What if your story is really about your next door neighbor whose life is crazy-weird but totally interesting? Can you use him as a character? If you are writing a story that takes place today, yesterday, or even in the future, you may want to include a real live person or maybe someone who has already died.
A simple approach to quickly capturing a life story This is a straightforward, fill-in-the-blanks approach to interviewing an adult, and is especially appropriate for the very old.
You can also complete this life story for yourself. The Legacy Project has a more detailed list of life interview questions, as well as a simple Generations Scrapbook for children.
We offer a Life Interview Kit you can order. And you can write and permanently record a Life Statement. The sheets can be completed by a family member, staff, or young volunteers from schools. Too often we only know people as they are today, failing to recognize that each person is a sum total of the experiences which make up his or her life.
We believe that this is where many of the usual assessment tools fall short. Most of them are a checklist format — easy to complete, but almost impossible to recall or use in any meaningful way.
Most of the questions are close-ended, requiring only a brief response. They are adults with a personal history.
After decades of living, none of us would want our life experiences to be dismissed. The frail elderly man regains his status as the president of a company or a skilled surgeon. No longer is this person to be pitied or patronized. Instead, we see a person to be admired and respected, a person who is approaching the latter part of a full and useful lifetime.
The Life Story sheets can be completed by interviewing an older person. Families can complete the sheets as a personal record, and as information they can pass along to a care facility. Or, staff or volunteers in a seniors center, nursing home, or other assisted living facility can do the interview when a resident arrives.
This is also an activity that young people in schools or community groups, especially teenagers, can volunteer to do in local seniors centers or care facilities.
Doing the interview introduces young people to the strengths and diversity of older people, even those who may have functional impairments, and provides a valuable service. For the older people, just going through the exercise of the interview can mean a great deal.
People want to talk about their lives, dreams, and personal challenges, but they are rarely asked. Some basic tips for doing an interview with an older adult to complete the sheets: An interview is just like talking with someone, but with prepared questions.
Ask questions clearly and slowly, giving the person time to answer. Repeat questions if necessary. Maintain eye contact and show interest by leaning forward and nodding.
If someone is talking about an unhappy or painful experience, show that you understand how they feel e.
Accept emotions as part of the process. If the person has a lot to say in response to a particular question, summarize the key ideas to fit in the space available on the sheets. You can always finish the interview at another time.
The video brings more life to the story, and can be played if the older adult is feeling depressed, bored, restless, or agitated. Click to download the Life Story sheets 12 pages.A life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for who the person is, for who they’ll become, and for what happens next.
Sep 18, · A life story essay involves telling the story of your life in a short, nonfiction format. It can also be called an autobiographical essay. In this essay, you will tell a factual story about some element of your life, perhaps for a college application or for a school assignment%(33).
A short life story can be an alternative to writing an obituary in advance. When the obituary is needed, all the facts of the life are already at hand. A life story can be composed for oneself or a relative or friend. It only needs to be a couple of pages long. How to Use Celebrities and Other Real People in Your Story by Kathryn Goldman Christine's Note: This is a guest post by Kathryn Goldman, a lawyer who represents writers, artists, and businesses to protect their intellectual property.
“People, walking on the catwalk of indifference and evaporating in a bubble of apathy, may be unconscious of the decay of their emotions and the scattering of their attention that are crucial obstacles to refreshing their mental framework and to topping up the content of their life story.
To tell your story, just take a deep breath, look the people in the eye, and tell your own powerful truth from your heart, as you know it, as it happened to you, Make sure .