1. I am a genealogist. You know you love genealogy when you have a family reunion in a graveyard.
2. I know I can write my family history because I have what it takes. Make a list of your resources, or what you'll want to include in your story: maps, photos, images, charts, forms.
3. I want to write my family history because I've been talking about writing it for years.
4. I want to write my family history because I love to write, or maybe not!
Let's Get Writing - Together 1. Find a family history book as a template. 2. Attend writing classes. 3. Form a writing group. 4. Write everyday. 5. You got this!
This is not a personal narrative. This is an historical narrative about an immigrant ancestor within the history and culture and laws of the land in which he or she lived.
To narrate the life experiences of our ancestors is to tell their true stories. The undertaking is rewarding, but fraught with snares and pitfalls. Portraying the physical and social world of a bygone time in a bygone place is no easy matter.
Citing diverse examples, this lecture addresses some of the most common errors made in the name of “historical context” and suggests ways to avoid them. Family historians who are not on guard may produce ancestral accounts that are imprecise, misleading or downright untrue.
Most genealogists don't write their family history because they don't know what they want to write or which ancestor to start with. They attend a writing class expecting to walk out with the nuts and bolts of their story as though in an hour you could draft a family history.
Well, tonight you will walk out with the nuts and bolts of you story and with draft of your family history in under an hour.
All About Mind Management - 3-Step Method to a First Draft 1. What is the length? 2. Who is your audience? 3. What do you want to write?
Are you going to write a “whole life” story or select scenes and vignettes?
When deciding what and who to begin writing about, focus on one branch of your tree. With the volumes of research and data you have collected, you may want to climb the entire tree at once.
Step back and carefully examine the different branches of your tree. One branch may stand out as a logical starting place. You might want to begin with the branch with the most information, the most generations, or in your mind, the most interesting or complete.
Begin writing the generation you know the most about or are more comfortable with. It needn’t be the most recent generation. it might be one in the middle. You can then work backward into the past, or forward to more recent generations.
Starting with what’s most comfortable, or a person who interests you most, will make the writing more enjoyable both to you and ultimately your readers.
Peer Conferences Role of Writer 1) Choose a partner 2) Tell partner what kind of help is needed 3) Read the piece out loud and listen to it 4) Consider the partner's response 5) What will you do next?
Role of Partner 1) Find out what the writer needs 2) Listen carefully 3) Start by telling the writer what works 4) Make a suggestion
Is there one ancestor or relative that stands our in your mind as being interesting and/or intriguing? Begin with a story about those interesting or intriguing characteristics and how they shaped your ancestor’s life.
Did one of your ancestors have an interesting tale about his or her immigration? Begin the story with that immigration tale. You can then use the flashback story writing technique to fill in the person’s life before immigration.
Do you have a cluster of ancestors that immigrated to the same locale? Write about the locale and the interaction between your ancestors within the context of where they lived.
Does one of your ancestors come from an interesting or different locale? Describe the city, town, or region and the impact living there might have had on your ancestor.
Become a writer. You can't write family history if You Are Not Writing Everyday.
You gotta love history. Know Your History.
Manageable Chucks of writing.
Preparation – what will you need to start?
How to Write a Compelling Personal Statement.
Start with your earliest ancestor - one surname. Work down to the present generation.
Create an ancestor profile.
Write in chronological order.
Let your software work for you. Use your genealogy software to geneate your data for you, family group sheets, pedigree charts, will extracts, handwriting samples, favorite recipes, and so on.
Use and Document your sources.
Writers block: recording device like Evernote, video yourself.