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Praise for David's workshops:
"Just wanted to drop a note to say thanks for a terrific workshop. Your suggestions and insights were extremely helpful. I love your passion and appreciate that you love what you do. After leaving on Saturday, I felt that the chances of my book being published increased significantly.
Again, many thanks and best wishes for a joyful journey."

—Richard Rachlin, on The Outer Limits of Inner Life

See David's free, two-hour online video workshop (David's lecture begins at the 10:20 mark.)

2 0 1 5 SEMINARS

Tuesday, January 13 to Tuesday, February 10
The Craft of Character
In this 4-week course and workshop, David will guide students through a variety of techniques for situating complex characters in compelling stories, and rendering them on the page. The class will first explore a number of dramatic roles and functions that characters can assume in a story, then learn how to shape language to depict that variety of characters, and finally develop techniques for creating compelling scenes and fluid dialog to make those characters come to life.

  1. Week 1: The Protagonist and Opponent: Crafting Conflict
    Nothing is more crucial in the creation of meaningful drama than understanding the textured, multi-layered contest between the protagonist and the opponent (or whatever force or barrier stands between him and the fulfillment of his yearning).
  2. Week 2: Secondary Characters: Creating a World
    The protagonist and opponent do not act alone; they act on behalf of values they prize and worlds they cherish—values and worlds embodied in secondary characters.
  3. Week 3: Point of View and Voice: The Eye/I of the Story and Rendering its World in Words Engaging the reader requires anchoring the story in the characters who most vividly bring it to life. And the bridge between the characters in your mind's eye and the ones on the page is created through language. Shaping language to reflect character is key to effective drama.
  4. Week 4: Scenes & Dialog: Drama not Description Characters reveal themselves far more in what they say and do than what they think or feel. The arena for action is the scene, and dialog provides a critical means of both forcing the action and externalizing inner life.
For more information or to register, go here.

Saturday, February 7, 1:30-4:30 PM
Molls, Dolls, and Sympathetic Heavies: The Character of Crime
Mechanic's Institute Library
57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA
David will guide students through a variety of classic crime fiction roles, with the purpose of providing insight into how to avoid cliché while still gratifying reader expectations. Register here.

February 11-15
10th Annual San Miguel Writers' Conference and Literary Festival
Hotel Real de Minas
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
David will be leading two workshops at this one-of-a-kind writers' conference:
Thursday February 12, 11:00 AM
The Five Cornerstones of Fiction
Sunday February 15, 9:00 AM
Bringing Characters to Life by Looking Within
Register here.

Saturday, February 28, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
Trust Your Story
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 927-0960
Advice so simple it can't possibly be right: Just tell the story. In fact, the vast majority of writing problems can be solved by a deeper understanding of the story you're trying to tell. In this one-day seminar and workshop, David will review 10-page manuscript submissions from each student and discuss in detail how character dictates story, and story guides the revision process.
To register, go here

Early 2015, exact dates TBD
Delve Writers
Character in Conflict: Three Weekly Online Seminars and Workshops
Price: $125 standard/$99 for Delve registrants
Character forges the deepest bond between reader and story. And characters come to life most vividly when they engage in a meaningful struggle for something they hold dear. Crafting such compelling characters requires exploration of the link between their worldly ambitions and their deeper yearning, the way they adapt to stress and conflict, the inner wounds they bear, the secrets they harbor, and the contradictions they reveal. It also requires staging the conflict meaningfully, maximizing the stakes and forcing the characters to fully engage with the pursuit of their desires. In this bootcamp, you'll learn key techniques for making the daring, counter-intuitive choices that create memorable characters—including visualization of key scenes that illuminate behavior and framing the conflict so that it resonates with each character's fundamental longing. In addition, you will learn how to avoid common protagonist problems that create "stiffs, ciphers and sleepwalkers" who lack the will to carry the story, and how to justify not judge your opponents so that the conflict achieves its most dramatic form ("the unity of opposites"). Last, you'll acquire techniques for crafting the conflict in stories that lack a single or overriding opponent, such as love stories, journey sagas, or narratives where the hero faces a problem, an enigma or a disaster. The goal of the three-course bootcamp is to construct scene-driven character biographies for the protagonist and opponent (or another main character if the story lacks an opponent) in the service of a completed novel, short story, or film script.
Register here

Student/Client Praise

The following is a small sample of student and client appreciation in response to both classroom and online courses I've taught and manuscript critiques I've provided:

  • "I LOVED this class. The material was perfect—his lectures showed me how to look at things like arc and characterization in a whole new way—and the organization was right on the money. This is the best $500 I have ever spent."

  • "Awesome class. The material presented was perfect. Top-notch."

  • "The class touched my soul—Mr. Corbett is honest, authentic, and has a genuine passion for the process. He listened, remembered our individual pieces and asked probing and informed questions. The class was an experience of pure creativity."

  • "Hands down, the most enjoyable, beneficial course on writing I have ever taken, and I've taken many."

  • "I learned tips about forming characters that went untouched in conferences where I have paid a substantial registration/workshop fee and gone home disappointed."

  • "He brought inspiration AND instruction."

  • "Excellent thinker and teacher."



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