Writing Challenge: day 13

image from The Armchair Genealogist

I was a bit shy of getting my hour in today, but I did get 45 minutes. Unless you count the time I spent listening to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It really should count since Lynn Palermo suggested that it is important to read other people’s writing about their families to get some ideas on what can be done. Even though it is day 13 for my writing challenge I’m finally getting to day 1 on the Armchair Genealogist‘s writing challenge. I’m taking this challenge at whatever pace it takes, not racing through it. I’m guessing it will probably take me most of the summer to get through it but by then I should have a really good start to this book.

So after a quick review of a couple of sections of The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge.” I went to the Day 1 email – “How to Find the Beginning of Your Story.” Part of today’s exercise was to read some first chapters to see what makes a good start to a book. I’ll need to do more of that tomorrow.

I also learned about the “hook”, the “exposition” and the “inciting incident.” I haven’t figured out what the hook is yet for this Key West history but I’m pretty sure the inciting incident was the letter that went out in the spring of 1954 asking for volunteers for the soon to be formed Underwater Swimmers School in Key West. I’m leaning towards starting the story as my Dad makes his first cross-country drive from San Diego to Key West and then flash back to the Hawaii, and then instructor school and leave time with his family. I want to read more first chapters before I decided.

p.s. last night I got an email back from the Underwater Swimmers School website. They want to put some of my Dad’s stories in their newsletter. I told him that would be great but I still haven’t gotten any of them written yet. So in a few weeks I’ll send him something and hopefully they will make it into the UWSS newsletter.


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