Narrativity offers a single track of programming, so ideas can carry through from one panel to the next and the conversation continues all weekend. Panels will run from approximately 4:00 p.m. on Friday to approximately 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. In the evenings, we’ll have the function space available for conversations, games, or other activities that take your fancy. If you’d like to organize something specific, let us know!

Below are the panel ideas we’re considering.  Please look them over and tell us which ones you’re especially excited about, to attend or to be a panelist on.

Proposed Panel List:

 First, we’re trying to decide if we want 1 hour panels, 1:15 panels, or 1:30 panels. If you have a preference, please let me know.

Here are the current panel ideas. Let us know which, if any, you’d like to be on, and, in case we don’t know you, your qualifications, as in, writer, editor, reader, whatever. Don’t worry about professional credits; for now we aren’t worried about that.

Okay, here’s the list:

What Starts You Off

What we’re really interested in with this are trade-offs. If you begin with an idea, what do you gain, what do you lose, what gets harder, what gets easier? Or with a character, or a line. Experience and speculation are both welcome.

How Do You Know When You’re Done?

Pretty much self-explanatory, unlike the problem itself, which can be a mess.

The Number One Rule

The number one rule of writing is: the editor isn’t buying a story, the editor is buying the way the story is told, so find a cool way to tell the story. The number one rule of writing is: quit trying to show me how clever you are and just tell the story. Discuss.

The Chewy Bits

When is a story more than a story? Or, to put it another way, we know we want to move the reader, and even perhaps lay some truth before the reader, to do something that will, if you like, become a part of the reader. Is this something that just happens when it happens? Are there things you can do that will help your story strike deep?

Mining Academia

What useful stuff can we find in academic criticism and modern literature and how can we make it fun?

The Pre-Joycean Fellowship Recruitment Panel

What the PJF is and why you should join.

On “Message” Fiction

We all know the easy answer to this one: Message fiction sucks. Is that really all there is to it? Do you try to convince the reader of something? If so, how do you do it without being irritating? Or should you avoid it entirely? What’s the difference between message and theme?

The Influence of Social Media

It’s become much easier to interact with fans. Obviously, this has marketing implications; but has it affected your work? Good? Bad? Both?

The Craft Q & A

This panel will consist entirely of questions from the audience, specifically, what problems are you encountering in your work? We will probably be mining this panel shamelessly for future panels. If there are no questions, we will look into acquiring a Parcheesi board. Do not mock Parcheesi.

The Point of View Game

Audience members will suggest writing situations that can’t be solved with point of view. Panelists will try to find ways that, in fact, point of view can solve those problems.

Theory of Mind for Writers

Theory of mind involves how we believe others see the world (if I’ve got that wrong, someone please correct me). This panel will go deeper into how to use this understanding for stories, and how this understanding influences our work in ways we may not be aware of.

Exposition by Elimination

One key to making a story readable is to let readers know what kind of story this is NOT, where and when it is NOT set, what sort of people some of the characters are NOT. How do we do this?

Sticking the Landing

What are some common problems with endings and how should we address them? In particular, what are some ways to think about things that might help us avoid those problems, and what are the possible pitfalls in THOSE?

Get Your Reality Out Of My Fantasy

When is too much reality just annoying? What are some things to consider in trying to avoid that annoyance?

Getting Into the Reader’s Head

If we know what the reader is thinking, we have the opportunity to do all manner of evil. But, how do you do it?

Everything you know is wrong and also right: Traditional “rules of writing” and where they fall short, but maybe also where they don’t. Finding the complexity in the truisms.

Epistemology for Writers: Epistemology, theory of knowledge, is not the same as theory of mind. It comes down to: how do we know what we know, or, how do we determine truth? Being aware of this can permit the writer to play interesting games with characters simply by giving them different theories. The kicker is, for most writers, epistemology is unexamined, and therefore assumed. Here There Be Opportunities for Cool Stuff.

