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?
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 is a former editor for the NGS News Magazine; Speak!
I don't know who came up with the brilliant idea that a family history had to begin with, "Samuel Martin was born on 3 March 1849 in a log cabin in Illinois." Good grief. Instead, use the same writing technique that fiction writers use: start in the middle of a story, then flashback and tell the reader how we got to that point.
After I've thoroughly researched a family, I look for the most interesting aspect of their lives and open my narrative there.
Say you're writing about an immigrant family, begin the story aboard ship or the moment they step foot on American soil.
Or say you're writing about a family who made the overland journey from east to west; open with what it must have been like on the trail.
(the newsletter of the Genealogical Speakers Guild); and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.
It is about two teenagers on the brink of failing high school, unless they ace their final history exam. The protagonists acquire a time machine that allows them to travel through different eras of history.