Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Use a Pencil

Back in the 1990's when I was homeschooling our 4 children I remember learning a technique for teaching the basic elements of a story, called the Seven Sentence Story. Today, having the w.w.w. at my fingertips, I searched for the S.S.S. and found a couple of templates. 

I found this one created by a motivational speaker:

  1. Opening (who, when, where)
  2. Context  ( important background info.)
  3. Conflict  ( x vs.y)
  4. Proposed Resolution  (attempts to end the conflict?)
  5. Cliffhanger  (What was at risk?)
  6. Actual Resolution  (How did it end?)
  7. Most Important Point
(Source: Tell your stories in seven sentences or less)

And this one by a screenwriter:
  1. Once upon a time
  2. And every day
  3. Until one day
  4. And because of this
  5. And because of this also
  6. Until finally
  7. And ever since that day.
(Source: (Build Stronger Stories with Seven Sentences

During my search, I also found this summary of writing tips compiled from the letters of  Ernest Hemingway:
  1. To get started, write one true sentence.
  2. Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
  3. Never think about the story when you’re not working.
  4. When it’s time to work again, always start by reading what you've written so far.
  5. Don’t describe an emotion–make it.
  6. Use a pencil.
  7. Be Brief.
  8. Source: (Seven Tips from Ernest Hemingway:)

    Memoir Notes:
    You might not want to read what came out when I attempted this exercise. It isn't a story, really. However, these tips and constraints provided a structure for my thoughts that made writing much simpler. 

    My ( Seven Sentence, sort of) Story:
    In 1991 we removed our children from the public school system in order to be able to give them the opportunity to grow without many of the influences of our culture. 

    It wasn't that we thought the school was not doing a good job; it was because by attempting to promote the acceptance of all values, public schools no longer supported basic biblical beliefs and traditional values. 

    As we ventured into new territory, I feared our decision to homeschool might harm our children's chances for success in our culture, and one of our children dreaded the prospect of being home all day with family instead of friends.

    These fears vanished in a few weeks of homeschooling as we united as a family, establishing a comfortable routine that would remain for many years, including starting each day with family Bible study, chores, animal care, reading quality books aloud -- all accomplished by the end of breakfast.

    A friend once reminded me that the fruit is the telling of the health of a tree.  

    Twenty-three years later we see our homeschooling years as so much more than a solid foundation for our children, or a separation from our culture's flimsy values; our homeschooling years were a tree of life that produced enchanting and priceless fruit.

    31 Days Exploring Memoir_list
    Through the Old Milk Box Write A Memory In Six Words Don't Touch the Flowers
    Use a Pencil

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  1. I've been feeling I'll but am catching up reading here this evening.
    I enjoyed your Seven Sentence Story and your Home school Testimony!

    1. Thanks Pat. I hope you feel better soon.
      ~Blessings to you


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Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

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In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

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I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44

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Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

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Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

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