Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finding a Family Story to Write

When you start to write, it is easiest to write about what you already know. You can tell stories about things that you have experienced yourself. What is your favorite or most vivid memory? Is it your first day at a new school, winning a prize at the fair, or learning an important lesson about life?

Think about the stories that you enjoy reading. Notice that the author starts with an idea, such as a day at the lake and builds the story piece by piece. Was the weather warm and sunny, or cool and windy? Who are the people in the story? Can you picture what they looked like from the writer’s descriptions? Did they roast hot dogs or marshmallows? A story does not need to be fiction to be fun to read.

Stories don’t have to be exciting to be interesting. Writing about things that happen on a normal day can make a wonderful story for a person who hasn’t experienced the same thing. In fact, even someone who is familiar with the actual events will enjoy reading about it. When people read your stories, they may experience something new by seeing it through your eyes.

Think about it. You have dozens of interesting stories in your life. Consider the stories that you like to tell to friends and family. Other people will be interested in reading them as well. You’ll have an endless source of stories when you draw from the huge base of what you do and see every day.

When you get an idea for a story, start writing it as soon as you can. Don’t worry about cleaning it up while you write. Otherwise, you may forget a really great idea. If you do happen to lose the thread to the story, try coming back to it a little later. Remember to use your Writing Journal to capture snippets of thoughts and ideas. It makes a wonderful tool when you are ready to start writing.

3 comments:

MPearl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MPearl said...

Great blog, Beth! You show us how to tell the most important story of all: where we came from. Your gentle support turns what might otherwise be an arduous task into a labor of love. Thank you!

Elizabeth (Beth) LaMie said...

Matt,
Thanks for your lovely comments. I think when we have children we start to think of all the things we want them to know about us and about those who have come before us.

I love the picture with your son. You must be thrilled to see things through his eyes. My own grandkids are 3 1/2 and 5, which is such an awesome age.

Beth