Last year I published a little book called ‘So you want to write…‘ which was as the title suggests, my thoughts on writing and the process of producing a story. It grew out of the work I did when I was teaching, and according to people who have bought it, has been very helpful!
I have been teaching a different sort of class – a U3A family history writing group and it recently struck me that I could use the notes I’ve given them, and the blogs I’ve written here to produce a similar little book called ‘So you want to write your family history…‘ This would not be a guide to genealogy, it would be suggestions on how to tell the story of what your research has revealed.
The sort of ideas I might include would probably start with how and where to begin – from the present to the past, or from a distant ancestor and to the present It might give ideas such as choosing to write about one family, or several, or all – and from the furthest reaches of a family to the newest infant.
There are many different ways a story can be told – and not just as a story: a family newspaper, a family recipe book with stories attached to the recipes, a photo album/scrapbook with stories, letters (real or imagined) or even an image of an actual tree with photos and anecdotes dangling from the branches.
A family history could be told by focusing on a place or on a person, or it could be built around a theme, war, journeys – actual or social, rags to riches or riches to rags, the story of a house. It could be a detective story, the story of the search for a family can be the story, chronicling the genealogical investigations. One popular way of telling a family story these days is through a blog – which I partly do here, of course!!
So far these are only my rough ideas, but I think it will be great fun to do, and I hope will also be useful for anyone who reads it! Watch this space for further news!
Here is a link to my ‘So You Want To Write…‘ book: