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How to Write your own Life Story

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Shelby Vega

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of How to Write your own Life Story

Presented by: Shelby Vega How to Write your own Life Story (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr The Classic Guide for the Nonprofessional Writer Written by: Lois Daniel Lois Daniel wrote the book 'How to Write your own Life Story' to help teach nonprofessional writers how to write an autobiography. Throughout the book she shows different examples of events to write about. According to the author, it is a "...guide that helps readers record the events of their lives for family and friends and adds to our collective history." In the book, Daniels provides a list in the book that she calls 'Ground Rules'. Rule 2.
Be yourself, write the way you talk.
In the example Lois uses their is a small language handicap. She explains that in some peoples books, some of the words may not make sense to all people, but if it is the way the author speaks, then it should be the way they write. Rule 3.
Be honest, don't write the event how you wished they happened, but how they actually happened. Rule 1.
Don't worry about how it sounds. Even if it doesn't sound 'right' keep writing until its finished, save all the revising to the end.
Don't work for style, write what comes to your head as it comes to your head. Rule 4.
Don't let you story be just a sterile recital of events. Write about your feelings during the event. Adding your feelings will make the event seem more interesting and it will be easier to imagine happening. Rule 5.
Whenever possible, relate thing that happened in the distant past to thing that have happened in the present or recent past. Rule 6.
Try to read books that other people have written about their lives, this will spark ideas for your own book. Rule 7. Remember to include humor. Rule 8.
Share wisdom. If the event is likely to occur again, give advise to the readers to help them if they have to go through something similar. Rule 9.
Describe the scene. Make sure to include what kind of counter tops the kitchen had, what the weather was like, even what furniture the room had. This will make the story easier to imagine and help explain the mood of the situation. 10. Reread the ground rules while writing. Make sure to be following them through out the book. The most important lesson I learned from this book, was to be honest in your book. Daniels wrote 'Ground Rule' 3 and it says,
"Don't write about things as you wish they had been. Write about them the way they actually were... be sure you are telling exactly as it happened..." Later on in the book Daniels explains,
"When we write about our lives, we must take time to analyze our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions... You will start to write something and a little voice inside you will say, 'Just a minute, is that the way it really happened?' or 'What did you really think about that- what do you think about that now?"' This rule is also similar to Rule 4, that tells to add in feelings, meaning, to express how you really felt during the situation. Be sure to add in details that you wouldn't normally say when you were telling the story. Sharing these details, and admitting to them make the story more intriguing for the writer and readers. "Work 14 hours in every day and the master's wife had a pleasure to wash, always to wash. In suds and out of, rubbing and scrubbing , even the walls and window and street before the door knew her brush and mop. And for all this I had the duty in my spare time to carry buckets of water from the well. Coupla days in the house and a person could enjoy to be dirty rest of his life."

- George Papashvily 'Anything Can Happen' Daniels made the 'Ground Rules' to help make your story more interesting and easier to read. If you follow the ground rules, she believes the story should be better. In the book she gives example stories that really show the rules being followed and she explains how to follow them. "Even though Cecil was the only boy who asked me for a date, I continued to mistreat him for more than two years. Occasionally I would go someplace with him but I was never very nice to him. I was dreaming of a handsome, tall , sophisticated, brilliant, and rich young man who would come and sweep me away into some great new life."

- Blache Carstenson 'My Only Suitor' In your stories you should write what your emotions were like during the event.
"It was the very first time I had experienced death in my family. It seemed like my whole world had come to an end. While writing this paper, I am in tears."
-Author Unknown In this example the story takes place around thanksgiving time. This isn't a hilarious story, but it does have a sense of humor to it.
"At school we learned that our forefathers landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It wasn't until we were a little older that we discover that our own particular forefathers were never anywhere near Plymouth Rock. Our father, in fact, landed at Ellis Island in 1906."
-Author Unknown This is one of the examples used in the book. It is about a girl who moved from the city to a small town in the middle of no where and how she struggled in school.
"Sometimes things were rough for me at school. Some of the children were nice to me but many resented me and never let me forget that I was 'the city kid'. To be absolutely honest I expect part of the attitude stemmed from the fact that I, too, made a point of the fact I was 'the city kid.'
- Author Unknown Being honest in your writing not only means telling how you feel, but also exactly what happened. In peoples writing they typically exaggerate the truth. They will write the story and make it too perfect, or make the experience absolutely dreadful. To understand how to be honest in your writing we are going to analyze a paragraph and identify how the author was honest. That was one example Daniels used, although short it shows the author admitting to something that she could have left out in the story.
Not only does she admit to never being nice to Cecil, but she also tells everyone that he was the first boy to ever ask her on a date. Blache could have left out those parts, but instead she told everyone the truth. The first rule is, don’t worry about how it sounds, and keep writing until the end, save all revision to the ends. Next, be yourself, write the way you talk, even if some words don’t make sense to others, make sure to keep your originality in the book. Also be honest in your writing. Write how the situation actually happened, not how you wish it happened. Make sure to include your feelings in the stories, don’t let the book just be a recital of events. The fifth rule says; whenever possible relate things that happened in the distant past to things that have happened in the present or recent past. Also try to read books that other people have written about their lives, this will spark ideas for your own book. Remember to, include humor in your book, and share wisdom and advise, if the event is likely to occur again share your thoughts to help others if they go through the same event. To make the story more interesting, describe the scene.
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