“Shadow Of An Early Settler”
“I have lived in his world. I know it was dominated by the seasons. Rain and mud leads to long hours of back breaking harvesting to be followed by long nights of breathing life into newly born animals. So how did Thomas find one piece of paper that was to change the life he led then, to the life that was to come, 12 thousand miles away on the other side of the world?“
Writers Helping Writers
The paragraph above is my introductory writing hook and the image of a grave site is the image that was the catalyst to the concept of a collaborative writing process. A cluster of gum trees guarding a simple grave site cried out to be understood. No amount of research could explain why Thomas chose this solitary It was serendipitous that I also found a short story by Allison Armstrong entitled “Finding Ethel Coe” in which fact and fiction were cleverly woven into a short story that moved seamlessly from one writing hook to another. After reading her story the seed that was sown took root. I was going to bring breathe life into Thomas Eastick.
It is difficult to describe the emotions I felt when I found the grave of my Great Grand Uncle was only a 15 hours drive away! It is difficult for many the reasons that are explained explained in more detail here: “MUST DO” First Step Writing A Family History Story
Focusing on why you are writing a particular story will keep your work both focused and productive. I have found that physically writing my goals and sharing them with others, seems to work also. With that in mind, I declare that my first goal is to breathe life into my research by weaving fictional possibilities! Future posts will explore this process as the story of Thomas Eastick continues.
The second goal is to make this a collaborative journey where my words and those who take part in the writing process, are shared to a wider writing community. For some (viz: me) this will be a new experience and like all “firsts’ the unknown is intimidating. However, I have been assured by other writers that, “It gets easier the more you do it!” Here then, I have offered up the first draft of my introductory writing hook. (Drum roll please!)
Comments And Contributions
I look forward to reading your own introductory writing hooks. Your contributions will, with your permission, be published for others to read. Comments are not only welcomed they are essential to the collaborative writing process. They can be left here or on my Facebook page Any suggestions that are used will be acknowledged and cited.
Benefits Of Sharing The Writing Process
Motivation To Continue
For those writers who have enjoyed the writing process but have never published or even shared their work positive comments are more than motivating. They are a validation that your words resonate with others. My Introductory Hook for the first paragraph of “Shadow Of An Early Settler” was well received. So well that I now find myself hesitant to share the next piece!
“If this is the start it will be published soon. Great work Vicki you are a very talented lady.” PM
“This is really good Vicki, well done, it captured me” AT
Gain Insights Into The Readers Perspective
The writing process is a long, meandering and often torturous journey. The author feels every bump in the road and sees every twist and turn. The problem is, the closer one is to the action, the more likely one will forger that there are others sharing the journey with us viz; the reader. The comment below clearly identifies an area of confusion that would not have been obvious to me.
“From the excerpt you gave us, it wasn’t clear whether you were talking about two people or one.” SV
Recognise The Value Of Criticism
Criticisms, like toothache, are a physical reminder that something is wrong. Should the person receiving the criticism be of the opinion that they are never wrong they will simply assume the critic is the one with the problem. The focus of this section of the post is the process of writing and, if the writing process is to move from okay to the best it can be, then accepting criticism is only the first step. As the writing process continues acceptance will lead on to being grateful to those who care enough about you, and your writing, to offer a constructive criticism.
“May I suggest a small tweak. I think it would have more impact as shorter sentences. How did Thomas find that one piece of paper that was to change his life? A piece of paper that would lead him to a new life 12 thousand miles away”
“I might suggest a slight change in verb tense starting in the third sentence: Rain and mud that led to long hours of back breaking harvesting followed by long nights breathing life into newly born animals.” KV
Generate New Ideas
Being offered new ideas (for free) is akin to receiving a surprise present. By sharing the first draft of my writing process “surprise presents” came gift wrapped in many forms. Book titles to show creative non fiction in action being a very welcome example.
“If you mix fact and fiction, be sure your readers understand that there is fiction involved or you could end up causing several people to falsify their family histories unknowingly!” BAO
“In historical fiction books, it is nice to provide an explanation about which facts were falsified. I recently read the Radium Girls and it was nice to know what was fact and what was fiction. SV
Reveal Gaps In Your Knowledge
The art of writing begins when we first learn to write out name. Writing our name states our ownership of that space. Over time, that space can be filled with our thoughts, dreams and desires. Literary students spend years of study learning and understanding how the writing process is put together piece by piece. Others are content, for a while, to just write. Eventually however, the knowledge void will become obvious and they too will stop writing to fill those gaps. Creative non fiction was just such a gap for me and I intend to write more about this later.
Writing A Hook: Third Draft
“I have lived in his world. I know it was dominated by the seasons. Rain and mud that led to long hours of back breaking harvesting followed by long nights of breathing life into newly born animals. How did Thomas find that one piece of paper that was to change his life. A piece of paper that would lead him to a new life 12,000 miles away on the other side of the world?“
Supporting Blog Posts
Writing A Narrative Begins With Writing A Hook
A “MUST DO” First Step For Writing Your Family History Story
Make Words Your Family Heirloom
The Best Family History TED Talks and Videos