Interviewing family members and friends is clearly a form of research, but interviews alone are usually not enough to give your stories the depth they require. For that, you need formal research.
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Can you assume you can depend on your memory when you write your lifestories? The problem with this assumption is that memory isn’t always as reliable as you may want it to be! What are the best interview practices to find out if your memory is spot on?
Gathering stories at family events—interviewing—is one of these basic steps you can master for writing your memoir. Following these basic steps, anyone can succeed at writing interesting and meaningful memoirs.
As a memoirist, you must always double-check the information you already have, and seek new material to flesh out your stories. Reunions, weddings, funerals, birthday and holiday celebrations rate well on both of these tasks: scattered relatives, each of whom has a piece of the family history to share, are in one place at one time. Gathering stories at family events is an opportunity not to be missed.
Gathering stories at family events
When it comes down to it, people love to tell their stories. The family historian’s job is to ask the right questions to get to the heart of the story. Here are five simple guidelines, extracted from both Turning Memories Into Memoirs and The Photo Scribe to facilitate gathering stories at family events. These suggestions will streamline the process for would-be lifewriters: [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Creating a book of memoirs is possible
Celebrating and honoring your life by remembering and writing both big and small stories is very rewarding. It is a significant way to understand your life and to come to peace with it. Creating a book of memoirs will leave a legacy your family will treasure for generations–don’t you wish your grandparents had written their memoirs?
Follow these simple writing suggestions and you’ll find the task of preserving your stories is well underway.
1. First, make a Memory List
A Memory List a list of all your life’s important events and relationships. Your Memory List can have hundreds of items. When you sit down to write a story, you’ll have this list of topics handy. The Memory List helps you to focus on things that deserve the most attention. It also primes the pump of memory: the more you write, the more you’ll remember. Your list will grow as you write! At first, just jot things down. As the list gets longer, organize it chronologically. With your Memory List handy to write from, you will never again suffer from “writer’s block!” Creating a book of memoirs will be easier than before.