Online: Zoom

Backstory and Flashback

Friday, October 7th, from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
32 seats max

Backstory and flashback can enrich fictional narratives in important ways, providing key context and motivation to main characters, underling the significance of themes and image systems, and adding texture and dimensionality to the story’s world. Delving into past timelines can easily go wrong, however, which may be why aspiring writers are occasionally advised to avoid it altogether. In this craft session we’ll analyze key passages from fiction in order to answer questions such as: What’s the difference between backstory and flashback? Are there artful ways to use these techniques that help the reader understand your character’s central motivation? Do you have too much backstory or flashback in your narrative—or could you use more? An on-the-spot writing exercise will give participants a way to use what they’ve learned to improve and deepen their stories.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Timothy Weed
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

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