Wednesday, 10 July 2013 22:17

Getting Started

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Family history family storytelling writing stories“What's important is not the mechanical means of communicating but the spirit and joy with which your thoughts and feelings are put into words.”   -Leonard L. Knott

Congratulations! So, you are writing a story!



There is nothing mysterious about writing stories. Writing is not a talent that only a few possess. Rather, for our purposes, it is a means of preserving personality, value systems, and dreams. Writing our stories provides a bridge to future generations. Writing stories of our predecessors provides a bridge to the past. Truly, preserving our most cherished memories binds us to the people who are most important to us.

Story Starters are filled with everything you need to write a great story… even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer. Writers spend a lot of effort thinking about things like tense, outlining, developing character, descriptive detail, and lots more. If you do nothing more than follow the Story Starter, you can feel confident that you have included all of these basic elements in writing your story. So, don’t worry – with Story Starters, so much of the work is done for you.

However, if you're feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, a bit unsure of yourself, or you'd just like to dust off some already-excellent writing skills, here in the Writer's Corner you will find tips and inspiration to help you put your story into written form.

Writing story family history storytelling• Write your story just like you talk. Nobody can tell your story like you can – so be confident in writing your story, your way.

• Think about your purpose, and audience

• Include Descriptive Details 

Interview and include others perspectives in your stories, and 

• Brush up on some of the basics. (Watch for an upcoming series that will review the basics of writing - like Sophomore English, only fun and simple!)


Don't continue putting things off.  Choose a portion of your story and write it down!  Now!  You can write in a journal, a notebook or on the computer... the important thing is to DO IT NOW!  To motivate you, check out the cute journal we have available in our shop.  This is  guaranteed to make you feel like a writer!

Last modified on Monday, 02 June 2014 02:53
Carol Rice

I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.

As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."

Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.

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