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Story Writing made simple
Write the way you talk. Use the first person. Keep the sentences short, and end with a twist; try for a laugh.
For a really strong story, go back and delete everything that doesn't contribute to the twist at the end. Try to avoid clichés and repeated words, unless you're using them for emphasis.
When you remember a good story, or notice that you've just told one you're proud of, write it down. Often, just noting the last idea will be enough to remind you of the entire story for later writing.
What's a good story?
Start with your oldest ones. Do you remember any stories your parents told you? How about your grandparents' stories?
Don't you wish you had stories about your grandparent's grandparents? You might not have any, but you can make sure your grandchildren do. They'll treasure them, and pass them on to future generations. Each generation will value them more.
The way things were
You've seen a lot of changes. Write about the way things were; especially things that don't happen anymore.
Do your grandchildren take things for granted that were special when you were young?
Write about how much you appreciated those things when you were a child. Maybe you're glad that you didn't have some of the things people have today.
Did you like walking to school through the fields? Playing by the creek rather than on the computer? Or having so many relatives living nearby? Those stories feel wonderful because they teach classic values that we sometimes overlook these days.
Why write about bad times?
Because you survived them. Your stories teach readers how you dealt with bad times.
Did you do something right? Were you lucky? Smart?
Maybe you were badly hurt by the experience, but you enjoy life now. Your descendants need to know it's possible and how you did it. After all, if you hadn't pulled through, they wouldn't be here.
When you look back on bad times, you're not complaining. You're not looking for pity or help. You're helping others deal with them. That feels good; you're good at it; and it helps humanity.
Your stories are you
Your values, beliefs, personality, and attitude become part of your readers.
Because you're writing in the first person, your readers experience your thoughts. Your readers feel like they're in your head, learning to think like you.
That's a powerful teaching tool. Use it to demonstrate your survival skills, enjoyment skills, and loving skills.
You'll give your readers the benefits of your lifetime of experiences as well as your parents' culture. As an elder, this is your work. How do you know? It feels great!
And when you're not here anymore, you'll still be here...in the minds and actions of everyone who has read your stories.
Whatever our age, fun is our job
As children, we enjoy developing skills. As adults, we like using those skills as we produce...and reproduce. As elders, we like telling stories. Developing children need stories; and the best come from elders. Even the kids know TV is a poor substitute.
There's no need for kids to be great storytellers, and elders don't need to be highly productive. Whatever our age, we help humanity most when we do what we most enjoy. For elders, it's storytelling.
It's not just fun, it's how elders contribute. We've been doing it since there's been language. - And keep an eye out for the side-effects of doing the right thing at any age: increased levels of mood and health.
Have fun; and let us help
The most enjoyable way to write your stories may be to let author and Heirloom Stories™ specialist, Rick Kamen, write them for you. He'll also create an on-line book and New Story Newsletter for you. All for just $95 per story.
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