How to capture your parents’ life stories

How much do you really know about your parents’ lives? So many stories took place before you were born, or were old enough to understand. Your parents know your whole history - but chances are you only know a fraction of theirs. As our parents get older, these stories start to become more important to us. A lot of us turn our minds to making a record - we don’t want these irreplaceable memories to be lost. A Story Terrace biography is a great way to ensure your parents stories will last the generations. However you want to record your parents’ life stories, the first step is to start Read more

How to Collect and Record Memories

Turning the meaningless into the meaningful Collecting memories and mementoes is something most of us do, often unconsciously, on a daily basis. The advantage is that we know the stories behind the photos and trinkets we keep, but to anyone else, this collection is pretty much meaningless.  For example, you may pick up a photo of yourself with friends, sitting around a table and you might look fondly at the picture and chuckle to yourself, remembering all the events that occurred that night. But, let’s say your great-granddaughter picks up this same photo 40 years from now.What would she see? Read more

Questions to Inspire Memories and Life Stories

A great way to learn about someone’s past is to start by asking them questions about their early life. It’s not always easy to know where to start, so here’s a few ideas of questions you could lead with to inspire rich memories and life stories. Storytelling: For most people, preserving both their own stories and those of friends and family is very important, after all, that’s how we remember people after they’ve gone. Storytelling has forever been the most effective way of sharing knowledge, and as soon as we, as humans, began to record these stories, civilisation was effectively Read more

How To Write My Life Story

I once came across a quote by the author Kate Rockland, which read: “Relationships consist of telling your same life stories to different people until someone finally appreciates them.” Although, a little on the soppy side, this idea about the power of the life story and the realisation that our stories literally make us did really hit home. Now, most people wouldn’t consider themselves storytellers and definitely wouldn’t consider themselves authors. In actual fact, that is exactly what we all are; storytellers. By merely going about our day-to-day lives we are unwittingly creating Read more

How to Write a Memoir

First-things-first, let’s establish precisely what a memoir actually is. It is not an autobiography. An autobiography is an account of someones life written by that person. So what exactly is a memoir? Well, memoirs are personal accounts of specific memories or stories from your life; it is not a record of your entire existence. One: that would be pretty much impossible to write down, and two: that would probably be a rather boring read. Learn more about the difference between a memoir and an autobiography (What's the Difference Between a Memoir and an Autobiography?)  Memoirs, like autobiographies Read more

The Recipe for a Good Ghostwriter

Problem: you want to share your story, but you feel as though you don’t have the time or the necessary literary skill to be able to convey it properly. Solution: Ghostwriter Simple. Somewhat. Getting a ghostwriter is one thing; getting a good ghostwriter is another. Here’s what you’ll need: INGREDIENTS 2 mugs of mutual understanding 1 generous serving of empathy 1 sprinkle of flair 2 drops of clarity 6 doses of stylistic transparency 2 clean ears 0 spoons of judgment 4 helpings of industry expertise 1 dash of wit 6 spoons of patience 1 Read more

The Life of a Back Story

I’m a starer. My husband is always picking me out about it because it’s so obvious, so blatant, so (God forbid) rude. I can’t help it though; some faces just keep drawing my eyes back to them. It could just be the face, but sometimes it’s the whole package: the way the lips move in conversation, or eyes stare unblinking at seemingly nothing or move constantly, a subtle mannerism or prodigious gesticulation. Sometimes it’s as simple as a pair of shoes. I can’t help it because I’m thinking: I wonder what his / her story is. I stare as I try to put together the pieces of a total stranger’s Read more

How do you define Life Writing?

How do you define life writing? Life Writing is the blanket term used to describe all written non-fiction recordings of memories. This includes biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries and blogs, personal essays and collections of letters or emails. It does what is says on the tin, life writing is writing about life. As you can see, that is a lot of formats under one term. And if they’re all technically life writing- what makes them different? If you’re writing about life, which format is best suited for your content? We’ve already covered what the difference between an Read more

The Importance of Dementia Focused Books

If you've found this blog post you are most likely looking for help finding a "dementia book". Whether you have or are in contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed, hopefully you'll find the answers you're looking for. What is Dementia? Dementia is an illness that impacts the lives of thousands of people everywhere. It is not quite a disease as many people think. “Dementia” is the umbrella term used to describe the collection of symptoms that occur when brain cells are damaged. It primarily presents in people over the age of 65. Every 3 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed Read more

Creative Writing Tips

Photo by Hilke Kurzke
Whether your project is a short story, a biography, a series of novels or anything in between, creative writing can be hard. The road to greatness is often encumbered by speed bumps. Maybe you have an entire story plotted out in your mind, but you can’t find the right way to fit that cinematic adventure into words. Perhaps you can’t wait to fashion beautiful sentences, but you’ve got no clue what to write them about. Or maybe you’ve written the whole thing, but re-reading it disappoints you because it’s not what you imagined. Overcoming these issues and more is all part of the creative Read more

