Writing Backstory into Your Now-Story

Live Workshop

In this 3-hour, live, creative writing workshop, we will explore the role of backstory in novel writing. How does it affect not only your protagonist's motivation, but your plot?

Backstory is not merely information about your hero's past. It must have an immediate, even urgent, bearing on your plot's present moment to deserve the ink it takes to write it into the story.

There are 3 methods for incorporating backstory into your now-story. We'll practice all of them during the workshop.

Come prepared to write, share, and discuss during class. If you don't have a current work-in-progress to play with during class, don't worry. Writing prompts will give you avenues work with as we develop our storycraft together!



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Course Curriculum

  Need to Know
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days after you enroll

Alida's material is clear, concise, and full of applicable-right-now exercises. I feel equipped not only to develop amazing characters but gripping arcs and intriguing themes. I will definitely be revisiting these processes over and over as I develop new characters. This course is worth every cent and every second spent in it. Thank you for taking my writing to the next level!

Kathryn Arnold, writer

"Alida has lifted my stories and writing skills to heights I didn't know were possible!"

- Leeland Artra, Endless Horizon Saga



Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This workshop will be held live over Zoom on Sunday, September 12, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. - Noon Central. Use a timezone converter to find your local time.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? Students enrolled in the workshop will receive a video and audio recording of the session.* *Unless technical difficulties interfere with the recording process; unlikely, but possible.
Is this a lecture?
No! It's a workshop. Alida will present on the topic, of course, but the workshop will be built around the use of example, freewriting exercise(s), and discussion.

Your Instructor

Alida Winternheimer
Alida Winternheimer

Alida Winternheimer is an award-winning author and experienced teacher, editor, and writing coach. She’s published numerous short stories, two of which were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Alida is the creator and host of two literary podcasts: Story Works Round Table, conversations about craft; and Story Works Reading Series, a literary journal for your ears. She is the author of the Story Works Guide to Writing Character and the Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View.

Every day, Alida helps writers write better through her craft books, the Story Works Fiction online school, free writing tips, and her podcasts. When she's not writing or teaching, you can spot her around Minneapolis on her bike, in her kayak, or being walked by her golden retriever.

I'm excited to offer single-session, single-subject workshops like Writing Backstory as part of what I do at Story Works Fiction.

I want to give writers with less time for deep dive, multi-week commitments the chance to join a fun, live, community-centered classroom. Of course, whatever you take away from our morning together will stay with you long past our workshop. Each time you sit down to write is an opportunity to grow...and grow...and grow your storycraft!

I hope to see you soon,


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