Finding the Story in Moments of Helplessness

Finding the Story in Moments of Helplessness

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Facing sudden, shocking, or unexpected events forces characters to resort to levels of understanding and behavior often long buried, suppressed, denied, or simply unconscious. Such events prompt responses that develop into habits of behavior—pathological maneuvers or persistent virtues. Those events and responses chart a path toward the character’s greater awareness of what she wants from life, what she fears losing, and the compromises she’s made in the bargain. In this OnDemand webinar, award-winning author David Corbett guides participants through the process of exploring those critical moments of helplessness, examining the habits and compromises that result, and discovering the underlying stories that result.


David Corbett is the author of seven novels, which have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar. His short fiction has twice been selected for Best American Mystery Stories, and a collaborative novel for which he contributed a chapter—Culprits—was adapted for TV by the producers of Killing Eve and will appear on Hulu in December, 2023. His writing guides The Art of Character and The Compass of Character have been widely praised and used by both aspiring and established authors, and he is a monthly contributor to Writer Unboxed, an award-winning blog dedicated to the craft and business of fiction.

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