Several months ago I wrote a post called Life on the Banks where I briefly discussed how the smaller details of life can sometimes surprisingly provide the most satisfying stories.
My experience while visiting Holy Cross church in Manhattan where my grandparents married 90 years before opened my perspective to the often hidden importance of place and detail to the long story.
In that post I also pointed to an interesting episode of the How Sound podcast, that discussed “intimate journalism” and introduced me to the writing of Will Durant. (See Life on the Banks for more on that.)
Well, for you writers and hopeful storytellers, I have another interesting and useful episode of that podcast to link to – My Kingdom For Some Structure goes over the various methods of storytelling used by well-known radio programs. I especially love the very simple napkin drawings that depict the structures.
The night after I listened to this episode, I sat down with my 9 year old son to talk about how me might tell some family stories together using both writing and media. Showing him the How Sound post and the napkin drawings gave him a clearer picture of what I was trying to explain to him. (I think. Who really knows what is going on in a 9 year old’s head? I’m sure there’s some Willy Wonka in there. and Minifig Lego men. and lasagna.)
If you are trying to learn more about how you might bring your family’s story to life, I suggest you check out those two How Sound podcasts – and follow the feed in general for many excellent tips and tools to help you along.
Then use those tools to help your stories to the surface – and perhaps even find some hidden behind the ones that are more obvious.