Wednesday, 10 July 2013 22:07

Your Purpose, Your Audience

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Writing your story with a purpose and audience in mind

Before you begin writing, determine the purpose of your story. You do not need to have a serious purpose for writing your story. You may decide to write a story for its pure entertainment value. You may decide to write your story to preserve a piece of family history. Perhaps it is to clarify your thoughts about a particular subject, or to make your memories tangible. Whatever the reason, knowing why you are telling your story will help you stay true to it.

 

Target an audience. To whom are you writing your story? How do you want them to respond to your story? Do you want them to laugh, smile, cry or think? If you make this determination at the beginning of your story, it will guide you as you select themes to write about. It will guide you as you write descriptions, and make word choices.

By targeting your audience, your story will become focused. If your chosen audience is your children, and your children’s children, speak to them throughout your story. Don’t allow yourself to lapse into talking about them, as if you were addressing someone else. This type of story might be best told from the first-person point of view.

A story told in the first-person point of view is characterized in the following ways; the person telling the story is also a character in the story, and words like I, we, me, and my are used.

To whom are you writing your story?

How do you want them to respond to your story?

Do you want them to...

laugh,

smile,

cry

or think?

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 22:11
Carol Rice

I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.

As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."

Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.

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