Monday, November 21, 2016

Stories Around The Holiday Table

The Peanuts gang is sending wishes of the season to all of us. I bet they're also telling lots of family stories around their Thanksgiving table. 

Many of you will be doing the same. Holiday tables seem to be one of the best places to hear those family stories. Many of them will be told again on an annual basis. A little more might be added each year. You all know which people in your family are the best storytellers. Maybe it's you or maybe Uncle Oscar. 

As writers, we need to not only be observant but also to learn to listen to what goes on round us. Note that I said listen. There is a distinct difference between hearing and listening. Any married person will tell you that, quite often, their spouse just doesn't listen! Or is that only in my house? 

This year, when your family gathers for a holiday meal and the stories begin, pay special attention. What attracts you about each story told? What lesson might there be? Is it worth writing about? Can you use the basics of the story in a story or novel you're writing? Is it worth a character study you might write? How about a memoir piece that you can market in a magazine like The Good Old Days or Reminisce ?

Don't forget your Family Stories Book that you have started and add to on a regular basis. If you haven't done this, give serious thought to doing it as soon as the holiday season is over. What a good January 2017 project it might be. 

You might want to read a blog post written earlier this year about the importance of writing family stories. Read it here.

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