Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Free Tutorial on Writing a Memoir or Biography (1)

Mining your family history for stories

Tutorial 1

So, you there you are with a shoe box full of old photos and some stories you might remember your parents or grandparents telling you. How do you preserve that history for your kids and future generations?

Over the next few weeks I’ll offer you three free tutorials to get you started writing your family stories. These are the steps I took to successfully write Tales from the Fountain Pen which was picked up by a publisher.

Step 1: Take out the photos and put them in some kind of chronological order. If you’re having trouble, go online to research clothing, cars (if any), etc., from that era. It doesn’t have to be precise.
Step 2: Find the earliest photo, that will be the starting point for your story.

Step 3: Start creating a chart, using the pictures as your guide. Fill in rough estimates of dates, places and events as they come up in the pictures and your memory. Write down keywords you remember and impressions you get from the pictures. These will all be helpful once you start writing.

These first three steps should keep you busy for a while. As you go through them pretty you’ll start to see a pattern emerging that will let you get started on writing that family memoir.

Of course these steps can apply to any kind of writing where all you have to work with are visual cues from pictures or objects.

As always, I am available to assist. I take on a few full memoir writing projects each year (from shoebox of pictures to printed and bound book), but I am also available as a developmental editor to guide you through the process of creating a book yourself including guiding you through the CreateSpace process to get that printed book, and lastly, I’m available for consultations on your project. 
Contact me at: elynnh2write (at)  
Or visit my website:
And as always, leave comments below.

Next up: Tutorial 2: How to set the scene

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