Who Gets to Tell the Story?

This fiction workshop will focus on point-of-view – first person, second person, third person and every person in between. What does the omniscient narrator mean in the world of big data and google maps? How do we flit through time and space in the story to show the moments that concretize character and provoke epiphany? How do we follow the synaptic sparks of stream-of consciousness so that we know each character inside and out? 

Like the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin - how many points-of-view can fit in a single story? What is the role of the unreliable narrator and how does such a point-of-view create dramatic irony? What are the uses of psychic distance in narrative? What does the intimacy of the first person narrator offer the plot? And what are the drawbacks of a first person narrator?

What does it mean to switch point-of-view mid-narrative? Does a jarring point-of-view switch give a complacent reader an enlivening jolt? Does a seamless point-of-view switch help maintain suspension of disbelief? What is the only part of the newspaper written in the second person? What happens when the vocabulary and diction of the narrator differs from the characters? How do we employ point-of- view so that the reader gets a story the likes of which they have never heard before?

We’ll be digging into these questions and doing a few writing exercises to come up with the answers.

Participants are asked to find their daily horoscope on any date in (the week before the workshop)  in a newspaper or magazine. Note that the horoscope is written in the second person. Write a fictional story, no more than 500 words, based on the horoscope and also written in the second person. Note that the second person addresses a ‘you’. This point-of-view can create an eerie voyeuristic tone, or alternatively, a sense of intimacy. Use the horoscope to create a story with a beginning, middle and end. Make it rich in sensory detail, narrative tension, dialogue and action. Create atmosphere and a concrete setting. Be experimental. Have fun!!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Lisa Moore is the acclaimed author of the novels Caught, February, and Alligator. Caught was a finalist for Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is now a major CBC television series starring Allan Hawco. February won CBC's Canada Reads competition, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was named a New Yorker Best Book of the Year, and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Alligator was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a national bestseller. Moore's most recent book, Something for Everyone, won the 2019 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.

 

$49 for WFNS members

$79 for non-members

(No refunds available after the start of the course)

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN WFNS PROGRAMMING. THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET ON A WAITLIST, PLEASE EMAIL PROGRAMS@WRITERS.NS.CA

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Date: 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm