the Neil Gaiman MasterClass is this….

I kind of described it above, but I’m just gonna be BLUNT and tell you.

I haven’t seen other reviews of the Neil Gaiman Masterclass explicitly state  this….

They all beat around the bush….

Neil Gaiman’s voice is hypnotizing.

FML.

I am a little embarrassed to write that, but real talk – it kept biting me in the behind as I listened to the course.

 One of the problems (?) with the Neil Gaiman MasterClass is that Neil (I feel like he’d be okay if I called him “Neil,”) has a melodic voice.

I feel like he’d be okay if I called him by his first name

If he wasn’t such a good writer, he could’ve had an incredible career as a narrator.

His voice is so melodious, with rhythm and other musical elements, that it’s so easy to stop paying attention and just let the experience wash over you.

It’s like a smooth jazz version of spoken word.

Put another way, if Neil hadn’t been a writer or narrator – he probably could’ve started some sort of cult.  Just saying.

This turned out to be a PROBLEM during the course, because I  *stopped* actually processing his words and was more listening to the sound of his voice.  There were more than a few moments when I realized, “Oh, [bleep.]. I totally missed all of that. 

I  *stopped* actually processing his words and was more listening to the sound of his voice. 

Facepalm.

Okay, now let’s talk what I learned:

What I Learned from the Neil Gaiman MasterClass

While I learned some fun tricks and insights, I think the most helpful part of this MasterClass was learning the specific ways that Neil has struggled with his work.  How nothing is ever perfect, and how his professional creative collaborations work.

A few high level notes on what I learned:

  • Finishing Short Stories – Neil shares why young writers should first start with short stories. 
  • Play the Lottery – Ok, Neil doesn’t actually say to buy a lotto ticket. But I wrote “Buy a writing lotto ticket” in my notes, and this is a super honest review – so I’m sharing it with you.  But he does talk about how as the writer you never know what the response to your work is going to be. Some work will naturally be more popular than others, and it is your job to keep writing (buying lotto tickets), with the goal of eventually *something* being a hit (winning the lottery).
  • Writing Quirks – Throughout the MasterClass, Neil Gaiman shares several tips on how he includes quirks for his characters, and he’s actually pretty specific – at one point noting sentence structure – which I adored

Neil Gaiman MasterClass – Worth the money?

This MasterClass is worth the money if you are:

  • A creative (who isn’t a writer) looking to learn from a prolific and successful creator
  • A fan of Neil Gaiman’s works
  • A professional writer who is teachable and looking to improve their craft

If you think that you are too good to “revisit the basics,” or that you know it all – then stay on your high horse, friend.  You will not enjoy this MasterClass.

If you’re a writer who doesn’t want to “revisit the basics,” then this course isn’t for you.

More MasterClass Reviews

Should I publish blog posts reviewing individual classes on MasterClass? I think I might! If that tickles your fancy, be sure to join me on Twitter for updates – or sign up for my email list HERE!