Character and Conflict for Picture Book, Middle Grade and Young Adult Authors
with Catherine Linka
Whether it’s a 500 word picture book or a 90,000 word novel, conflict is what takes a story from dull to memorable. What a character wants and the conflict they must resolve to achieve it are at the core of every story.
But writers, even experienced ones, often struggle to pin down what their character wants so they miss opportunities to use conflict to make their story unforgettable.
In this workshop, we will begin by looking at classic and recent PB stories to identify what the character wants and how that generates conflict in the story. We’ll then move on to examining more complex conflict in middle grade and young adult novels.
Writers will learn how to create a “conflict map.” Meaningful conflict emerges when friends, family members, authorities and antagonists support or oppose the protagonist’s efforts. Workshop attendees will be able to use the conflict map to identify opportunities, holes and missteps in their own work.
Attendees should come with:
Several sheets of blank paper (larger paper might be helpful)
Pencils with eraser
A manuscript they may be working on
OR a MG or YA novel they read recently
NOTE: This workshop will be hosted over Zoom. Attendees will receive the link once they register for this event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
CATHERINE LINKA loves when readers confess they stayed up way too late trying to finish her book. She’s the award-winning author of three YA novels, including 2020’s WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE, the story of an art student so desperate to hold onto her scholarship that she becomes a pawn in a masterful crime. Catherine earned her MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and estimates she’s spent over 300 hours critiquing and begin critiqued since her writing journey began.