Master the unique demands of setting for crime, thriller, and suspense stories.
Your Instructor: David Corbett (author of Blood of Paradise and The Devil's Redhead)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 15 Students Maximum
Building on his preceding course, The Character of Crime, award-winning novelist David Corbett moves from the 'Who' of crime writing to the Where, What and How. (The prior class is not a prerequisite for this course. The subject matter to be covered here stands alone.)
In this 4-week course and workshop, you’ll learn the crucial role of setting in crime stories—perhaps the most setting-dependent genre in literature. You’ll learn how to let suspense emerge not from coincidence but as a natural extension of character, context, and conflict. Last, you’ll learn how to construct the “spine” of your story through structure, finishing up with an examination of the unique plot elements that characterize stories in the detective, crime, and thriller sub-genres.
What This Class Covers
Week 1 — Setting: How to Ground your Theme, Characters, and Structure in Place
Whether your story takes place in a pastoral village or a skyscraper jungle, how people live in a specific place and time will define the nature and limits of what’s deemed a crime, who gets called a criminal, and what stands for justice.
Week 2 — Techniques of Suspense: Character, Conflict, and Context—not Coincidence
The trick is always to make the reading keep turning pages. Creating suspense always requires a bit of legerdemain, but to do it well, you need to look deep inside your story, not rely on chance.
Week 3 — Structure: Letting the Conflict Shape Your Story
Three-Act structure too often strands the writer in a meandering second act. By understanding structure as an outgrowth of character, plot points become meaningful events in your story’s growing conflict, not just turnstiles in the plot.
Week 4 — Structural Beats for Specific Sub-genre Types: Detective, Crime, Thriller
Each sub-genre has its own unique thematic emphasis, and that’s reflected in the nature of the adversaries and the conflict they generate. Those variations result in unique structural emphases and expectations.
Goals Of This Class
- Gain a working understanding of setting not just as physical space but as the ground from which character, theme, and structure emerge.
- Learn to use setting to heighten conflict, elicit emotion, and reinforce structure.
- Defy expectation through the use of suspense created through character, conflict, and context—not coincidence.
Author Profile on David Corbett, from MysteriousPress.com
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
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And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.