Writing Prompt: Family History

Written by Emily Harstone | October 23, 2014

My mother told me many stories about her family, while I was growing up. Sometimes I will remind her of them now, and many she still remembers, but some she has forgotten.

She also wrote a number of fictionalized versions of her days growing up, and now sometimes I will read over them, appreciating them even more than when she first read them to me.

For this prompt I want you to take one of the stories your parents or grandparents tell over and over again and write it down. It should be an event that you were not present for, or one that you don’t remember. I don’t want you to talk to the family about the event before writing the story, I just want you to write down what you remember them saying.

If you don’t remember an important detail, or want to add more concrete information to flesh the story out, make it up. This exercise is not about being accurate, it is about about blending fact and fiction.

I encourage you to write this story from the first person perspective. I think that you will get the most out of writing it, and write the strongest story, if you tell it from this perspective.

Happy Writing!