Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fiction: 13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestor Stories Book Tour Guest Post

**Note from Gena: It's my pleasure to have a guest post written by Dr. Bill Smith  of the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories blog. He has a 2nd edition of his 13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories book out now.

Today I want to share one more family storytelling technique that I don't speak a lot about in the new 2nd Edition of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" that this book blog tour is all about. Use your family history and genealogy research, and your own personal experiences, to create Family Saga/Historical Fiction. Write fiction stories based on your research findings. You don't need to tell the exact stories you find,of course. Rather, create stories combining your imagination with the facts and relationships you have identified as you have done your reading, your living, and your research.

Personally, I find as a writer I cannot NOT write fiction based on my family history studies. As I research, my mind is constantly creating these other families in other worlds that can do what I may wish my families had done, or, they do things members of my family ought to have done - in my view. Creating fiction allows you to use those traits and habits and relationships you identify in your own story telling in ways without identifying who they were or embarrassing anyone. Genders, occupations or passions may be placed in your characters that came from real life but 'come to life' in another body in a fictional character acting out your story.

In my "The Homeplace Series"  I have created nearly 200 years of family history on a farm and a community in a valley in the Southern Missouri Ozarks from original settlement shortly after statehood to nearly the current time. There are two novels published, a novella releasing on April 9, and a short-story collection being previewed on the blog, so far. A third novel and another novella will be available within the coming year, with more to follow.

So, my family history storytelling includes both the traditional non-fiction storytelling of my ancestors as well as fictional family saga storytelling that is inspired by and strongly influenced by my actual family history and personal family experiences. Have you considered this approach to "Tell Your Ancestor Stories?" I hope you will give it some thought!


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks, Gena, for hosting this post on the 13 Ways Book Blog Tour! ;-)

Gena Philibert-Ortega said...

You're welcome. I love posting about new books. Thank you for including me!

Mariann Regan said...

This is really interesting. These are your would-be stories, it sounds like, and they are true to your wishes and passions that are inspired by non-fiction reality.

I really like the mixing of writing "genres," where the distinctions of rules blur for artistic and creative purposes.

I have a good writer friend who has written a family history that she calls a "non-fiction novel." It's based on heavy research and fact. But there are periods during which all evidence disappears, and for these she makes a good-faith guess at what happened, based as she admits on what she hoped her ancestor would have thought or done.

In practice, I believe, there is not a bright line between fiction and non-fiction. Or between subjective and objective. Or between wish and reality. We all live by traveling between those areas, constantly. Just sayin'.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Good observations, Mariann. We would each do well to remember these thoughts. Thanks for the comment! ;-)