Novel Revision Series: Interiority & Backstory - Remote!

Saturday, May 30th, from 10:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
See Map
Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
20 seats max

"A writer need not move inexorably toward the finish line. The asides, the exhales, are allowed. They are required.” — Edan Lepucki

Novels are imaginative interfaces: together, the author and the reader create a living landscape that is complete, immersive, and charged with meaning. But how does a writer go about triggering this supreme act of co-creation? We allow the reader to experience the exterior world from inside a particular character. Interiority and backstory can allow us to do exactly this in ways that give deeper meaning to the story. They can add important dimension to main characters, but they have to feel organic.

In this discussion-based craft workshop, we’ll read and analyze key examples from great recent novels and we’ll ask ourselves a series of revision-related questions such as: Do you have too much backstory or flashback in your novel—or could you use a little more? Are there artful ways to use these techniques that help the reader understand your character’s central motivation? Writing exercises will allow us to put what we’ve learned to work in ways that can improve your novel greatly.

One or two free-writing exercises will allow us to put what we’ve learned to work in potentially surprising ways. Participants are also invited to bring in relevant passages from their own novels in progress for potential sharing and revision exercises.

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

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.

    • -


    grubstreet Image
    Timothy Weed
    See Bio

    Previous Students Say

    • "Lots of Practical Tips"
    • "Very Well-Organized"
    • "Inundated with Great Info"


    • In-Class Writing
    • Instructor Feedback
    • Workshop
    • Lecture
    • In-Class Reading
    • Class Discussion


    • The Novel

    Commitment Level



    Need a scholarship?

    Learn more
    Short Fiction Essentials Series: Revising Your Draft
    read more
    Short Fiction Essentials Series: Revising Your Draft, Part I
    read more
    Master Fiction
    read more