£449

How to research and write your family history

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The Guardian

Kings Place

90 York Way

London, United Kingdom

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Event description

Description

Led by novelist Nick Barlay, author of the lauded, non-fiction family history Scattered Ghosts, this comprehensive course provides tuition in the technical skills needed to turn real life into poignant stories, including character development and dialogue. You’ll find out how to use research to add depth and understanding to your writing, and you’ll discover how historical detail and narrative dynamic can come together to reveal the universal truths in particular family histories.

Course content

  • The ingredients that make any family history compelling to read
  • The making of a family story – finding the universal in the particular
  • Form and voice – the ‘I’ of autobiographical writing. What does it mean to be true to someone’s story?
  • Research – how to do go about it and what to do with it
  • Style – character description and representation; descriptive techniques
  • Dialogue – using voices and quotations to create scenes
  • Narrative development – the dynamics of structure and plot

This course is for you if...

  • You are currently writing or planning a story based on events in your family history
  • You are researching your family history and would like to discover new ways to bring your research to life

Tutor profile

Nick Barlay is the author of four highly acclaimed novels and was mentioned among Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. He has just published his first work of non-fiction, Scattered Ghosts, which tells the story of his Hungarian Jewish family over two centuries. He has also been a journalist, and wrote a long-running and popular series about London for The Times. Other writing ranges from short stories to award-winning radio plays. Click here for his website.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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The Guardian

Kings Place

90 York Way

London, United Kingdom

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