Permian Basin Writers' Workshop

Keynote Workshop

Keynote Workshop

We’re doing things a bit differently this year. Tiffany will be giving the same half-day workshop both Saturday and Sunday. That way you don’t have to miss other workshops you might want to attend!

Tiffany’s workshop will be:

The Holy Trinity of Story: Building Character, Stakes, and Plot

The basis of story rests on a balanced foundation of three key elements: character, plot, and stakes. Characters are the vehicle on which readers ride into your story; high stakes are what powers the engine; and plot provides the path for the journey. These three tentpoles are what support your story and determine its effectiveness, so it’s essential to make sure these crucial elements are finely developed and polished to set their story apart and hook readers, agents, and publishers.

Learn clear steps and easily actionable techniques to more clearly see and assess your own work, and improve your storytelling and craft using a variety of practical “shortcuts” and tools, real-world examples, exercises, and “live edits” with authors’ WIPs. Career book editor Tiffany Yates Martin will take you on a deep dive into:


·       Creating relatable, three-dimensional characters readers invest in and root for

·       Defining the character arcs—and keeping them moving along it

·       Establishing clearly defined goals and strong motives for achieving them 

·       Making sure your protags have agency

·       Assessing your supporting cast


·       Making your characters care profoundly to make readers care profoundly: establishing immediacy and urgency to propel your story

·       Creating and maintaining both internal and external stakes to amp up impact

·       How to torture your characters 


·       Action isn’t plot— how plot becomes story to draw readers deeply into your characters’ journeys

·       Creating a plot X-ray to make sure yours is airtight

·       Starting in the right place

·       Creating satisfying endings

With examples, interactive exercises and “live edits” that show authors the concepts in action, this workshop will give you the tools you need to strengthen the foundation of your story—including memoir and nonfiction—and make your manuscript as effective and affecting as it can be.

Attendees are encouraged to bring one page (not necessarily the first page) of their work-in-progress.

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