Canadian author Lisa Moore offers a workshop on writing creative non-fiction, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Saturday, September 9, at the Delta Hotel.
The cost is $35, and includes light refreshments. Sign up for the morning session as well for a discounted price of $60. Buy your tickets at https://guelph.snapd.com/events/view/1069398.
The difference between fiction and creative non-fiction is that the latter is true. In this workshop we will look at how we can employ all the tools in the fiction writing toolbox in order to write essays about the personal, true-life experiences that have altered and shaped us.
We will discuss the kinds of subjects that make good creative non-fiction (everything), and how to narrow that down to the very best stories we can possibly create. We will ask how can we be the following: funny, satirical, critical, harrowing, and soul-quaking. We will explore the leaps of intuition that draw us to the truth, even when it is obscured by the passage of time, the obliterating forces of trauma, or the desire to exaggerate for the sake of a good story. We will explore the ways in which we maintain narrative tension
in our essays along with the freedom to roam unhindered from insight to insight; the use vivid imagery; how to access memory through the senses a la Proust; and how to experiment with language so every word is surprising. We will explore subjectivity, objectivity and the shape-shifting nature of cold hard facts.
Workshop participants will be asked to find the “great storyteller” in their family (you may interpret the term ‘family’ loosely) and to write down the most ‘famous’ family story that storyteller can recount. Write the story verbatim and bring it to the workshop. During this workshop, participants will reconstruct the famous story by delving into what they know to be absolutely true.
Did someone in your family go over the falls in a barrel? Awaken from the dead? Get lost? Find the meaning of life? Steal something? Fall in a well? Save a life? Bend a spoon with the power of their mind? Have twenty-one babies? Live joyously? Get food poisoning on a cruise ship? Get sawed in half by a magician? Get left behind in a car seat, back at the truck stop, when the rest of the family drove off in the station wagon? Did any of this, or something very much like it, happen to you? Get the best storyteller in
your family to tell the story, write it down, and bring it to the workshop (no more than 500 words!!!!!).
Through this exercise and a few others, we will explore personal mythologies and the hard, unadorned facts, and become the ghost writers of our own life stories.