8-week Master Class Covers Crime Fiction A to Zed.
Your Instructor: David Corbett (Author of The Devil's Redhead & Done for a Dime)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
In this 8-week super-intensive crime writing master class, award-winning crime novelist David Corbett will guide students through the essentials of writing a compelling story in the sprawling genre routinely described as “crime.” Each weekly session will begin with a written lecture and assignment, then student work will be discussed and analyzed for how it can best conform to its specific genre and yet creatively push the boundaries.
The emphasis will be on Story, Not Formula.
For fifteen years, David worked for the San Francisco private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland, and he played a significant part in a number of high-profile civil and criminal litigations. He credits a large measure of his prowess and style in crime fiction to this base of experience in conducting interviews and recording testimonies under pressured and high-stakes circumstances.
What This Class Covers
Week 1: Know Your Sub-Genre: Cozy, Hard-Boiled, Noir, Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller, Suspense, Caper, Urban Novel—what is needed to reward expectations and yet surprise the reader/audience in each form (with a general introduction to and discussion of each student’s work)
Week 2: The Compelling Hero: Avoiding the Protagonist Problem, or: Virtue is over-rated
Week 3: Fashioning a Credible Nemesis: Don’t Get Stuck on Satan
Week 4: The Crew, the Squad, the Family, the Mob: What Secondary Characters are Necessary and Why
Week 5: Setting is Character: Why does this crime happen here and not there—or how to use the limits and opportunities of place to best advantage
Week 6: Suspense: When to say what, who delivers the message, and why.
Week 7: Finding the Story: How to unearth the unique conflicts and desires that drive your narrative in order to avoid cliché, with an introductory peek at structure.
Week 8: Structure: How to build your character and story arcs to maximize the dramatic effect of your story
Goals Of This Class
- You'll learn to see genre expectations as opportunities for innovation, not constraints, testing the boundaries between different crime writing categories with style, confidence, and credibility.
- You'll learn to enhance a character type into a full-fledged human being who seems utterly threatening, movingly vulnerable, or genuinely brave--but always convincingly real.
- You'll come away with a sense of structure and how to take on the larger dramatic challenges to complete your stories.
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.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.