2010 Home Study
Vision & Voice
Focus Sessions by Laura Backes
Our weekend theme is “A Novelist’s Toolkit: Architecture, Archetypes, and Arcs.” We’ll
offer four related craft sessions (nearly six hours): one each on Friday and Saturday; two on Sunday afternoon.
Each hands-on session will build on the previous, from character to plot to entire novel arc. The sequence is as
1) Friday: “What a Character! Protagonist and Antagonist,
Create or refine your primary characters—protagonist and antagonist—while exploring archetypes’
versatile functions. We’ll contrast archetypes (characters capable of growth) and stereotypes (unchanging, “cardboard” characters). An animated activity will add a real-life dimension.
2) Saturday: “Story Line and Three-Act Structure”
Create or revise your main plot arc—character-driven action starting with a tight story line, proceeding through elements of the universal three-act structure (as your unique story dictates).
3) Sunday, Session #1: “Tie Your Secondary Characters to Subplots and Main Plot”
Develop your secondary characters and subplots; explore how they interweave with each other and with the
rest of your story.
4) Sunday, Session #2: “Your Complete Story Arc”
Outline (or enhance) your whole novel arc—main plot and subplots, integrated with character. Then
take home Laura’s “road map” to further develop your story.
For a detailed description of each session, plus pre-workshop assignments, click the “next page”