Monday, 9 February 2015
So the "writing family history every day in February" is going really well. Not. I got so bogged down in writing the goldfish story that the family history stuff went for a burton. However, the goldfish story - my first creative writing since school! - was well received. I suspect they were all being kind for a first effort but we shall see.
This week I have been given the task of writing as an "omniscient narrator" about a main character who owned a pink basque (we had to choose a number and these numbers then assigned to random items to write about....). This is all new to me, I can tell you. I had to look up the phrase "omniscient narrator"! It turns out that some of my favourite books are written this way - it means a narrator who is not part of the action and can see everyone's thoughts and motivations and actions. Pride and Prejudice was one of the examples given! Who knew??!
Anyway, on the genealogy theme - which this blog is supposed to be vaguely about - one of the writing exercises sent by the Family History Writing Challenge did start me thinking. I believe it is a useful little way of thinking about the characters you discover and also of distinguishing between generations who have the same name.
It is the Six Word challenge [adapted by the FHWC from Six Word Memoirs in Smith Magazine.]
Choose an ancestor and attempt to sum up their life, the meaning of their life or the point which you wish to emphasise about their life in six words. Think about unusual facts, character traits etc.
For example, I did:
Solomon Major - son in India, wife in Bristol
Edward Guest - drunken soldier, many children, appealed pension
Charles Shaller - army orphan, ended as a missionary
They just serve as little reminders when looking at long lists of repetitive names.
But can I apply this to the wretched basque? Pink, black lace, nylon.....