Summer Craft Intensive: Gina Chung


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Editor's Note

Good Characters, Bad Decisions: Developing Complex Characters from the Ground Up with Gina Chung
Saturday, August 10
11 AM  – 2 PM PST / 2 – 5 PM EST

What makes for compelling, complex characterizations in fiction writing? How can determining your character’s background and origin story inform the arc of your work-in-progress? And how can allowing our characters to make mistakes or “bad”/ questionable decisions shape our understanding of who they are, and who they might become? In this generative fiction class, we’ll take a look at examples of complicated characters in short stories and novels who are wrestling with questions of identity, selfhood, and more. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of backstory and flashback, as well as ways to reveal origin stories through alternate means such as dialogue, action, and POV shifts. Together, we’ll work on generative exercises that will allow us to understand where our characters are coming from and where they’re going, and come to understand how we might breathe new life into our works-in-progress by allowing our characters to follow their trajectories and earn their endings.

This is a class best suited for intermediate level writers.

We have one scholarship available for this intensive. Scholarships are conducted through a lottery. If you are interested in submitting your name, please fill out this form.

BIO: Gina Chung is a Korean American writer from New Jersey currently living in New York City. She is the author of the novel Sea Change (Vintage, March 28, 2023; Picador, August 10, 2023 in the U.K.), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a 2023 B&N Discover Pick, and a New York Times Most Anticipated Book, and the short story collection Green Frog (out in 2024 from Vintage in the U.S. and Picador in the U.K.). A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, she is a 2021-2022 Center for Fiction/Susan Kamil Emerging Writer Fellow and holds an MFA in fiction from The New School. Her work appears or is forthcoming in One Story, The Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Catapult, Electric Literature, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, and Idaho Review, among others.