Writing Family Stories
Session by Angela Foster
Wyoming, MInnesota Library
Saturday November 3, 2018
Angela gave some great ideas on writing about your family history. She jokes by saying someday, someone will pull into your yard with a dumpster and say “Why did Mother save this?”
One needs to take the time to write. Be specific and talk about the memoirs as well as the facts. Details, details, and details that are big and small. Give the name of the stove in the home, for example. She wore her favorite pink dress or they owned a blue Ford car.
Find things family members have written. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, or hand writing.
Write about how things have changed for you or family members such as computers, communication, transportation, clothes, styles, school, jobs, places lived, pets, etc..
Traditions such as holidays and birthdays are important in a family.
Uses senses when writing: smell, see, hear, taste and feel.
Show and do not tell. Have the reader get a vision in their head.
Angela gave us questions to answer:
Choose a home you lived when you were about 9 years old.
Stand at the front door. Describe the home.
Do you smell anything?
Stand in kitchen. What was Mother doing?
Where is the table?
Is Father in the room? What is he doing?
Who else is in the room?
Who set the table?
What happens after you eat?
Describe the appliances and name them.
Do you pray before meals? Who leads the prayer?
Where does the heat come in the the home?
What is the source of light?
Anything in house not allowed to touch?
Any room you are afraid to be?
What are sounds in the house?
Write a story about the house in one page.
Walk through the house. Fiction writers so this, Angela said.
We drew small pieces of paper that had prompts and mine was:
What dreams and goals did you have for your life after high school graduation?
Angela gave us time to write about both projects.
She gave us a list of 86 “Write Your Life Questions”:
These are some of them. I have already added some of my own to the list.
- Were you told a stories about the day you were born? What was the weather like? Where did you birth take place? Is there a baby book that lists your visitors or gifts you received?
7. Did you have a secret place or favorite hiding spot as a child?
9. Did you have pets as a child? Write about a special pet or a pet you longed for.
12. Were you ever seriously ill or injured as a child?
48. What kind of music did you like to listen to? Do you have any favorite albums or
54. Describe the first car you ever owned? How did you get it?
72. If you could go back to any age, what age would it be?
86. In what moment of you life did you feel most loved?