Storycrafting Sessions: Mastering Character Development

The Mastering Character Development event is a virtual Storycrafting Session happening on November 20, 2021. The main portion of the event will consist of five panels hosted between 11AM and 6PM EST, with an after-party on Discord from 6 – 8PM EST.

This event is hosted by the Weeknight Writers group and sponsored by Renaissance Press.


All times are posted in EST.

The Flaw, The Lie, and The Question: Creating Compelling Internal Conflict

Time slot: 11AM – 12PM

Moderator: Jade Benjamin

Panelists: Lillie Lainoff, Sarah Chorn,Ari Augustine, Gabi Burton, Riss M. Neilson

This panel will show writers how to create compelling internal conflict by breaking that conflict into its most basic components.

Sign up now!

Inclusive Casts: Writing Characters Of Different Identities

Time slot: 12:30 – 1:30PM

Moderator: Diana Pinguicha

Panelists: Jaecyn Boné, Bethany Baptiste, Dan Fitzgerald, Cait Gordon

This panel will explore the importance of writing inclusive casts and the challenge of writing characters whose identities differ greatly from your own.

Sign up now!

Best Friends, Rivals, and Nemeses: Building Effective Character Relationships

Time slot: 2 – 3PM

Moderator: Mato J. Steger

Panelists: Robin Quinn, Diana Pomeroy, Lex Vranick, H.M. Darling

This panel will explore different types of character relationships with a focus on how you can add layers to your story by incorporating a variety of character relationships.

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How To Develop Distinct Narrative Voices in a Multi-POV Novel

Time slot: 3:30 – 4:30PM

Moderator: Steve Savage

Panelists: KJ Harrowick, Lo Potter, Jade Benjamin, Dianna Gunn, Sophia Beaumont

Common writing wisdom says that when a reader starts a chapter, they should be able to tell whose point of view it’s in without being told. In this panel, four authors will explore how this can be accomplished through the development of an individual character’s narrative voice.

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How To Plan Continuous Character Growth in a Series

Time slot: 5 – 6PM

Moderator: Dianna Gunn

Panelists: NS Dolkart, Sagan Morrow, Robin Quinn, Stephen Graham King

This panel will explore techniques you can use to create a compelling character arc that spans an entire series and how this arc can be balanced with character growth in individual books.

Sign up now!

Conference Companion

Enhance your experience and support Weeknight Writers events by grabbing the Conference Companion workbook for this event. This printable workbook will help you track important information during the Storycrafting Session: Mastering Character Development. This includes:

  • “Notes” areas for individual panels
  • An area to record overall lessons and feelings about the conference
  • Questions to help you implement lessons from the conference in your writing practice

These worksheets will help you make the most of the Mastering Character Development event! Proceeds from this workbook will be used to host, manage, and promote future Weeknight Writers events. 

Grab your copy today or gain access by becoming a sustaining Weeknight Writers member!


Sophia Beaumont is an Ohio native who currently resides mostly in the Pacific Northwest, and occasionally in fantasy worlds and the late 1800s.

Sophia’s first training was as an artist, which she quickly learned was no longer her passion. It did, however, provide a gateway into historical research which has been instrumental in her writing. She is the author of seven novels and several knitting patterns, which are produced through her company, KnotMagick Studios, which ties together fantasy and textiles. Sophia writes contemporary and urban fantasy with a side of humor and mental health. Her book All For One was the 2017 ShoreIndie runner up, and she has contributed to several knitting magazines, websites, and podcasts as an author of nonfiction and historical researcher.

When she isn’t plotting horribly ambitious projects, she can usually be found pinned under one of her four cats, probably with a good ghost story on the tv.

Bethany Baptiste grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where she thrived on southern food and stories. Now as a slightly responsible grown-up, she lives in a little brick house with her fiancé, three chaotic evil dogs, and too many books.

Bethany holds two degrees in Early Childhood Education. For the last six years she’s had the pleasure of teaching kids how easy it is to fall in love with reading and writing.

When not prying a shoe from a Schnauzer’s jaws, she writes about Black kids with big hearts and little morals. Bethany is represented by John Cusick of Folio Literary Management.

