Programming

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!

Schedule *

*subject to change, of course; this is a convention, after all.

Friday

Registration will be open most of the day.

10:00am – 5:30pm Writing Workshop (Times approximate; advance registration required.) Participants, see your email for details from Skyler, our workshop coordinator.

7:30pm – late Mixer! Join your fellow Narrativitists for conversation, drinks, and an all-around good time. Get to know the folks you’ll be spending the weekend with. Fancy dress (formal wear, period dress, costume, or whatever qualifies as cool and special to you) is encouraged, though not required.

Saturday

8:00am Registration opens

10:00am ConSuite opens

11:00 – 11:15 Opening Ceremonies

11:30 – 12:40 What Is a Character and Why Do We Care?: From your first fanfiction self-insert to Ray Bradbury’s lonely house, what makes a character and why do we care about them?

12:40 – 2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:10 Serving the Work: Authors may have an agenda in creating a story, but the story, it seems to me, has its own agenda. What happens when they conflict? What happens when they line up? What are pitfalls and advantages of that dynamic?

3:30 – 4:40 Controlling Pacing: Somewhere between nonstop action where the reader can’t catch his or her breath, and something so pastoral the reader falls asleep, there is a sweet spot. Obviously, it’s different for every storyteller, for every reader. But wherever you place it, you need some techniques to control it. What are some of them?

5:00 – 6:10 Interactive Storytelling: Creating a Complete Narrative While Allowing Audience Agency: Choose Your Own Adventure, video game story trees, or running an RPG for your friends – let’s talk collaborative storytelling.

6:10 – 8:00 Dinner Break

8:00 – 9:10 The Readers’ Panel: Floating, Towing, or Sinking. What pulls you into a story and makes you want to keep reading?: Floating – Fun or light reading and you might enjoy it, but it’s enjoyment at a distance. Towing – You’re compelled to keep reading, you’re towed along even though the characters or story might not be your favorites. Sinking – You just fall into the world and you’re absorbed into it.

Sunday

8:00am ConSuite opens

10:00 – 11:10 Where Did You Come From? Characters Who Just “Show Up”: You have the plot. You wrote your outline. You know your characters. But then you start writing and a new “voice” shows up. How do you deal with the unexpected character in your carefully (or not so carefully) planned story?

11:30 – 12:40 Responsibility of Reader and Critic: We all understand how an author is responsible for their story, but once it is out in the world, what kind of responsibility do readers and critics have for the story in the world?

12:40 – 2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:10 Creating Art, Creating Entertainment: Is there a difference between art and entertainment? Does there have to be? Come argue with the PJF.

3:30 – 4:40 Target Audience Solves Everything: Forget Point of View, throw us your trickiest storytelling questions and we’ll tell you how knowing your target audience can solve all of your problems.

5:00 – 6:10 What Are Language/Writing Tricks That Make Your Writing Better?: Words have an acoustic property–a sound. It is the way the sound of the word bounces off the meaning, and resembles the sounds of other words, that gives us poetry, song lyrics, and puns. So, as a prose writer, are you aware of this? Do you use it? How?

6:10 – 8:00 Dinner Break

8:00 – 9:10 Bad Writing Advice: What is some of the bad writing advice you’ve gotten or heard, and, even more, how can it be twisted so that it actually becomes useful? What can we learn from bad advice, and, related, what are the limits of good advice? In general, how to look at writing advice in such a way that it helps your work instead of hindering it.

Monday

8:00 am ConSuite opens

10:00 – 11:10 When To (Not) Kill Your Darlings?: What to do when beta readers or editors want you to remove things you love.

11:30 – 12:40 Non-Linear Storytelling: Did you watch the first season of The Witcher? Did you find the storytelling compelling, or did you spend every episode trying to figure out when you were, or both? How do we tell stories without being constrained by linear time, or should we be?

12:40 – 2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:10 Things Readers Will Hate You For: And should you do them anyway.

3:30 – 4:40 The Different Panel: When a panel drifts (too far) off topic, we’ll bring it back by saying “But that’s a different panel.” We’ll keep track of those interesting diversions, and at the end of the convention decide which one to do, and who should be on it.

5:00 – 6:10 Closing Ceremonies & Feedback: In which we thank those who made all this happen, and discuss what we did right, what we did wrong, why we did what we did, and what we could do differently next year. All interested parties welcome!

6:10 – 8:00 Dinner Break

8:00pm – midnight Dead Dog (at the Firepit) Come hang out ’til the last gasp for conversation, maybe music, and maybe things on fire.

Want to be a panelist? There’s still space on some of these; please contact our Plenipotentiary of Panels, Steven Brust, and Paragon of Programming, Erin Shanendoah, and let them know what you’re interested in.