With the kind of anticipatory excitement that builds gradually and cannot easily be quelled, this past Saturday morning I made the short drive from Indian Brook to North River for the 3rd Annual Cabot Trail Writer’s Festival, held at the community hall next to Shape Shift Pottery. I have only been to a handful of similar events and did not really know what to expect, so I entered the hall eager for the first workshop to begin.
Since I am not a local the names of the writers were unfamiliar, though everyone else seemed to know them well. The first workshop I attended was with Alexander MacLeod, the author of the Giller Prize-nominated collection of short stories entitled Light Lifting and teacher at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. During that hour and a half we answered the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how for stories each of us had been working on and for a story we as a group crafted as we went. Our conversation progressed in a logical manner:
- Who is the story about?
- Who gets to tell the story?
- What is the story about?
- What are the scenes?
- When does the story take place?
- How important is time?
- When do I disclose important information to the reader?
- Where does the story take place?
- How important is setting?
- What are the motivations of the characters?
- What are the motivations of you, the writer?