How to Write Your Personal or Family History (if you don't do it, who will?)

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 240 pages
Author: K. Wiebe
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9781680991826
Other: 3b&w photos, additional resources
Publisher: Good Books

Everyone has a story to tell, and this book gives you tips on exploring, writing and sharing your story.

This is a practical (and encouraging) how-to book from a long-time teacher of personal and family history writing. Katie Funk Wiebe helps beginning memoir writers get started on collecting the stories of their lives. She gives hints for recalling distant memories and tips for tracking down family heirlooms. 

This is a serious but easy-to-read book for those undertaking on a personal or family history writing project.

This book will give you:
 - tips on writing
 - exercises to prod the memory
 - writing prompts to help you get started, and keep going
 - examples of intriguing stories
 - advice on looking at the broad scope of a well-lived life

There's no better time than now to delve into the past and record your story for posterity, and this book is the perfect companion for that journey. As the author writes ... "you've been living twenty four hours every day, making decisions, objecting to certain ideas, endorsing others, and interacting with family and coworkers. I plan to convince you that if you took time to reflect, you'd find lots of meaningful stuff going on". 

Foreword by Joanna Wiebe
1. You have a story waiting to be told
 - A few beginning tips
2. Putting together the puzzle of life
 - Who is your audience?
 - What is your purpose?
 - What is your theme?
3. Getting started on writing about yourself
 - Where will you find information to write about yourself?
 - Getting motivated
4. Writing about other people
 - Why write a biography?
 - Main characteristics of biography
 - Important sources to investigate
5. Choose a theme and plot
6. Stories are always winners
 - What is the subject matter of personal narrative or story?
 - What makes a great story?
 - What is a story?
7. Becoming comfortable with your family's story
8. One life, many stages
 - Stage 1. Connecting with the early years
 - Stage 2. Tracing defining moments in adolescence
 - Stage 3. Finding the markers in young adulthood
 - Stage 4. A look at the middle years (not middle age)
 - Stage 5. Retirement and beyond
9. History happens to everyone
 - Echoes of the Great Depression
 - Exploring war experiences
 - Exploring the resources of the 1950s and 1960s
 - Exploring the resources of the 1970s and following decades
10. Memories are also made of these
 - The works of our lives
 - Writing about the life others don't see
 - Writing about relationships with people
 - The best or worst time of your life?
 - Folklore improves the flavour
11. Optional writing tasks
 - How to give away what can't be counted or measured
 - Writing your last 'writes'
12. Final hurdles to the finished product
 - Hurdle 1. The temptation to quit
 - Hurdle 2. Making your writing more readable and interesting
 - Hurdle 3. Revising and polishing
 - Hurdle 4. Publishing
Additional resources
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How to Write Your Personal or Family History (if you don't do it, who will?)


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