Beyond Good & Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot and Character
Far too often writers revert to the easiest, simplest, and least compelling form of moral argument to structure their stories: Good versus Evil. In this presentation, award-winning novelist David Corbett guides students through a deeper understanding of the possibilities of this moral contest by exploring ways to add texture, nuance, and complexity to the depiction of opposing values, with additional instruction on other forms of moral argument, such as Redemption/Transformation, Tragedy, Pathos, Satire/Irony, and Black Comedy.
David Corbett is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: 2015’s The Mercy of the Night, The Devil’s Redhead (nominated for both the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best First Novel), Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar, and named both one of the Top Ten Mysteries and Thrillers of 2007 by The Washington Post and a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book), and Do They Know I’m Running? (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel 2011—Rising Star Category). His book on the craft of characterization, The Art of Character, was published by Penguin Books in 2013. His nonfiction has appeared in Writer’s Digest (where he is a contributing editor), The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Narrative, Zyzzyva, MovieMaker, Bright Lights, The Writer, and numerous other venues.