Family History Essay

When I was writing the biographies of Jay Roscoe Rhoads and his wife Grace (soon to be published by Newbury Street Press, Boston), I didn't want to kill off Roscoe and Grace at the end of the story.I had grown fond of this couple, and I didn't want to see their demise, even though in reality they've been dead for about fifteen years. Instead, I put family stories of their last days in an Epilogue, followed by something more haunting and enduring.Sharon is also a consulting editor for Newbury Street Press (the publishing imprint of the New England Historic Genealogical Society) and a contract advisor for the National Writers Union.

Sharon De Bartolo Carmack is a Certified Genealogist, executive editor of Family Tree Books (formerly Betterway Books), contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, and the author of eight books, including A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors.

Even though you'll likely find yourself scrambling to meet them, deadlines force you to complete each stage of your project.

The goal here is to get each piece done within a specified time frame. The best way to meet these deadlines is to schedule writing time, just as you would a visit to the doctor or the hairdresser.

But remember: You are writing nonfiction, so you have to write your family history within the confines of fact.

Here's an opening example: See how I plunged us right into the middle of the story?

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