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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Your Family History Paperback – February 7, 2000
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1. We are our stories.
2. A memory is a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
3. It is helpful to provide some historical background when describing a family event.
4. Always remember the audience. Think of your book as a gift to the family.
5. Every writer has a style. Make sure it is appropriate for the audience.
6. The most important part of a book is the opening/beginning. Make sure you have a 'hook' in the beginning to keep the reader interested in reading more.
7.Go for a word 'picture', a vivid image.
8. Highlight the most interesting ancestral moment.
9. 'Media Res' - it is OK to begin in the middle, if that is where the best 'hook' is.
10. Model the ancestor - like being an immigrant.
11. End the beginning with a transition.
12. Tossing out stuff is important.
13. Rewriting is the secret of great writing.
14. Two reasons for a new paragraph: 1) new idea 2) give the reader a break.
15. Stay away from quotation marks, except when quoting a person. Also, avoid 'deflators' which reduce the impact of a sentence.
16. If a subject is important: 1) long, several sentences are OK. 2) position at the beginning of a paragraph and remember the end of the first sentence has the most impact and 3) repetition is OK, here.
17. Proofread a lot.