New Class!
In-Person: Seaport

Characters that Drive Story

Saturday, November 18th, from 10:30am-1:30pm.
In-Person: Seaport
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

In character-driven fiction, the story flows from the conflicts and alliances among the characters. But how do you decide what characters to include? How do you better understand your character dynamics? In this one day seminar, we’ll use examples from published stories and popular films to identify essential character relationships, and illustrate the ways characters can effectively drive the story through internal and external conflict. We’ll look at lessons from John Truby, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Crystal Wilkinson, with examples from authors to include Toni Morrison, Anton Chekhov, and Jhumpa Lahiri. In-class writing exercises will guide students in creating new or (honing existing) characters and developing scenes that provoke those characters to action.
Students will walk away with inspired characters, and a better understanding of how characters drive story. Open to all fiction writers.

Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.

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

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Kayleigh Shoen
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Study Published Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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