Monday, January 25, 2010

Memory Monday, Or Better, Memoir Monday

Thought I'd share the main points I am learning from the online course and the questions I must answer in my writing assignment this week.

Why do I feel drawn or compelled to write family stories?

So, if this material is significant in some way, to whom? Family and friends, or a broader audience?

What type of memoir: personal, family or family history narrative?
  • Personal Memoir, not the same as autobiography
    • autobiography: the story of your entire life
    • personal memoir: specific incident, series of episodes or time period in your life
  • Family Memoir: stories and facts about family members and/or ancestors.
     To be written in first person, like the personal memoir, includes my personal insights and stories, feelings and perspectives gained after MUCH research.
  • Family History Narrative: impersonal nonfiction account about several generations narrated in the third person much as an objective reporter.
Other considerations: scope, theme, plot, structure.

So, I settled on the family memoir beginning with our grandparents, weaving the stories in a parallel to convergent sequence, using an altered chronological structure within each section. The theme or purpose--to highlight the threads or strands of grace God brings together to make the tapestry that is a family.

My assignment this week: 500 word narrative answering all of the above.

Two quotes I liked:

"The stories you tell about the past shape your future." --Eric Ransdell

Deuteronomy 4:9  “Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

Does any of this make sense?


SmallTownRunner said...

Thank you for explaining the difference between autobiography and memoir. I've been wondering.

It sounds like you have really good direction. Keep it up!

Kim said...

Sounds like a challenging but fun project! Will look forward to what you learn/distill/share.

I like the quotes at the end of this post too :-)

Lhoyt said...

The ideas are great. when you touch upon Grandpa and Grandma Hirschy, it would be well to get as much info as you can about why Grandpa and Grandma did not go to the mission field. I have heard varying suggestions, but the only one I could verify was that Grandpa was deathly allergic to quinine. The other suggestions: WWI brewing, Grandpa's surname too German, mission could not feel free to send them because of anti-German sentiment in US--all need to be checked into, as I do not have any corroboration except hearsay. The final outcome for God's glory, though, is the gem you want to emphasize.

Lhoyt said...

BTW any of the formats you mention would be great, though I like the idea of the family memoir best. Looking forward to seeing the final product.