Tips for Writing Your Family Story

Having a tough time writing your story? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started:

 

1. Remember your audience

Keep in mind the age of your reader. Try to point out any details that might be interesting to children, such as an animal in your story, an interesting or funny fact, a memorable phrase, etc. For some tips on how to make family stories interesting to kids, check out this blog post.

 

 2. Keep it simple

We make these books 10 pages of story-text for a reason! It’s easy to get carried away with all of the non-essential details in a story, but focusing on the most important details will make for a better, more impactful and easier-to-read book. We recommend limiting each page to no more than 5 sentences for this reason. It may be helpful to first create an outline of your story and then start filling in the details as you go.

 

 3. Give your story a beginning, middle and end

We like to begin each story with an introduction of your main character. Who is your story about and where does it begin? The middle is the meat of your story where you share what makes this person special or what makes this story special. The end should help the reader understand what you hope they will learn or take away from this story. If you want to make sure you are covering all of these bases, we suggest using our writing template.

 
 4. Teach with examples

Share examples of what made your family member special rather than just stating it. For example, rather than just talking about how kind your main character is/was, share examples of that kindness. This will make your story much more interesting and memorable. A great Cuento Books example of this is Our Persian Papa.

 

5. Don't leave out the tough stuff

Because of your young audience, you may feel inclined to skip any tough moments that occurred in your story. For example, the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job. These moments, if included appropriately, could make your story so much more meaningful. Include the difficult moments, but focus on how this person (or people) was able to overcome these trials or stay positive in the midst of the difficulties. For a wonderful example of a story that focuses on overcoming trials, see  The Story of Mama.

 
Hopefully these tips are helpful and make your writing process easier. Above all, remember that this is your family story and it is completely up to you how you want to write it. We hope it is a fun and special experience for you.

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