Find her online here.

N.S. Dolkart is a writer of fantasy, represented by Evan Gregory of the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

NS Dolkart is a pen name; you can find the story behind it in the blog archives (It’s in a post helpfully called, “Why N.S. Dolkart?“) or, for the longer, fuller version, scroll past Silent Hall’s cover reveal at the Barnes & Noble Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog.

So far, his only published fiction is the Godserfs trilogy: Silent Hall, Among the Fallen and A Breach in the Heavens. He is currently working on a standalone YA historical fantasy that he is very excited about.

Follow him on Twitter @N_S_Dolkart, Facebook, or online.

Ari Augustine is a writer of speculative fiction, poetry, and literary criticism. Though she’s worn many hats in the publishing realm, her most recent include: Literary Agent Intern at TriadaUs, Poetry Reviewer at Bricolage Magazine, Editor at CraftQuest, and speaker on WriteHive 2020’s Tech-Savvy Writing panel.

She is the creator of Bookish Valhalla, a popular blog specializing in the darker genres of fiction, and has reviewed novels for top 5 publishers such as St. Martins, Wednesday Books, Random House, Macmillan, and HarperCollins. Her reviews continue to be featured on Netgalley with the following publishers: Andrews McMeel, Duke University Press, Crooked Lane Books, Charlesbridge Teen, Pushkin Press, Udon Entertainment, Blackstone Publishing, West 44 Books, Canongate, and ECW Press.

In 2021, she’s a panelist at the WriveHive Annual Conference (April 16-18, 2021) and the blog content coordinator for WriterInMotion this summer. She currently freelance edits for Draco Gaming Studio.

Ari holds a B.A of English Literature from the University of Washington and an A.S of General Sciences from CCAC.

She resides in the wilds of Tennessee with her husband and their little furry hellion, Mori-kun. Keep up with Ari online here!

Lo Potter grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. They received their BSc from Mary Baldwin Women’s College in Staunton, Virginia and their MS from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They edit and write for Coffee House Writers.

Connect with Lo online here.

Riss M. Neilson is the author of the forthcoming young-adult novel Deep in Providence. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rhode Island College, she won the English department’s Jean Garrigue Award, which was judged by novelist, Nick White. She is from Providence and lives for the city’s art and culture scene. When she’s not writing, she’s watching anime or playing video games with her two children. 

Find out more about Riss and her many projects on LinkTree!

Gabi Burton is a YA author from St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Bowdoin College in 2021 with a double major in English and Government. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably watching copious amounts of Netflix, Tweeting, or finding beautiful places to walk, preferably near a body of water. She is represented by Naomi Davis at BookEnds and her debut novel, Sing Me to Sleep, comes out with Bloomsbury in 2023.

Find out more about Gabi and her work on LinkTree!

Lillie Lainoff is the author of One for All, and received her B.A. in English from Yale University, where she was a varsity fencer and one of the first physically disabled athletes to individually qualify for any NCAA Championship event. She has also won the 2019 LA Review Literary Award for Short Fiction, was a featured Rooted in Rights disability activist, and is the founder of Disabled Kidlit Writers on Facebook. She is currently an MA candidate in Creative Writing Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia, and lives in Washington, D.C.

Find her here online!

Jaecyn Boné (he/they) is a disabled, queer, Asian-American author and artist. They while away their days fantasizing about faeries, pirates, and eating the rich. He lives in Billings, Montana, USA with his spouse, his two kids, his sister, and possibly a ghost or two.

Find them online here.

Dan Fitzgerald is a fantasy writer living in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys and two cats. When he is not writing, he might be gardening, doing yoga or cooking while listening to French music. His upcoming trilogy, the Maer Cycle, involves an encounter with a lost tribe of humanity ensconced in legend as monsters.

Dan can be found at or on Twitter as @DanFitzWrites, discussing writing and fantasy worldbuilding.

Cait (pronounced like ‘cat’) Gordon is a Canadian disability advocate who writes speculative fiction that celebrates the reality of diversity. Originally from Verdun, Québec, Cait worked for over two decades as a technical writer, then channelled her love for words into storytelling.