Writing to preserve memories

Photo by Fredrik Rubensson
'Tell me about when you were a little girl.' Coaxing stories and memories out of parents and grandparents was at one time my favourite way of putting off bedtime. Nowadays – and once the stories are written down – it fulfils deeper purposes with broader benefits. Parting the curtains For a child, listening to stories is like visiting the old days hand in hand with the parent or aunt or grandparent who used to live there. It’s a comforting way to open up the past: their past, your past, the stories that shape family life. It’s like peeping behind the curtains that part the generations. Read more

How to write a good biography

Picture by starmanseries
The best biographies are written for novel reasons. A biography aims to inform, captivate, enrage, inspire, or all of the above. They offer us an extensive insight into the life of a remarkable person. They are the lifeblood of any section marked ‘Non-Fiction’. The worst biographies are written for no reason at all. Or no real reason, anyway. They fail to capture the imagination and, as such, are often abandoned mid-way through, left unread on the dusty shelf of an obscure bookshop or marked as spam in a potential publisher’s inbox. And trust us, it happens all the time. But it doesn’t Read more

How It Works: The Story Book Process | Step 6

In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article, learn about the final, sixth step in the Story Terrace story book process. Once you’ve finished working with your experienced ghostwriter on making edits to your story, the finalised manuscript will be sent to your Story Terrace editor for review. Now you can sit back and let our skilled editorial team ensure your book is thoroughly edited and proofread. {Tweet: Learn about the 6th step in the @StoryTerrace biog process. Go from final manuscript to printed hardcover Read more

7 TIPS FOR RESEARCHING YOUR FAMILY TREE

Is it time to research your family history? Has something come into the fore in recent times that’s made you decide the moment has come to embark on one of life's biggest projects that will mean so much - are you about to tackle researching your family history? If so, we have gathered 7 tips to help you on your researching way - it’s certainly going to be a journey of highs and lows, breakthroughs and lulls, but this is a commitment that will enable you to understand who you and your family really are. 1. Write it all down and begin to build your family tree  Start by writing information Read more

HOW IT WORKS THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | STEP 5

Your own Story Book – How does it work? In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 5. So the main body of work has been compiled and the content of your book is starting to resemble the finished piece. This is your chance to read the story thoroughly and comment on any aspects you may feel it need's be it a tweak or even a change of stance. The ‘comment on the draft’ stage allows you to, for the first time, read your ghostwriter’s work on your project. It’s going to be quite Read more

HOW IT WORKS THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | STEP 4

Your own Story Book – How does it work? In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 4. Decide on the structure of your story book and send us your photos  The writer proposes a structure for your Story Book after working with all the material collated. As soon as you’re satisfied with the proposed, he or she starts writing your book. During this phase, you can expect some extra questions from the writer to gain any missing information - filling in and padding out areas of the story Read more

HOW IT WORKS: THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | STEP 3

In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 3. The Interview How? Once you’re matched with your Story Terrace accredited ghostwriter, and you’ve filled out your Story Terrace questionnaire (step 2) you will be interviewed by him or her. Your ghostwriter is there to help you find your voice and write your story in the most conscientious way. This meeting needs to be extremely beneficial to you both. You’ve been matched to you writer through us at Story Terrace so a connection Read more

HOW IT WORKS: THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | Step 2

In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 2. Filling out your Story Terrace questionnaire.... Our customised questionnaires and tips have been structured to bring back memories and help you decide which stories to focus on. The Story Terrace questionnaire is there to help you brainstorm. Firstly you could write down whatever comes into your mind, use it as an aid just for this. Make sense of all the memories that spring to mind by putting them in order- perhaps by creating a mini Read more

HOW TO FIND THE BEST GHOSTWRITER FOR YOU

Writing your life story is not something you trust to anyone. We understand that. That’s why all Story Terrace ghostwriters are selected very carefully. All of our ghostwriters are advanced biographers, experienced interviewers and, above all, they can grasp your personality in the perfect words. Making a choice amongst that is therefore quite the task. Because who is the right match for you? To make it a bit easier, we hand to you our best tips in finding the right ghostwriter. 1. Style Every ghostwriter has his or her own style of writing. One is a skilled novelist, who finds the right Read more

How It Works: The Story Terrace Process

The Story Terrace process is simple yet meaningful - find out how it works! In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. Learn more about Step 1 below. Step 1: Finding Your Writer Tell us a bit about yourself and what kind of writer you are looking for It's important to us to make the right match between storyteller and writer, as it's truly the key to a lovely book. Once you get in touch with Story Terrace we can talk about your story and your writer preferences. Maybe you’d like to work with a writer who shares your passion Read more

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