New Class!

The Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Character Goals - Remote!

Friday, June 11th from 9:00am-12:00pm (EST).
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
This class is full

In creating stories, many writers focus on what happens without enough consideration as to the why. And that why is all about character. What does your character want? Why do they want it? What are they willing to sacrifice to get it? Novel planning begins with answering these character-focused questions. Key to this is ensuring your character has clear goals, both tangibly and emotionally. This lecture-driven seminar focuses on techniques to create characters who feel real, with motivations, desires, wants, and needs. Students will explore how characters are actually a novel-writing secret weapon and how to wield them for the most effective results in their stories. Students will leave with a key understanding: characters drive the plot, not the other way around. 

This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with the seminar: The Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Story Beats.
Part of GrubStreet's Novel Planning Series, led by Lori Goldstein and designed for those who are at the beginning stages of their novel. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the challenges you face with your novel in progress. Summer classes include:

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.

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Lori Goldstein
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Previous Students Say

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


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


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



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