She is the author of the humorous space adventures Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers.

In 2016, Cait founded The Spoonie Authors Network to connect with writers in the disability community. Her desire to find better disabled and autistic representation in fiction prompted Cait to co-edit Nothing Without Us with Talia C. Johnson. The multi-genre anthology features authors and protagonists who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, and/or they manage mental illness. Nothing Without Us was included in the syllabus of a disability studies course at Trent University and earned a 2020 Prix Aurora Award nomination.

Find Cait at

Mato J. Steger is an openly out and proud Queer and Anishinaabe (North American Indigenous) fantasy and sci-fi writer, who can’t resist making everything he touches a romance. He is proudly represented by Hannah VanVels of BelCastro Literary Agency.

Robin Quinn is a 31 year old writer and pixel artist, currently working towards building a career. Robin has written a comic called The Adventures of the Mighty Mite. As well as a short story called In A Place Like This, published in the second issue of Decoded Pride. 

Diana Pomeroy (she/her/hers) is a Southern California community college professor by day and a sci-fi/fantasy author by night. She is passionate about writing own voice stories that include characters who make their own paths to success while having physical and hidden disabilities. She participates in the Spoonie Authors Network chats and the Weeknight Writers Chats on Twitter regularly, and her work has been online in various platforms, including DeviantART, for more than a decade.

Her upcoming novel, Iara’s Crossing, combines the fantastic, romantic and sci-fi in a dinosaur’s quest to understand herself and protect her kind from the forces of Nature and the forces of evil. Her year old Russian blue cat Mochi cannot confirm nor deny being her project supervisor.

Lex Vranick is an independent poet and fiction author. She is the author of three self-published titles. Lex is a member of the Long Island Writer’s Guild and a student at Gotham Writer’s Workshop. She is a ten-time participant and nine-time winner of National Novel Writing Month. Her work has appeared in the Mind Poetry Project anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying and the online literary journal Cagibi.

Her books are available on Amazon!

H.M. Darling is a multi-genre indie author that lives and burns in Arizona. She writes new adult books in the fashion of dark fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

When she is not writing, you can usually find her watching Studio Ghibli movies on repeat, listening to Taylor Swift, or reading a book from her never-ending TBR list.
Her first novel, Heir of Ashes, will be released March 1, 2022.

Sarah Chorn has been a compulsive reader her whole life. At a young age, she found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life.

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, a semi-pro nature photographer, world traveler, three-time cancer survivor with hEDS, and mom to two kids. In her ideal world, she’d do nothing but drink lots of tea and read from a never-ending pile of books.

She has been running the speculative fiction review blog Bookworm Blues for over ten years and is the author of Seraphina’s Lament and Of Honey and Wildfires. Sarah has been a full-time book editor for four years.

K. J. Harrowick is a fantasy and science fiction author with a strong passion for twisted stories blending grimdark worlds and futurist technology with threads of romance and revenge. In her early years, she loved to cozy up on her library’s giant orange couches, which is where she first fell in love with SFF books.

In 2004, she began to build her own exotic worlds and create fantasy languages, toying around with ideas for characters, cultures, and magic systems. A few years later she was writing stories and stuffing them in the darkest corner under her bed where they’d never see the light of day. But her heart couldn’t stay away, and in 2014 it became a full-blown passion to write and publish her own books.

K.J. is the co-creator of Writer In Motion, Rewrite It Club, the creator of Winterviews and the 2020 Director for CampRevPit, sharing her love of community with those around her. She’s also won first prize in the #WonderPitch contest (2017), contributed to Dan Koboldt’s Science in Sci-Fi series with the article “Erroneous Code in Fiction” (November 2018), was a panelist in the Write Hive online convention (April 2020), and was a RevPit winner (May 2020).

Her debut novel Bloodflower is slotted for fall 2021 where she hopes to capture readers hearts by casting a grimdark lens on what might happen when a woman who craves peace is thrust into a world of revenge and sacrifice.

With an unhealthy obsession with dragons, tacos, cheese, and beer, K. J. also works as a freelance web developer and graphic designer on a broad range of client projects before falling down the occasional rabbit hole.  K. J. has an Associates Degree in Independent Studies.

