SEMINARS & CLASSES
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
Read about David's ONLINE COURSES
See David's free, two-hour online video workshop (David's lecture begins at the 10:20 mark.)
2 0 1 4 SEMINARS
March 6-April 3
The Craft of Character: Rendering Real People on the Page
Description: 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.
- 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 the opponent.
- 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.
- Voice: The World in Words
The bridge between the character in your mind's eye and the one on the page is created through language, and shaping language to reflect character is key to effective drama.
- 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.
April 9-June 11, 2014 (10 weeks)
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
The Outer Limits of Inner Life: Building Consistent but Surprising Characters
Price: $529 before March 9th, $579 thereafter
Description: Readers connect with characters who feel drawn from real life. The key to crafting this true-to-life illusion is learning how to build a coherent physical, psychological, emotional, and sociological framework that still possesses the freedom to surprise. In this course, you learn key techniques for building memorable characters—including drawing on one's own emotional experiences, probing the unconscious for the unpredictable, and asking the core questions that illuminate behavior. In addition, you explore how to resolve the tension between story and character so they don't work at cross-purposes: how to recognize the key story idea, how to allow it the open-endedness that invites fresh characterization, and how to make daring, counter-intuitive character choices that bring the story to life. Through building dynamic character biographies, you generate scenes that dramatize the emotional core that makes a character compelling. Through analysis of story structure, you learn how to dramatize the protagonist's growth from unconscious reaction to the "crisis of insight," and to the decision to "change or die" that leads to the climactic confrontation with the core problem or opponent. The course goal is to construct character biographies in the service of a completed novel chapter, a short story, or a film treatment.
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."
- "MORE DAVID CORBETT!"