The Compass of Character PDF by David Corbett

The Compass of Character PDF

Download The Compass of Character PDF book free by David Corbett – From The Compass of Character, Just as a compass provides direction for an explorer, so does motivation provide direction for characters in fiction. The “compass” of character motivation is composed of four points: Lack, Yearning, Resistance, and Desire. Buy from Amazon

The Compass of Character PDF

In The Compass of Character you’ll learn to deeply consider the key question “What does my character want?” and learn techniques to answer that question by writing realistic and empathetic characters without falling into formulaic, unsatisfying results that only diminish the character. Bestselling author and acclaimed writing instructor David Corbett provides writers with the essentials for building characters with motivations that range from clear to complex by exploring topics such as:

   • human yearning
   • pathological maneuvers
   • the pain of life vs. the promise of life
   • backstory and behavior
   • mechanics of growth and transformation
   • dramatizing mistaken desire and misbegotten yearnings
   • moral arguments
The key to fascinating characters is rendering subtle inner states in straightforward external circumstances, which requires a fundamental understanding of the simple building blocks of complex motivation as they manifest themselves in behavior, where complexity of purpose collides with the messy, indifferent world. The Compass of Character is the one book that can guide writers to that end with both instruction and inspiration.

Table of Content

Contents
PRAISE FOR THE COMPASS OF CHARACTER
TITLE PAGE
COPYRIGHT
DEDICATION
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
INTRODUCTION
The Methodology of This Book–Motivation as the Compass of Character
Recent Trends in Storytelling Require Complex Motivation
PART ONE
Developing a Technique

  1. THE LOGIC OF LONGING
    The Fundamental Methodology of Motivation
    Lack
    Yearning
    Resistance
    Desire
  2. THE HOLE AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER–LACK
    I. The Echo in the Empty Room
    II. Projection and Contentment–How Lack Reveals Itself in Simple Characters
    III. Urgency, Anxiety, and Denial–How Lack Reveals Itself in More Complex Characters
    IV. The Special Case of Lack Induced by Trauma or Tragic Loss
    V. When the Character’s Oblivion Is Absolute
    VI. Symbolic Representation of the Character’s Lack
  3. THE HEART OF THE MATTER ITSELF–YEARNING
    I. The Pulse of the Story, the Source of Willfulness
    II. Lack and Yearning–Cause vs. Effect
    III. Yearning as a Calling, Self, Soul, or Destiny
    IV. Yearning as a Natural Outgrowth of Lack
    V. Weighing and Balancing the Two Approaches
    VI. How Yearning Defines the Stakes
    VII. Yearning’s Ineffable Nature
    VIII. Bringing Yearning Down to Story Size
    IX. No Man Is an Island: The Role of Others in the Character’s Yearning
  4. WHY THE CHARACTER’S YEARNING REMAINS UNFULFILLED–RESISTANCE
    I. Weaknesses
    II. Wounds
    III. Limitations
    IV. Opposition/Obligations
    V. Flaws
    VI. The Interplay Among Factors–and the Overriding Issue
    VII. Giving the Resistance Its Own Daimon
  5. BACKSTORY AS BEHAVIOR: PATHOLOGICAL MANEUVERS VS. PERSISTENT
    VIRTUES
    I. Exploring Backstory for the Character’s Key Seminal Moments
    II. Finding the Connective Tissue or Theme Among Backstory Moments
    III. Moving From Moments to Habitual Behavior–Pathological Maneuvers and Persistent
    Virtues
  6. PRIME MOVER, DESIRE—NOT CONFLICT—DRIVES BACKSTORY
    I. Desire Drives Story
    II. Desire and Change
    III. Linking Desire to Yearning
    IV. Motivating the Character Who Is Reluctant to Act
  7. WEAVING A LIFE: THE THREE LEVELS OF DRAMATIC ACTION
    I. Story’s Three-Tier Structure
    II. Stories That Contain Only One or Two Struggle Levels
    III. Interweaving Struggle Levels
    IV. Using Intrinsic Longings to Interweave Struggle Levels
    V. Interweaving Struggle Levels–Two Examples
    PART TWO
    Develop a Deeper Understanding
  8. FOLLY’S FOOTSTEPS: MISGUIDED DESIRES AND MISBEGOTTEN YEARNINGS
    I. Introduction
    II. A Common View of Character Arc–Analysis and Critique
    III. Illuminative Examples
    IV. Moral Dilemmas and Dream-Killing Choices
  9. FORCE OF EVIL: DEATH WISHES, MALIGNANT HEARTS, AND SUMMONING THE
    APOCALYPSE
    I. Are Villains Born or Made?
    II. Moral Argument: Morality–and Immorality–as Motive
    III. Diabolical Distinctions
    IV. The Villain in Secret Search of Punishment
  10. DIVIDED DESIRE: THE SPECIAL CASE OF THE ANTI-HERO
    EPILOGUE: CHARACTER WORK AS THE EXAMINED LIFE INDEX

