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Family history writing can take many forms—a short essay or narrative introduction to a collection of family letters, long captions comprising a family photo history, a biography of parents and a narrative of their life together, an autobiography, or even a family newsletter. This sensible and accessible book is for those who want to do a little writing as well as for those who want to do a lot.
Kempthorne shows how easy it is to write family history and how much fun it can be. He illustrates in detail how to:
By the end of the book, readers will not only gain a thorough understanding of how to write family history, but will have completed a number of sketches to entertain and enrich their families.
Family History and Its Importance: History Is a Story; Re-create Your Family's Experience; History Isn't Just Ancient History; History and Building a Sense of Family; Family History and the Professional Historian; Writing Family History and Personal Values
Techniques for Writing Family History: Exploring Narrative Writing; What You Already Know About Writing Narratives; Learning to Trust Yourself as a Writer; Don't Try to Sound "Educated" or "Literary"; Getting Started Writing; Writing as a Way of Remembering; The Importance of Being Specific; Engage the Reader's Senses; Mixing Summary and Scene; Writing A Composite Scene; Telling Narratives from a Specific Point of View; Making a Person Real with Words; Recreating Conversations; Suspense Isn't Just for Thrillers; Use Your Imagination; The Narrative Mix: Place, People, Action, and Narration; The Slice of Life Versus a Beginning, Middle, and End; Enjoy What You're Writing; How to Get the Best Out of Yourself; Care About What You're Writing; A Refreshing Digression; Your Sense of Humor; The Role of Revision
The Forms of Family History: The Narrative Journal; Interviews; Writing Captions; Letters; Occasional History: Cards and Letters; Cookbooks and Recipe Collections; Biography; Autobiography; The Family Newsletter; Fiction: Historical, Biographical and Autobiographical
Printing and Publishing Your Family History: What Do You Do with What You've Written?; Printing Your History Easily and Cheaply; Using Photos; Laying Out Your Book; The Types of Publication; Self-Published Family History Books
A. Resources for the Family Historian
B. Starting a Family History Writing Group
C. Teaching Others to Write Family History