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!

You’ve been asking, so here it is, your online look at the schedule for Narrativity 2023. For those of you who have not volunteered for panels yet, take a look; any topic with less than 4 panelists has room for more. For those of you already on panels, well, you are good. With the exception of Steven, we worked really hard to limit everyone to no more than three panels, so that they have the space and time to enjoy the con, besides just “working” it. In addition, it gives us all greater exposure to a variety of voices and allows for adding people onto panels at the opening ceremonies.

9:30a-6:30p Writers Workshop
7:30p Mixer

11a Opening Ceremonies
11:30a-12:30p Where do you get your Ideas? LJ Stanton/ Kate Dane/ Emma Bull (M)
12:30-2p Lunch
2-3p Dare to say “That’s Bad” John Danielsky/ Caden Wilfong/ Skyler Gray (M)/ Steven Brust
3:20-4:20p Mama Told Me Not To Chris Wozney (M)/ Bobby Brimmer/ Mike Hacker
4:40-5:40p How do you Signal the Reader Emma Bull/ Will Shetterly (M)/ Meg Trast
5:40-8p Dinner
8-9p Serial Storytelling Pat Scaramuzza (M)/ John Danielsky /Chris Olson

10-11a Writers Block is s Myth Skyler Gray/ Dave Walbridge/ Kate Dane (M)/ Liz Vogel
11:20a-12:20p Stage It/What Writers Can Learn from Directors Emma Bull/ Chris Olson (M)/ Mike Hacker/ Skyler Gray
12:20-2p Lunch
2-3p Writing Comedy Anna Werner (M)/ Dave Walbridge/ Caden Wilfong
3:20-4:20p How Hard Should the Reader Work Chris Wozney/ Will Shetterly
4:40-5:40p Thomas Bowdler is Alive & Well and Working at Scholastic Liz Vogel/ Steven Brust/ Erin Shanendoah/ Meg Trast/ Moderator
5:40-8p Dinner
8-9p Help Steve Write a Book Steven Brust (M)/ Majkjon/ Skyler Gray/ Bobby Brimmer

10-11a Why Are the Curtains Blue LJ Stanton/ Erin Shanendoah
11:20a-12:20p Sidekicks & Supporting Characters Steven Brust/ LJ Stanton (M)/ Bobby Brimmer
12:20-2p Lunch
2-3p Voice (& Style) Solves Everything Kate Dane (M)/ Liz Vogel/ Will Shetterly
3:20-3:40p A Different Panel – Topic & Panelist selection
3:40-4:40pp A Different Panel
5p Closing Ceremonies
6:10p Dinner
8p-midnight Dead Dog At the Firepit

Where do you get your ideas? Let’s talk about where writing comes from, how much of it is reason, how much is emotion, how much is ambition, how much is longing for a story that will take the writer to a whole new place. What do we want when we set out to write a story? Do we want answers to our big and little questions? Maybe we want more and bigger questions. And what do we need to discover about those original ideas once we’re deep in the woods they’ve led us into?

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?

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–

How do you signal the reader? When a lawyer makes opening arguments before a trial, they tell the jury exactly what they intend to do during the trial and what decision they think the jury should come to. A novelist rarely gets a chance to make an opening argument. How do we let readers know where we’re going without giving away our twist? And how do put in that twist or character turn without readers feeling like they’ve been lied to and betrayed?

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?

Writer’s block is a Myth You have your idea, and you know there’s enough there for a complete story. But its just not coming out on the page. You have a classic case of writer’s block. Time to just walk away – actually, maybe. How do we sustain creativity? How do we refresh our emotional energy? Lets recognize that creating is hard work and talk about tips and tricks to keep us moving forward even when the words (or pictures) aren’t appearing on the page.

Stage it (What Writers Can Learn from Directors) How treating your book as a play or movie will improve it. Looking at the techniques and limitations of play/screenwriting

Writing Comedy Not a how to but more of a why. What purpose does it play? How do you sustain it throughout an entire comedic piece? How can it be used to effect in a more “serious” work?

How Hard Should the 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

Thomas Bowdler is alive and well and working at Scholastic Dr Seuss’s estate decided to pull some books from publication. Roald Dahl’s British publisher and estate decided to edit language in his books. RL Stine’s publisher did the same – without consulting Stine. All because of language that could be considered offensive or insensitive to “modern” readers. Some people are up in arms. Others applaud the decision.
Language is a living thing. Words come into existence and change meanings during our lifetimes. What is the difference between a “sensitivity edit”, a “modernization”, and censorship? When is that line crossed? And what about works that have yet to be published? Does the audience matter? And what about the story itself?
We could probably spend an entire day (or the entire con) arguing nuances of this question – translations, modernizations, Readers Digest versions, etc. Is it okay if it’s in the public domain? Or if the “original” is still widely available? But we’re going to try to keep this to one panel and focus on more modern works (vs the 100+ English versions of the Bible). After all, we promised Steven at least one good argument.

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.

Why are the Curtains Blue? Literary Analysis, Authorial Intent, and why it matters to the reader

Sidekicks & Supporting Characters The right character actor can make a movie or scene. We all love the wisecracking sidekick. How do we use the characters that surround our main character to enhance the reading experience without letting them take over the story? Or maybe that’s okay, too (think the Mad Max: Fury Road).

Voice and Style/Voice Solves Everything 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.? Why do we care about them? And how can knowing your voice help you tackle problems in your story?

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.