Details About The Compass of Character by David Corbett

  • Name: The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivation for Compelling Characters in Fiction, Film, and TV
  • Authors: David Corbett
  • Publish Date: November 19, 2019
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Writing Skills, Writing Reference
  • Format: PDF
  • Size: 2 MB
  • Pages: 288
  • ISBN: 1440300860

Editorial Reviews

Review – The Compass of Character PDF

“A compass points four ways and so does Corbett, adroitly reconciling the complex interplay of forces in every character’s life so that writers can create true depth on the page. His exercises make that complexity doable, and the examples he provides are remarkably incisive. If you want to know what makes made-up characters feel 100% real, let The Compass of Character be your guide. David Corbett is the grand master of character development.”  —Donald Maass, author of The Emotional Craft of Fiction
 
“With a deft hand, David takes us past writing clichés, charting a new course forward into developing resonant characters in film and print today. His insights have the potential to revolutionize the way writers understand the characters they develop. If you’re serious about your storytelling, don’t miss The Compass of Character.” —Steven James, bestselling author of Story Trumps Structure
 
“You won’t find a more thoughtful, more human approach to crafting characters than David Corbett’s. Whether you’re looking to add nuance and depth to your cast, or to heighten an arc with authentically high stakes, The Compass of Character will point you steadily north.” —Jessica Strawser, bestselling author of Not That I Could Tell 
 
“One of the best teachers today. Innovative, pragmatic and applicable. I read David Corbett before writing each novel.” —Robert Dugoni, international bestselling author of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
 
“Corbett takes the obtuse, the dense, the high falutin, and he boils it down to practical advice. Every storyteller is trying to find lucid ways to unpack narrative construction, and he’s done it flawlessly here. Corbett is a craft ninja.” —Joshua Mohr, best-selling author of Sirens

Acknowledgments – The Compass of Character PDF

The writer who claims to have done it all himself is lying above and beyond the call of duty. A great many people provided invaluable assistance at various stages of this book’s conception, writing, and publication. Kimberley Cameron and her team deserve credit for getting the manuscript into the hands of the folks at Writer’s Digest. There, Amy Jones, Kim Catanzarite, and an untold army of others helped hammer this book into final shape, doing so under unusual and challenging circumstances. Thanks to all the folks at Penguin Random House who helped ensure the book made it to press. Everyone at Writer’s Digest, past and present—specifically Jessica Strawser, Ericka McIntyre, Taylor Sferra, Tyler Moss, Cassie Lipp, Tiffany Luckey— provided me a means, both through the magazine and writing conferences, to develop the ideas that ultimately evolved into this book. So too the many teaching and blogging outlets that have granted me a platform—specifically, Therese Walsh and everyone at Writer Unboxed; Gabriela Pereira at DIYMFA; Rob Hart and Renée Asher Pickup at LitReactor; Elaine Petrocelli and all the incredible folks at Book Passage; Susan Page and Paulette Shanklin at the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference; D.P. Lyle, Kimberley Howe, Taylor Antrim, Christopher Graham and everyone associated with the International Thriller Writers various writing programs; and Steven James, who graciously invited me to join him and Susan May Warren for his Character Conference in Atlanta. I also need to credit three exceptional fellow teachers and writers who have assisted and inspired me at various times: Donald Maass, Robert Dugoni, and James Scott Bell, all of whom abide by the credo: Keep learning. David Ivester no doubt will prove every bit as creative, dogged, and invaluable with this book as he did with my last, and deserves a word of anticipatory thanks for that effort.The Compass of Character PDF A word of thanks is long overdue for Arnold Ross, Archie Addison, Ranko Bojanic, Bogdan Baishanski, and all of my professors working with the Ohio State advanced undergraduate mathematics program when I was lucky enough to benefit from their guidance; they taught me what it means to be honest, demanding, and responsible to one’s students, and continue to inspire me to this day. Finally, no account of indebtedness would be complete without inclusion of my wife, Mette, without whom yearning would lack all meaning.

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About the Author

David Corbett is the award-winning author of the writing guides The Art of Character (“A writer’s bible” – Elizabeth Brundage) and The Compass of Character. He has published six novels, including The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, nominated for the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery, and scheduled for re-release in Spring 2020 by Suspense Press. His short fiction has been selected twice for Best American Mystery Stories, and his non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative, Bright Ideas, and Writer’s Digest, where he is a contributing editor. He has taught at the UCLA Writer’s Program, Litreactor, and at writing conferences across North America and Mexico, and is a monthly contributor to Writer Unboxed, an award-winning blog dedicated to the craft and business of fiction.

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