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
See David's free, two-hour online video workshop (David's lecture begins at the 10:20 mark.)
2 0 1 4 SEMINARS
June 30-July 21
The Craft of Character
Price: $375 (Register here)
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.
Class enrollment limited to 15 students. Register now
- 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.
Thursday July 24, 1:00-2:30 PM
Beyond Good & Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot & Character
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Price: $90 (Mystery Writers Conference Participants) or $125 (General Public)
Far too often writers revert to the easiest, simplest, and least compelling form of moral argument to structure their stories: Good versus Evil. In this pre-conference seminar and workshop, award-winning novelist David Corbett will guide students through a deeper understanding of the possibilities of this moral contest by exploring ways to add texture, nuance and complexity to the depiction of opposing values, with additional instruction on other forms of moral argument, such as Tragedy, Drama, Pathos, Satire/Irony and Black Comedy.
Although this class is presented in conjunction with the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, students need not be conference attendees to take part in this class. For more information or to register, go here.
WHIDBEY WRITERS WORKSHOP
August 4 & 5
Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
As part of the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program, David will be presenting four workshops on August 4-5:
THE OUTER LIMITS OF INNER LIFE, PART 1
In the first half of this two-part workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character) will guide students through a re-imagining of their personal experience—specifically, moments of helplessness or profound emotional resonance—the better to use these memories constructively in the exploration and development of fictional characters.
THE OUTER LIMITS OF INNER LIFE, PART 2
In this second half of David's two-part workshop, he will continue his exploration of students' personal experience by expanding it to an appreciation of how the writer's response to elements of nature or works of music and art can guide characterization, as well as a fuller understanding of how to use the people in one's own life as source material for fictional characters, with a special attention to recognizing vulnerability, contradiction, and outer/inner contrast in the people around us.
DEVELOPING CHARACTER, PART 1
In the first half of this two-part workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character) will guide students through exploration of the five cornerstones of characterization—Desire/Yearning, Adaptations/Defense Mechanisms, Vulnerability, Secrets, Contradictions—and demonstrate how they form the foundation of any compelling character.
DEVELOPING CHARACTER, PART 2
In the second half of this two-part workshop, David will expand his exploration of character development by demonstrating the value of dramatic versus static character biographies, guiding students through the creative use of scene instead of lifeless background information in developing a character's physical, psychological and sociological natures.
SURREY INTERNATIONAL WRITERS CONFERENCE
October 24-26, 2014
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
David will be giving two seminars:
Friday, 1:30 PM—The Five Cornerstones of Character
In this workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character) will guide students through exploration of the five cornerstones of characterization—Desire/Yearning, Adaptations/Defense Mechanisms, Vulnerability, Secrets, Contradictions—and demonstrate how they form the foundation of any compelling character.
Sunday, 9:30 AM—Beyond Good & Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot & Character
In this workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character) will guide students through a deeper understanding of how to stage conflict beyond the all-too-common Good versus Evil, with specific examination of other forms of moral argument such as Tragedy, Transformation, Pathos, Satire/Irony and Black Comedy.
ONLINE "LITERARY BOOTCAMP"
Early 2015, exact dates TBD
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.
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!"