A scene in your family history story is an incident, an experience, an event that happened to your ancestor. You the family history writer are recreating and reconstructing that event, bringing the experience to life on the page for your reader. Not only must they be factual and true, they also must make a point, communicate information and hopefully provide a deeper meaning. They must also fit with your plot line and structure of your book.
In our desire to learn about how to write a better scene, let’s take a look at what comprises a scene and then the purpose it serves in our story.
Scenes comprise of dialogue, character and action. It should provide specific details through description without showing everything. Scenes can be a single chapter, or your chapter can contain several scenes. Scenes have a beginning, middle and end just like your story and each scene must unfold in a place, a setting. Each scene should be a major or significant event in your ancestor’s life. Your scene should not include information that only you the author would know.
Scenes have a mission, a purpose and serve your story in a number of ways.
Are your scenes serving your family history story?