Public lectures and events

TWS Community Workshops: Every Story's the Same Story — A Workshop on Character Motivation

Sun, 23 Sep 2018 10:00 AM

Kurt Vonnegut once put forward the creative writing dictum that 'Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.' What he implies is that stories falter when the protagonist's desires are unclear. In this sense every story is essentially the same story: Somebody wants something and they either get it or they don't. Or, to put it differently, narrative structure is another word for the resolution of a character's primary desire.

In this three-hour workshop, we will put this theory to the test through examples, class discussions, and exercises, giving students a new way to approach the narrative structure of their own stories and writing projects.


Instructor Bio: Wayde Compton is the author of 49th Parallel Psalm, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; Performance BondAfter Canaan: Essays on Race Writing and Region, which was nominated for a City of Vancouver Book Award; and The Outer Harbour: Stories. He also edited the anthology Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature. He is a co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, an organization that has collaborated on multiple projects intent on preserving the public memory of Vancouver’s original black community. Wayde is the creative writing program director at SFU Continuing Studies.


Date(s): Sun, September 23, 2018, 10am – 1pm

Location: Room 2290, SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre)

Cost: $30  Register



Phone: 778-782-8000 (or toll-free 1-844-782-8877)