MasterClass Monday: John Green Reminds Us To “Cultivate Empathy”


John Green is best known  as the author of the New York Times bestseller (and major motion picture) The Fault In Our Stars, as well as being the 2006 Printz Award winner for his debut novel, Looking For Alaska.

He writes incredibly compelling characters and wonderful, resonating dialogue and also manages to keep a strong social media presence, blogging and vlogging on multiple platforms.

I found this great quote from him that really sums up what I like best in a good book:

“But in truth all fiction is an attempt at empathy: when I write, I’m trying to imagine what it’s like to be someone else more than I’m trying to express what it’s like to be me.”

It’s a very good thing when an author can say “I’ve grown so much from writing these characters.” I’ve had moments in my writing where putting myself into that scene, that moment, that character’s head has changed me. And that is really what it ought to be doing. If I’m doing it right, it should change the reader as well.

Mental Floss has a great collection of some of John’s best words of wisdom on the topic of writing, and if you’d like a little extra insight, check  out the vlog below, where he gives another couple of sage (and hilarious) pieces of advice:

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