“Corbett delivers a rich, hard-hitting epic.”

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review

“The best in contemporary crime fiction—or in contemporary fiction, period.”

Washington Post


“Corbett, like Robert Stone and Graham Greene before him, is crafting important, immensely thrilling books.”

—George Pelecanos

“That rare beast: a work of popular fiction that is both serious and thrilling.”

—John Connolly


“The line runs through Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene, straight on to David Corbett. I’m not kidding. He’s that good.”

—John Lescroart

“For all the lyricism of his narration and the compassion he shows, Corbett never strays too far from the blunt vigor of California noir.”

New York Times Book Review


“Corbett is the best of Quentin Tarantino and Elmore Leonard. Nobody writes crime fiction better.”

—Robert Dugoni

“Corbett handles his story line and subplots adroitly, in economical but polished prose, but his real strength is in character development.”


The Art of Character

Creating Memorable Characters, for Fiction, Film, and TV

With its:

  • Depth of insight into human behavior and its artistic rendering
  • Thematic unity, emphasizing the inextricable link between story and character
  • Wealth of details, from fiction, film and TV
  • Practicality, with an eye always on the how of characterization, not just the what

The Art of Character is destined to become the one desktop reference every writer requires on the craft of characterization.

The Art of Character delves deeply and thoughtfully into the human heart of characterization, showing students and readers how to plumb the rich source material in their own lives and the world around them to fashion credible, compelling characters. No book on character has ever addressed this material as profoundly, extensively or pragmatically.

Most importantly, unlike mere craft manuals and how-to books, The Art of Character is elegantly written: a thoughtful, literate gem. It is a gratifying and illuminating—a delight to read—and will not just instruct but inspire.


Selected by Barnes & Noble as one of the five craft guides every writer must have
Chosen one of the 13 Top Picks for Writing Guides for 2013 by The Writer Magazine

The Art of Character is phenomenal. It’s like there’s a key to every door worth opening and a map for every maze to escape from. I only regret not having read it a decade ago. IMO, there’s you, Egri, and Bob McKee.”
—Bestselling author Brian Deer

“I have finished The Art of Character, and will no doubt read it several times more. Couldn’t put it down. I love learning more about my craft, and this was a treat. I’m sure my next two books, currently in the planning stage, will be far richer for it. Full of ideas. It was not only educational, it was full of wisdom for life.”
—International Bestselling author Anne Perry

“David Corbett has written a wise, inspiring love letter to all the imaginary creatures inside our minds…. I predict that massively underscored copies of The Art of Character will rest close at hand on writers’ desks for many years to come.”
—Bestselling author Cheryl Strayed

“Indispensable. Few are the writer’s guides that are written as beautifully, cogently, and intelligently as a well-wrought novel. This is one of those books.”
—Edgar®-winning Author Megan Abbott

“Corbett’s The Art of Character is no “how to” book or “writing by numbers” manual. It is an artful testament to the writers’ credo—that a story is only as affecting and meaningful as the characters who tell it—that writing, essentially, is character. Corbett writes with the grace and authority of a seasoned professional, but offers much more than the usual inventory of method and strategy. With clarity and compassion, he gets to the very thing that lies deep within us, that longing we share to discover that one distinct and authentic voice. The Art of Character is itself a work of art, an indispensible resource for writers of any genre, and a pedagogical tool for teachers of writing at any level.”
—Bestselling Author Elizabeth Brundage

“This fine book is about as thorough an examination of character and what it means in all sorts of imaginative writing as you’re likely to find anywhere. This is an exploration of the phenomenon of character—in as wide a variety of fiction and drama as there is. It will help any writer create and sustain human beings who make you forget you’re reading, who are alive, who are worthy of our attention and sympathy.”
—Bestselling Author Robert Bausch
“David Corbett, himself a master crafter of riveting and remarkable narratives, delivers up in this highly readable guide, a smorgasbord of smart examples of memorable characters from literature and popular culture, to create an addictive and helpful primer on this most central of narrative ingredients. Clear-headed and confident, Corbett takes us through the steps in a manner that resists formula while at the same time demystifying a process that has likely daunted every writer since Homer.”
—Award-winning Author Robin Hemley

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