"David's MasterCraft Class at ThrillerFest in 2015 was
the most transformative day in my life as a new writer."
David's lecture, "The Character of Crime," given at CraftFest in July 2015, is available as an mp3 download through VW Tapes. CD format also available.
Purchase David's lecture
David's two-hour, online video workshop is available for free. His lecture begins at the 10:20 mark, and you will need the Adobe Connect application for viewing.
Watch the workshop
Saturday, August 25, 9:30 AM-3:30 PM
Building Unforgettable Stories from Compelling Characters
Presented by the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime
The Commons at the Newton
300 W. Camelback
Phoenix, AZ 85013
In this one-day workshop, award-winning novelist David Corbett, author of The Art of Character, will guide participants through a variety of techniques that will not only enhance their characterization skills, but deepen their understanding of motivation, conflict, and story. Participants can expect to learn:
Book Passage Mystery Writers' Conference
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA
Once again, David will be serving as co-chair of this unique, world class conference focusing on the craft and business of writing mystery, crime, and thriller fiction.
Learn more and register
Thursday, September 27, 1:00-3:30 PM
The Character of Crime: Creating the Character Web in Crime, Mystery/Detective and Thriller Fiction
In this lecture and workshop, presented as part of the Book Passage Mystery Writers' Conference but open to both conference attendees and the general public, David will guide students in exploring the key roles that make crime fiction work, with specific focus on the specific demands of the three major subgenres of crime fiction—mystery/detective, crime, and thriller—and an emphasis on maintaining dramatic tension, creating moral complexity, and avoiding cliché.
In particular, students will learn:
Saturday, October 13
Romance Writers of America, San Francisco Area Chapter
Berkeley Adult School
1701 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
David will be giving a day-long seminar on the art and craft of characterization for the Bay Area chapter of RWA.
October 18-November 15
Online Class Through Litreactor
Creating Complex Characters
In this four-week online class, students will explore how to bring real human depth and complexity to their characters by conceiving backstories through life-altering scenes, rather than lifeless information. They will learn how to move beyond role—protagonist, opponent, sidekick, conscience figure, love interest, etc.—to the personal characteristics that make fulfillment of that role not just possible, but necessary. They will also learn to identify the key backstory issues that will generate the story questions crucial to a compelling narrative arc.
Character Intensive Writing Conference
Embassy Suites by Hilton
4700 Southport Rd
Atlanta, GA 30337
The country's premier conference on characterization, with bestselling authors and speakers Steven James, David Corbett, and Susan May Warren.
In today's world, novelists, screenwriters, and other storytellers need as many tools as possible to break through and break out. Every story that matters has unforgettable characters, but how do you shape them? How do you craft a story with characters that are memorable, powerful, and emotionally resonant with your audience?
If you're working on a script or novel and want an agent, producer, or editor to seriously consider it, you'll need to make sure that, above all, you have engaging characters. This conference will teach you how to create them.
November 10, 1:00-2:00 PM
The Compass of Character
California Writers’ Club—Mt. Diablo Branch
Zio Fraedo's Restaurant
611 Gregory Lane
Pleasant Hill, CA
David will be discussing how to identify your character’s deepest longings, explore her resistance to pursuing them, and reveal how that conflict generates behavior.
December 2, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
THE FINAL POLISH
55 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA
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 and a one-to-two page synopsis to determine: How unique is the voice? How compelling are the story questions? How engaging are the main characters? How high are the stakes?
Note: Manuscript and synopsis submissions need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, November 25th.
The following is a small sample of appreciation from students (many of whom have gone on to be published) in response to both classroom and online courses I've taught.
"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)
"David is an insightful, passionate, supportive teacher and writing coach. He is attuned to the needs of his students and meets them wherever they are in their writing careers. He worked with me by means of an online course when I was trying to find my way through the tangle of a first draft. He pushed me (nicely) to understand my characters deeply, to discover what made them tick, and to let them breathe on their own. That turned out to be the first book in a series and I'm still listening to David's advice as I head into the third one."
—Susan C. Shea, author of Love & Death in Burgundy
"David Corbett's teaching style should be measured by the success of his students. I and two of my classmates (see below) have progressed greatly since studying with him in 2015. My novel was published in 2016. Another classmate's novel is now with the publisher and will soon be in bookstores. A third classmate got an agent just a year after working with David. You can't argue with results! David's critique of my work and his class instruction combined to give me one of the most valuable experiences of my fiction-writing career. David is one of the most incredible teachers I've ever encountered. He is an amazing instructor."
"David's MasterCraft Class at ThrillerFest in 2015 was the most transformative day in my life as a new writer. At the time, I had a very rough draft of a manuscript that would become my novel Blood Atonement. David taught me how to think about the craft: creating characters a reader cares about, respecting the beauty of clean and honest English and tightening your story until there's nothing extra. Most importantly, David taught me the great art of re-writing. As a teacher, he has the rare gift of being insightful, critical and endlessly supportive all at the same time. I don't know why or how I got so lucky to have been assigned to his class that year, but I'll forever be grateful. After re-writing (and re-writing some more!), Blood Atonement is scheduled for publication by Crooked Lane in 2018."
"I took David Corbett's workshop at Master CraftFest in 2015, and it was a game changer for me. His feedback helped me dig deeper into my story and look at my scenes from a fresh perspective. This past summer, I signed with John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency. I can't recommend David's teaching highly enough."
—Stacy Woodson, 2017 Daphne du Maurier Finalist, 2016 Claymore Finalist