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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Intermediate

Novel Revision Series: Interiority, Backstory & Flashback

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

"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, backstory, and flashback 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.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Revision Series, led by Tim Weed and designed for those who have either finished or are nearing completion of a novel draft. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the revision challenges you face with your novel in progress. Fall classes include:

Scholarships Format/Location

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.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!