Writing Challenge: day 4

For today’s writing challenge I went back through The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo, to check Chapter 4 – Creating a Work-Flow because the next things I need to do to prepare to write are part of the work-flow. Two of the three steps seem pretty straight forward but the third one is new ground for me.

First off is gathering my research. I think that I have most of my stuff already gathered and organized in folders on my computer. I’m going to make sure and check through my physical stuff for more items.

Step three is identifying where I’m going write. I had already decided to use Scrivener. I’ve heard about from several sources. A few weeks ago I downloaded the trial version and did the tutorial that comes with it. Lynn also recommends Scrivener. It is designed for writers and I’m excited to try it out.

The second step is bibliography and citations. Lynn recommends using a citation manager. But I just can’t wrap my head around it. So I have to do it by hand. Hopefully I won’t have too many sources outside of my Dad and his personal documents. I may have to change my mind on this in the future but at this point I’m not going to embrace it. Maybe it is just too much for this non-writer, designer brain of mine.

Next step is make sure that all my documents, photos etc. are logically organized and ready to reference during the writing process. I’ll check back in here on Monday at let you know how things are coming.

Writing Challenge: day 2

imaginary readers of Navy history

I’ve made my goal to spend at least an hour working on the writing side of my Dad’s Navy history two days in a row. Yeah! To be perfectly honest not much writing has actually happened. I’m in the preparing to write phase but it is still good. I continued reading The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo. This is my first time through so mostly it is just getting the big picture into my head. I finished Section 1 – The Vision for Your Book and Section 2 – Organizing You and Your Research.

I think I made some real progress in Chapter 3 – Getting to Know Your Reader. I even called my Dad to talk to him about who this book is really for. We had discussed that it was for his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. I visualized that as a 8 to 18-year-old and he agreed. But when I pointed out at that an 8 to 18-year-old probably isn’t interested in the documents that we have he adjusted his thinking. We have also talked about that he wants to take this book to the Underwater Swimmers School Reunion in 2015. So his target reader is actually retired Navy personnel, similar to him. I think the grand kids and great-grand kids come into the picture only through the grandpa. The hope and vision are that this book will create an opportunity for the grandpa to sit down with a child and share his experiences and memories. My dad talked about something like that but I’ll need to clarify that vision with him. But it feels right.

In the book Lynn suggests imagining your perfect reader and actually drawing a picture and describing them, even giving them a name. My first drawing was of Wallie. Then after talking to my Dad, I drew Walt. Now I can visualize Walt siting down with this book is his lap with his grandson Wallie beside him. I’d like to someday write my Dad’s Navy history targeted to that 10-year-old but this isn’t that project. Though I think it will be the basis for that future graphic adventure story.

If you have stayed with me this far, thanks. I’ll be back tomorrow with day 3 of my writing challenge.