• JULY 28-31, 2022

    NEW YORK CITY


Before Backstory: A Writing Hack in Two Questions

Backstories are important for bringing characters—whether protagonist or antagonist, sidekick or gatekeeper, ally or love interest—to life in novels and stories. But it takes a great deal of work to develop backstories. What’s more, working them into the plot or character arc is always a challenge. Before delving into backstory, writers can serve the story and save themselves a lot of work by asking these questions: Is my character on their way up—or down? And in this story, are they a disruptor, or disrupted? This session explores using these questions as a writing hack for quickly establishing character motivations, mapping out relationships and their naturally arising conflicts, discerning the all-important inciting incident, and creating a high-level plot and character arc. Writing exercises will help attendees apply this hack to their own work-in-progress--or even a new idea.

Difficulty level: all_levels

Speaker(s)

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