Explore key distinctions and foundational skills for effective and boundary pushing crime fiction.
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
Enrollment: 15 Students Maximum
In this 4-week course and workshop, award-winning crime novelist David Corbett will guide students through identifying their subgenre in order to understand each form’s expectations, the better to both serve and transcend them and thus creatively push the boundaries and generate surprise. Then the class will explore the key roles that make crime fiction work, with specific focus on avoiding cliché and understanding subgenre nuances.
What This Class Covers
WEEK ONE: "Story, Not Formula"
To reward expectations and yet surprise, you need to know your subgenre: Cozy, Hard-Boiled, Noir, Mystery, Police Procedural, Crime Story, Thriller, Suspense, Caper, Urban Novel, Postmodern Mystery.
WEEK TWO: "No Hero, No Story"
Avoiding Stiffs, Ciphers, Sleepwalkers and other Problem Protagonists (Or: The hero can’t just react. And virtue is over-rated).
WEEK THREE: "Justifying Evil"
Don’t Get Stuck on Satan. (Or: The hero’s only as compelling as his enemy. And there’s no beast so fierce as man.)
WEEK FOUR: "The Squad, the Mob—Sidekicks and Sympathetic Heavies"
Heroes and villains are defending their worlds, and those worlds come alive through compelling secondary characters.
Goals Of This Class
In this class, students will learn:
- How to understand their story in the context of a specific crime sub-genre
- How to see the conventions of the sub-genre as opportunities, not restrictions
- How to serve the expectations of the sub-genre without falling into formula
- How to create strong, compelling protagonists who push the action forward and serve the story’s theme
- How to create equally compelling opponents or villains who don’t fall into cliché and who also honor the writer’s thematic intent
- How to create nuance and subtlety in the main characters, serve the hinge points of the plot, and bring to life the story world through the creation of interesting secondary characters
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.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.