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

Here is a list of proposed panels for Narrativity 2023. As we get closer to the con, the ideas will be fleshed out more, additional ideas (including those from you!) will be added, and then the list will be narrowed down to fit into the time we have. If you have an idea for a panel or want to be a panelist for any of the ideas below, let us know! And feel free to check out previous years’ programming for an idea of the kind of things we get up to.

Plotting vs Pantsing
Is Theme a Thematic Question
Summarizing Dialog – Threat or Menace
Writing Comedy – when humor helps the story
Writing to Market: Yes, No, and How
Voice Solves Everything
How to fix character with plot or plot with character
How do you signal the reader?
How do you get the audience to trust you?
Closure vs ambiguity – What does finishing the work mean / How do I know I’m done? Finding the end of the story
Commerce in Art: Threat or Menace?
What writers can learn from film directors
Lessons we can learn from the failure(s) of Star Wars
Where do you get your ideas?
This is what you call feminism? – Politics in storytelling
High-level creativity – finding the tools to create
Writer’s block is a myth
Location, Location, Location – how where you are feeds, starves, or otherwise influences your writing
Industry vs Audience: Who are we writing for?
No Words Needed: Storytelling through Pictures
Just Add Music: Storytelling through Song
Non-linear storytelling – adding layers

Stage It How treating our book as a play will improve it. Looking at the techniques and limitations of playwriting
Voice and Style What do we mean when we talk about them? Are they just what a particular author does, or do they depend on the characters, genre, theme, etc.? And why do we care about them?
Why are the Curtains Blue? Literary Analysis, Authorial Intent, and why it matters to the reader
Does the author get to speak? Foreshadowing, commenting, and other more distant POV choices
How Hard Do You Make Your Reader Work? Why make readers work so hard? What’s the benefit of a “dense” story? Layering, limiting information, and earning the reader’s trust
Dare to Say, “That’s Bad” Why do we tiptoe around calling a story bad? One of the things we hope to do at Narrativity is to improve the writing in the genres we love. How can we do that without identifying sucky work? Or is it enough to praise the best and ignore the worst?
Into the Weeds You can’t see where you’re going. You stepped off the path of your outline/character description/style/genre. Disaster…or a chance to surprise yourself, do things you didn’t think you could, have a storytelling adventure?
Collaboration: Why Do It? And Why Not? Whether it’s working with a writer, an artist, or a filmmaker, a collaboration can be more than the sum of its parts. It can also be an artistic and/or personal disaster. What are the pros, cons, and warning signs?
Mama Told Me Not To… When characters do foolish things–go down in the dark basement, test the experimental serum on themselves, steal the jewel from the idol’s forehead–
Serial Storytelling Dickens did it with novels. Republic Pictures did it with bite-size movies with cliffhanger endings. It’s the staple format of comics and television drama, and projects like Shadow Unit and publishers like Serial Box have revived it for written fiction. Why do we like serial fiction? What’s it good for…and not so good for?
Help Steve Write a Book Steve here, and I mean the title of this panel literally. I have a title and a sort of theme or idea, and that’s all. I want people to help me get enough to get the book started–you know, maybe a setting, or a character or two, or a hint of plot? I’m hoping that at the end of this panel I’ll have an idea of how to start writing the thing, and we’ll all have gotten a better idea of how you go from just an idea to the next step.

Got a great idea for a panel? Want to be a panelist? Please contact our Plenipotentiary of Panels, Steven Brust, and Paragon of Programming, Erin Shanendoah, and let them know what you’re interested in.