Craft of Writing Talk with Lauren Wilkinson ’06 – Character-Driven Plot

Off Campus Online

Open to the public

/ Tuesday


This event will take place online; learn more and register

Because students often express the concern that overemphasizing plot will rob their work of literary merit and focusing too much on character will make their story boring, in this talk we'll explore a few approaches to balancing plot and characterization. Students will be asked to consider their own work -- specifically their protagonists' desires and who or what is getting in the way of what they want. My hope is that students will use this information as a guide once they turn to their own writing, and that viewing their own work in this way will give them more confidence in their ability to plot a story.

Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel, American Spy, was a Washington Post bestseller, an NAACP Image Award nominee, an Anthony award nominee, and an Edgar Award nominee. It was short-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, was a Barnes & Noble Book of the Month, a PBS book club pick, and was included on Barack Obama’s 2019 Recommended Reading List.

Lauren earned a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in fiction and literary translation from Columbia University, and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a Center for Fiction Emerging Writer’s Fellow, and has received support from both the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Her writing has appeared in Granta, The Believer, New York Magazine, and The New York Times, among other publications. Lauren splits her time between New York and Los Angeles where she works as a writer for television. Purchase Lauren Wilkinson’s work here.