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Storytelling Workshop with Vanessa Woolf

Today's workshop led by Vanessa Woolf was fun (although freezing cold!) Listening to her story made me see that although fictional, a story can seem truthful if rooted in a specific place using details and facts. Although she said that her story is fictional, the fact that you can see and stand in front of where it is set, and understand that the details of the story fit with the history of the area and the time period it is set in, makes the story seem so much more real. Also, details such as where she heard it from and why makes it seem plausible. 

My group's story ideas:
We decided to build our story around an old, twisted, knobbly tree in the park. It has a lot of character. The branches are pointy and curved, almost looking like creepy fingers reaching out. The trunk is a strange shape, twisted and covered in knots and bulges. Behind the tree, there is a fence, however the tree has grown so much that the top of the fence is broken and bent, the tree's branches piercing the fence in many places, attempting to escape. We thought that this was a great basis for a story. 


Other's stories:
A story about lamp posts
Rosie's group decided to focus their story on the row of lamp posts that followed the path where the canal originally was. For some unknown reason, there are single shoes hanging on most of the lamp posts, and one has a visitor's pass hanging on it too. Their story gave these mundane objects character and personality. 

How sausage dogs are made
Weronika's group set their story under the old canal bridge. They used the history of the canal being used to transport goods and livestock, transforming this fact into a funny story about livestock that couldn't fit under the bridge, and with force they made it through, but exiting the other side as a giant sausage - putting the 'ham' in Peck'ham'. I liked the extra touch of the idea that when a dog walks under the bridge, it comes out the other side as a sausage dog.