University of Iowa

Characters in Search of an Author: The Choreography of Motivation

Weeklong July 22 to July 27 2018

Pet peeves, love spells, jealousies, invented ideals: character-driven fiction is an invitation to move beyond consistency. An ill-advised whim can grow into a ruling passion. The bad guy, superstitious, rushes to establish a charity. Loyalties shift. A desire may leap from the heart of one character into the heart of another. After the king’s death, the queen dies not of grief, but because she glimpses her double leaving the funeral. Possibilities unfold in all directions. In this wide-ranging generative workshop for all levels of fiction writer, the classical protagonist will get a makeover. Through exercises and free writing, we’ll explore how a more fluid sense of motivation shapes a story.

Short Story