There’s More To This Story: There IS such a thing as reading better. Reading better means finding more stuff, more “chewy bits” (TM Emma Bull). Other than by putting stuff there, are there ways for the writer to encourage better reading? We want some non-writing readers on this panel.

Competence Porn

How to make it work, what pitfalls to avoid.

Setting By Any Other Name:

Is what we call “worldbuilding” just setting with curliques, or is it really different from bringing 21st century New York City alive for the reader?

How Do You Keep Growing?

The care and feeding of your growing edges as a writer.  You’ve published a fair bit.  How do you keep from becoming stale and complacent?  How do you get to the next level?

The Different Panel

When a discussion gets too far afield, someone will say, “That’s a different panel.” We’ll keep track of those, and at the end of the convention, we’ll vote on which one of them to have a panel on.

The Meta-Panel

Some of us feel that a completely free and open discussion is the best way to help our understanding of process; others believe that conversations that make people feel unsafe or uncomfortable actually get in the way of understanding. Shall we talk about that, what to do about it, how to work around the various problems?

8 thoughts on “Programming

  1. I’d say at least 1:15 panels; more time to chew on those chewy bits. Maybe 1:15 for the panels and a 15-minute break between?

  2. I have an idea for the panels timing, I would like to suggest a panel format that is 2 hours in total length but that includes a 20 minute break in between. Essentially two 50 minute panels back to back on the same subject. This would allow for some to really think about responses and others to think about questions they haven’t been able to frame properly. Also a bathroom break might be nice for all concerned.

  3. First off, pretty much all of this has potential to be fascinating. Can we make the con six days long and do it all?

    Speaking just for my personal preferences, I *really* want Exposition by Elimination. Like, jumping up and down want it. I’m also especially intrigued by There’s More To This Story, The Chewy Bits, and Getting Into the Reader’s Head, and I think The Number One Rule has a lot of potential for coolness. And I’m always up for a discussion of Competence Porn.

    Okay, now that I’ve googled the Pre-Joycean Fellowship, heck yeah, sign me up! Books can be fun *and* important; in some moods, I might even argue that they *should* be. (If this one happens, might want to have *some* explanation of the PJF in the panel description, for folks who don’t choose to google.)

    The Craft Q&A appeals strongly to me personally (I could definitely participate on the Q side), but I’m not sure how well it would work as a panel. Is that sort of thing fun for others as a spectator sport? (If it is, yay, fine, let’s do it.) If it doesn’t make the panel cut, maybe it could be an informal evening activity.

    It seems to me that The Chewy Bits, Getting Into the Reader’s Head, and There’s More To This Story are all touching on some of the same territory. While I could happily have all three and a couple more besides, if time does not permit, maybe two or more could be combined usefully?

    If the Meta-Panel happens, I’d be willing to be on it, though… well, you already know I can be a bit, ah, emphatic on that subject. 😉 Feel free to use that if it’ll make a good panel.

  4. As a reader and renaissance woman, these are the panels I would love to be on:
    The Chewy Bits
    On “Message” Fiction
    Get Your Reality Out Of My Fantasy
    The Meta-Panel

  5. Of the panels listed so far, the ones that most interest me:

    • Epistemology for Writers
    • On “Message” Fiction [esp. if you do it this way: author panelist picks one of their own books that had an intended “message” and writes it down. Others in the rooms list out what they think that message is. Author reveals.]
    • The Chewy Bits [focusing on what the author does to help the story strike deep]
    • The Meta-Panel
    • There’s More To This Story [If you want a non-writing reader who doesn’t believe the writer can do much directly to encourage better reading, but is receptive to being convinced– Hi. 🙂 ]
    • The Point of View Game

  6. To be clear, the panels I listed just previously are ones I’m interested in going to. I have things to say about two of them: “There’s More…” as mentioned, and The Meta Panel.

    I also have a panel suggestion (talked about briefly with Steve at Minicon):

    How Do You Keep Growing?
    The care and feeding of your growing edges as an author. You’ve published a fair bit. How do you keep from becomeing stale and complacent? How do you get to the next level when it’s just you

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