In this template, we’ll provide some guidelines for writing a story about a special Gathering! During the holiday season, or at various special times of the year, we get together with people we’ve not seen very often, for better or for worse! Or we might remember a Gathering that was our first experience away from family. This template helps you gather your thoughts about times spent with special people. The objective of this template is to provide enough information and ideas for you to produce a story about a special Gathering.
Please allow one hour to begin this exercise to give yourself enough time to really get going on it. Have your beverage or snack beside you so you don’t need to go to the kitchen. Turn off phone. This is your time to write your story.
First take 10 minutes to think of a Gathering. This could be a get-together with one special person, or a party of 25 or more. It could be a remembrance of a tradition kept by your family that had the same special components every single year over 20 years, or it could be a memory of a Gathering of two special people. This is your opportunity to remember a time of getting together that jumps out as special or memorable in some way.
Take 10 minutes now. You can either make a list or you can just jot down some notes about these times.
How’s your list? Do you have some good notes about Gatherings? Were they with one person? Was it a family get-together or a group of new friends? Were you in your home town or away from where you grew up?
You’ve completed the first step. Congratulate yourself on job well done!
On to the next step. Take another 10 minutes and focus in on some details about one of these Gatherings. During this 10 minute interval, we are going to begin answering the questions that will fill out our story. We’ll begin with Who.
Who was at this Gathering? How many people? Were they family members? What was their reason for being there? Was it an occasion where people were invited because they didn’t have another place to go and they were welcomed into a traditional circle of family and friends? Or were they the familiar faces that were always present year after year?
Take 10 minutes now to answer the question Who.
OK! You’re really accomplishing something here! You need to congratulate yourself because you’ve not only come up with an idea for your story, but you have succeeded in describing the people who made this a special Gathering.
Let’s move on. The next step will be to take another 10 minutes and answer the questions When and Where in relation to this Gathering. Where were you and when did this take place? Include some details of sight, or touch or taste. Were you at home, or at someone else’s home? What time of day was it? Describe the time of day, was it growing dark? Did the lights inside the houses glow as you were driving to the event?
Take 10 minutes now to answer the questions When and Where.
This is wonderful! Now your story is filling out. We have some notes about Who, When and Where. The story has a sense of people, time and place. We’re pretty far along.
The next step is to move into the What of the story. Here you tell what the celebration was about. What were you gathered for? What was the occasion? Was it a special birthday?
Now is the time to write some notes that answer the question What. Take another 10 minutes.
This is just getting better and better! It’s fun isn’t it? Now you have the people, the time and location and the occasion all sketched out. Your story is taking shape nicely.
Now we are getting to the part about How. How did the event unfold? You may have started this when you were answering the question What. Here is an opportunity to expand on those ideas. Was this a well-planned Gathering or was it spontaneous? Did everyone bring food or was this a sporting event?
Take 10 minutes now to answer the questions How.
We’re almost finished creating the bones of our wonderful story about a Gathering.
The last part is the very heart of the matter. It is to answer the question Why.
Why was this Gathering special? What was the meaning to you? Where did it strike a chord? Why is it a Gathering that continues to live large in your memory? A talisman, a remembrance, this is a memory that springs from that place where warm feelings dwell.
You might only write one sentence here, or say just a few words, but that will be all you will need to say about Why.
Or your story may be complete without writing the Why because it will be obvious by the way that you’ve captured all the details that went into When, Where, Who, What and How.
Take 10 minutes now to capture Why.
Good for you! You have the bones of your story about the Gathering. You can complete it as the days go by. If you just take anther hour or two and continue filling it out and rearranging the paragraphs, you’ll have it all complete in no time at all!