What does a writer do when undecided about how to move forward? In my case I signed on for a workshop conducted by Allyson Latta, Illuminating the Path: Finding Theme and Structure in Your Memoir.
My writing group, Life Writers Ink, convened at a member’s Otter Lake cottage for our second annual writers’ retreat.
Allyson rightly assessed what was holding us up. She tailored seminars and exercises to demystify structure, point of view, and themes (and other essential components) of a good story. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled. There’s more to it.
With Allyson’s guidance, we discussed our writing options. We identified obstacles and explored new ways to overcome them. Some characters and stories within our stories needed to see the chopping block. What we thought were points of crisis and climax were not always useful components of our stories. We required a shift, an open mind about structure. We took off the blinders and got busy with eliminating impediments.
Other than an afternoon break on the boat, we devoted two days to lessons, discussions, book reviews and eating too much delicious food. We took turns with meals and clean up, which gave everyone a chance to rest, read, discuss, write or photograph the beautiful landscape around us.