Sagan Morrow is a multi-passionate creative, anti-hustle Productivity Strategist, and author of polyamorous romantic comedy novels, based in Kamloops, Canada. She shares practical tips for writers and the behind-the-scenes scoop about life as an indie author in the Indie Author Weekly podcast. 

The Polyamorous Passions series is her first foray into fiction, with 7 novels currently published in the series. Polyamorous Passions follows the lives of three best friends as they each embark on their own journeys into consensual non-monogamy. Books 1—3 focus on Emma, Books 4—6 focus on Helen, and Books 7—9 focus on Scarlett. 

When she isn’t writing romance novels, Sagan teaches online courses and coaches other solopreneurs as they grow their own successful businesses. Sagan specializes in helping her clients save 10+ hours every single week, maximize productivity based on their personality, and take strategic action to finally achieve their dreamy goals—without burning out. 

Connect with her on Twitter or Instagram, @Saganlives, or learn more at

Stephen Graham King (He/They) is a writer of space opera novels, re-imagining the classic genre and its high tech adventurers through an unabashedly queer lens. His stories have appeared in the anthologies North of Infinity II, Desolate Places and Ruins Metropolis.

His books include Chasing Cold, and the novels in his Maverick Heart series: Soul’s Blood, GatecrasherA Congress of Ships, and the forthcoming Ghost Light Burn, due later this year. He is also a long-term survivor of metastatic synovial sarcoma and an avid black and white street photographer. 

He can be found online, along with all his social media coordinates, here.

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana Pinguicha is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home.

She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.  

Find Diana on her website or on Twitter @Pinguicha.

Steve Savage writes extensively on how people can leverage their creativity in a variety of ways.  He’s most well known for the Way With World series of Worldbuilding books, an ever-growing collection of guides to coach people on creating fictional settings.  The series is currently at seventeen books and counting.

He is also writes the Avenoth series, about the adventures and misadventures of people in a solar system of sorcery, super-science, internet-using gods, and interplanetary demons.  The first book, A Bridge To The Quiet Planet was released in 2018, with the sequel, A School Of Many Futures arriving this year.

Find him at Steve’s website or his press site. He also maintains the random tools site Seventh Sanctum.

Jade Benjamin is a Canadian writer and editor who is fiercely in love with language, words, and magical worlds. After acquiring a double undergraduate degree in English (and Environmental Sciences), a Postgraduate Certificate in Book Publishing, and interning as an Editorial Assistant at Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd. (Markham, Ontario) she discovered that finding a permanent paid position in Canadian traditional publishing was easier said than done. 

Jade now works as a freelance editor, fitting work for independent author clients around her 9-5 expenses-paying job. She has a penchant for collecting interesting names and a fondness for projects that expand her knowledge of story structure and use of evocative language. 

When she isn’t working, writing, or editing, Jade can be found reading, keeping up with an inordinate number of podcasts, adopting furry family members and contributing to Weeknight Writers events. 

Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. Her sword and sorcery novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, was released in November 2018. 

When she’s not writing, Gunn can be found working to develop the indie author community. She hosts the #WeeknightWriters Twitter chat at 7PM EST and runs the Author Marketing Club.

Special Thanks

We would like to thank Renaissance Press for sponsoring the Story Structure virtual event. This conference would not be possible without their support, and we would like to express our deepest thanks.

Renaissance Press banner

Special thanks also goes to the Weeknight Writers sustaining members:

Tangela Williams-Spann

Rupert Ramsgate

Cait Gordon

Diana Pomeroy


How much does this event cost?

All panels are free to attend! You won’t spend any money unless you buy the Conference Companion.

How can I participate?

Panels will be run on Zoom using the Webinar function. This means only panelists will be able to share audio and video content. To participate in the Q & A portion of a panel, you can either enter your question in the text chat or by using the Zoom Q & A function.

There will also be a Discord server for panel-related discussions. You’ll find a link to the server in your Eventbrite confirmation email.

Will these panels be recorded?

Yes! The panels will be recorded and will be posted to our YouTube channel over time. Transcription will be paid for with funds raised from our Ko-fi.