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Praise from a distinguished former student:

"Your class was wonderful! I took away so much from our work together and I still refer to my notes. It was worth every minute I spent on the 405, and that's saying a lot—it was four hours every Monday night, two each way between class and home! I've ordered The Art of Character and will keep it close at hand as I work on novel #2."
   —Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan's Inheritance (a #1 Indie Pick April 2015)

For more about Aline and her wonderful debut novel, listen to her interview with Lynn Neary on NPR's Weekend Edition.

David's lecture, "The Character of Crime," given at CraftFest in July, 2015, is available as an mp3 download through VW Tapes (along with recordings of all the other sessions and panels). CD format also available. To purchase David's lecture, go here.

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

2 0 1 6 SEMINARS

February 10-14
San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference
Hotel Real de Minas
San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
David will be teaching three seminar-workshops at this one-of-a-kind international writers' conference:

  • The Character of Plot: Wednesday, February 10, 3:30-5:00 PM
  • There is no Emotion without Motion: Thursday, February 11, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
  • Beyond Good and Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot and Character: Morning Intensive, Saturday, February 13, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

March 14-April 5
The Character of Plot
Forget arbitrary plot points and formulaic three-act structure. In this four-week course and workshop, David will guide you in the craft of building plot from strong characters with profound, mutually incompatible needs and desires.

In this course, you'll learn how to orient the reader in the story world, with an exploration of setting as a revelation of character. Next you'll learn how to create the Crisis/Calling, by understanding the necessity to act on the part of the characters, and thus creating the opportunity or misfortune that kicks off the story. You'll then move on to the various ways to intensify tension, until the main characters are obliged to make the fundamental discovery that changes their understanding of themselves and their world, leading to the climactic transformation that concludes the story.

For more information or to register, go here.

March 14
The Art and Craft of Story
ITW Online Thriller School
David kicks off this seven-week online program that also features Lee Child, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Meg Gardiner, James Scott Bell. Peter James, and F. Paul Wilson. To register, go to: Thriller School.

Saturday, March 19, 10 AM-4 PM
Plotting Your Mystery
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925
In this one-day class, David will guide students through the various elements that every great mystery requires: the truly unique detective (and his will to justice), the "informative" victim, the unexpected killer, the puzzling murder, the elaborate cover-up, the discovery and elimination of suspects, the staging of reveals and reversals, planting false clues and red herrings, exposure of the false ally, and the satisfying twist. The class will also explore the unique requirements of various sub-subgenres—e.g., hard-boiled, cozy, amateur sleuth—and hybrids such as medical thriller, legal thriller, etc., with special attention to the specific demands of mystery stories students themselves hope to write. To register, go here.

Wednesday, April 13, 1:30-2:30 PM
Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention
Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Room: Palma A
David will be presenting his seminar Beyond Good and Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot and Character. For more info and to register, go here. (Conference runs from April 12th through the 17th, with thousands of authors, reviewers, fans and others in attendance.)

Saturday, April 23, 3:05-4:05 PM
Redwood Writers 2016 Conference
Flamingo Resort & Spa
2777 Fourth St.
Santa Rosa, CA
This conference is a day-long affair with many presenters. David will be teaching a seminar titled Making the Past Present: Embedding Backstory in Behavior:

Your character's past isn't explanatory filler. It's the foundation of his worldview, his attitude, how he thinks and feels, what he values, what he fears. All of this is embodied in the compromises he hides behind, the challenges he accepts, the decisions he makes, how he justifies those decisions, and how he deals with their consequences. In this workshop, David will outline the mechanics of how to turn what has happened before the story begins into the fabric of the narrative itself.

Saturday, April 24, 10 AM-4 PM
The Final Polish
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
You've finished and revised your manuscript and believe it's ready to send it out. But in today's competitive marketplace, you may get only one chance to impress agents and editors. In this workshop, David will review your first ten pages to determine: How unique is the voice? How compelling are the story questions? How engaging are the main characters? How high are the stakes? Manuscripts must be submitted by 1/30/16.

"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

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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