T224, “Writing A Family Narrative That Your Family Will Want To Read”

February 18th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Historical Context, T224, “Writing A Family Narrative That Your Family Will Want To Read”

11 am, Thursday, 11 May 2017

Margo Fariss Brewer, lecturer, consultant, co-leader of Ann-Mar Genealogy Trips, instructor of beginning through advanced and writing your family narrative classes through Duke University.

Margo describes her session: “You can write a narrative about your family’s history that is interesting to read and will make you proud. Many of you reading this doubt you can do that. For several years I have been teaching a course on family history narrative writing, and most of my students had the same doubt when they started. Now, they are writing with excitement and definitely pride. Some have published, and some are still working on their narratives.

The hardest part for any writer is getting started; this lecture was designed to help you overcome that problem. What is stopping you from writing? The answer is usually fear. The fears might be that you can’t decide whom or what to include, that you don’t write well enough, that you have not done enough research, or that the project is too big.

Join me to learn how you can find a focus for your writing and that completing small sections of the whole narrative may be the fastest way to finish. I’ll discuss using timelines and lists to help keep everything organized. Together we’ll cover writing styles that you can use, the importance of white space and pictures to your reader, and that using “weasel” words is ok. You won’t be finished writing when the lecture ends, but you should feel you can start, so begin recruiting relatives and friends to be your network of proofreaders.”