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Research and Backstory: Two Trouble Spots in Fiction

Saturday, September 16th, from 10:00am-5:00pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
13 seats max

Research and Backstory are essential ingredients in fiction–they bring authority, authenticity and depth to a story. But making all those fascinating facts work for you and not against you is tricky. Research can lead down a rabbit hole of ever-more-tantalizing tidbits of information, bogging down both process and product. Backstory is the evil twin of research, occasionally turning into an information dump that can overshadow plot. In this all-day workshop, we will discuss the best approaches for research, and how to distill just enough into our stories to lend authenticity without making them dull. We will also explore and practice ways, through writing exercises, to blend in backstory organically, without weighing down the plot. Students will leave with resources for research (beyond Google) and applications for their writing that will make use of research and backstory without dragging down the plot.

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Jacqueline Sheehan
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  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

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