What are three recommendations for creating and sharing your complete family history as a legacy?
- Share your stories with video to reach a larger number of people and for ease of consumption.
- Ensure that your digital records are accessible long after you’ve gone – leave your passwords in your will.
- Value the printed records and folders they are housed in and bequeath them to a family history society.
Stories as Videos
The first answer really resonated for me as I thought about a new way to ‘tell my ancestral stories’. Perhaps I can return to my practice of digital storytelling and find new ways of recording the stories in voice.
Short videos to engage with a new audience, those who prefer to consume video for their education and entertainment. This will be a strategy that will engage with my grandchildren.
I already have a couple of these ready to go; they appear in my online course on Digital Storytelling for Family Historians.
See below for access to this course.
Dear Diary: I already have a wealth of stories to create as videos; and I could add them to my YouTube channel. Plus I can add them to a new module in my Digital Storytelling for Family Historians.
Writing Tips for Storytelling: for Genealogists
I was scrolling through tips and posts from writers in the Writers Community in Twitter this morning and found some valuable tips for writers in all genres. I have selected six that could be inspirational for your next ancestral story.
10 Storytelling Secrets
1. Begin in the Action – to make a story instantly irresistible, throw your audience into the deep end. But don’t give away too much. Start with drama, then pull back and swing to the beginning. Now they have a reason to listen.
2. Leave them with a lesson – stories that suck have no point. People listen for the lessons. Be creative. You can transform seemingly insignificant stories into a powerful message. The secret is in the bridge.
3. The power of loops – every Netflix episode finishes with a cliffhanger. Why? Because studies show curiosity is as powerful a motivator as hunger. Subconsciously, we can’t help but try to close loops. Use them often to keep your audience hungry for more.
4. Drop Details – people don’t care about stories they can’t see. Use:
dates, times, senses, colours, emotions. Vagueness is a killer. Specificity is the secret.
5. Control the tempo – the best sories are rollercoasters. And as a storyteller, pace and prose are your secret weapons. When things are cool and calm, seak slow and soft. But during chaos, quicken with strong words and short sentences. Bring your reader for the ride.
6. Build your bank – stories are everywhere, but only if you train your mind to look. Start a Storybank. Save whatever happens big or small. Don’t wait for inspiration, create it.
The author of this tip is Kieran Drew who is a contributor in the Twitter community called the Writers Community. I joined this community recently and was scrolling through and found 10 tips from Kieran that could be useful for those who write in the family history genre.
Today I got to thinking about how to use this tip to help with my ancestral storytelling, especially with the next group of posts in my genealogystories blog.
I am focussed on telling the stories of the lives of my father’s siblings and their families. This should keep me busy for a few posts as there were several of them.
But how can I begin in the action, as Kieran suggests. This will take some thought. For instance, could I begin with the scene at a funeral for one of the siblings, and describe the anguish of parents in losing a child at a very young age; my dad’s older brother who died the same year he was born.
Or could I describe another tragic event that took place in the 1930s. An event at a motor race in which my uncle, my dad’s younger brother, was killed.
Or could I bring to light the circumstances around the birth of my dad’s older sister, someone who’s records have been hidden in time. She was born in the same year her parents, my grandparents, were married. The wedding was on 27 December 1896 so she was already on the scene. Perhaps I begin with that marriage.
This one tip from Kieran has given me pause for thought as I construct my next ancestral stories with a touch of drama.
Digital Storytelling for Family Historians
In this course you will learn how to create a short video about your ancestor, with narration, images from your archives and a musical background. In the lessons I provide step by step instructions on how to use PowerPoint to create your Digital Story.
Black Friday Special
This course is on special this month – enrol before December 7 – 50% off if you use the BlackFriday22 code.
The course is usually $97 but this November it is just $47.