Creating Your Story
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Creating Your Story



Dave and I love to talk to groups of any size about writing and publishing memoirs or other

Dave and I love to talk to groups of any size about writing and publishing memoirs or other



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  • Introduction: Dave as freelance editor; Nancy as retired teacher; graduates of the U of MWhat—definitions; Why—reasons; How—process; getting started; product
  • Biography—story of someone else’s life, usually from birth to death, highlighting accomplishments or the times in which they livedAutobiography—story of one’s own life told in first personMemoir—a type of autobiography but often about a particular time period or aspect of one’s lifePersonal essayOral history—audio or videotaped recording
  • Just a few of the reasons; will go over each one in more detail
  • Grandma’s photo album—tell story of process; involves research including genealogical study
  • Story of the photo
  • Dave reads paragraph from _________; Nancy reads from house essay
  • Collection of writings covering several years
  • Things to write about: Talk to children or elders and record their thoughts, memoriesAsk someone to interview you, transcribe the recording and write the narrativeHire someone to videotape or simply record your thoughtsSort through photos for those that best represent your life; documents like ration bookShow research from Jim’s book
  • Life story
  • Explain
  • Notes on the photos

Creating Your Story Creating Your Story Presentation Transcript

  • Creating Your Life Story
    What, Why, How
  • What?
    • Biography
    • Autobiography
    • Memoir
    • Personal essay
    • Oral history
  • Why?
    Preserve family history
    Preserve personal history
    For self-reflection
    Share your wisdom
  • Preserve family history
    Tell the story of significant events in the life of your family.
    Tell about the people, values, and customs of your family.
  • Preserve personal history
    Write about events and ideas that matter to you.
  • For self-reflection
    A memoir is like a mirror reflecting back on your life.
    Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss of isolation to share and reflect.
    Natalie Goldberg
  • Share your wisdom
  • How to start a life story
    Write from your own memories
    Interview family members
    Be interviewed by someone else
    Record your thoughts on audio or video
    Collect photos and documents
    Conduct research
  • Documents
  • Research insets
  • How to organize a life story:chronologically
  • How to organize a life story:thematically
  • How to organize a life story: using photos or artifacts
  • How to publish a life story
    Audio or video tape