The Family History Writing Studio

Plotting a Family History Story

We make family history writing easy with a story plan. 

Learn to Outline the Story  Before You Write 

Students learn to identify the story they want to tell from the beginning to the end. They learn about storyboards and arcs and how to use them in planning their family history story. Students will work through each stage of a story identifying the important scenes so that they can organize them into a suspenseful and compelling fashion.

"Students will walk away with a storyboard plan ready to help them write their next story and the tools to create any plot outline they want as they continue to write their family history stories."


We keep our classes small and intimate for maximum learning

This is for you if...

  • You're not sure how to shape your story with a beginning middle and end. 
  • You want to learn to shape your stories so they provide a suspenseful and compelling read. 
  • You want to learn more than just writing a chronological narrative.  
  • You want to understand the different kinds of scenes and how to recognize them in your research. 

Course Curriculum

Learn to Use a Storyboard and Create a Storyline

Look at what you'll learn

Week 1

Finding the Story

Learn the key elements needed to find a story. What makes a great story and how to find them in your research.                                                     

Week 2

Key Story Scenes

Learn the key scenes that are needed at critical junctures in every story. Learn how they add suspense to your story and identify them in your   research.                                   

Week 3

Layers of a Story

Learn to layer your story with action, theme and emotional journey. Learn to provide your reader with more than 'a just the facts ma'am' narrative.     

Week 4

The Beginning

Learn what makes a great beginning, what will capture the attention of your reader, how to hold that attention long enough to get them hooked.                                                                   

Week 5

The Middle 

Learn what comes in the middle. How to keep your readers engaged and the story moving along.                                                                                                                         

Week 6

The End

Learn how to end your story, how to satisfy your reader, how to set up the ending for future stories and how to leave them wanting more.                                                           

Before You Plot Your Story

This course requires that you have a solid understanding of scenes and summary. We ask that you know what scenes are and how to write them. Therefore, it is recommended that you take Writing a Family History Scene prior to this course. If you feel you have a solid grasp of scene writing email Lynn at for admittance to this class.  

But I'm Not Ready to Write

Still Researching. That's ok. The best time to begin to learn to write your family history is before you are ready to write. The process will help you to understand the components of writing a story and help you to dentify those components as you continue your research.  

Soo Many Ancestors. You have a lot of ancestors and your still not done researching all those ancestors.That's ok as too. It's best to start with one ancestor and one story. Start small. Don't make your first attempt at writing a family history story when you decide to write an all encompassingfamily history book. Learn to write small stories along the way as you uncover them. They'll be fresh in your mind and you get a chance to develop your writing skills before the big book.  

Overcoming Gaps.  You've got giant gaps in your family history. You can't tell a story because of these missing pieces. Stories don't always have to be a life to death tale.  There are great stories within your ancestor's lifetime but they don't have to incorporate a lifetime. A story that encompasses an event, a few pivotal years, a time of migration or of important turbulance or obstacles often make the best stories. 

Here's What Some of Our Past Students Have To Say

"...I have a good outline to work from"

"without having completed the “writing scene” and plotting course, my writing would not be where it is now. I have gained so much. The “Plotting a Family History Story” course has forced me to live in the head of my Great Grandfather for six weeks and in doing so, I think I know him better than anyone I know. It has also helped me organize the many little stories I have about his life into an interesting story for family to keep."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rose 

"well organized, I couldn't help but learn!!!"

This has been such a fantastic class and I’ve learned so much thanks to you, Lynn. The class was so well organized I couldn’t help but learn!!! Thanks as well to all my classmates who made such great comments and suggestions each week

being mostly a writer of poetry and prose, I would never have even attempted to write this story without this class and for the same reason would never have written a scene either. My confidence arc shot way up! Thank you, all!"

Donna B. 

"The writing process doesn't seem as overwhelmng and scary as it once did."

"This was a fantastic followup to the Writing a Family History Scene course. The writing process doesn’t seem as overwhelming and scary as it once did. I was able to wrangle a whopper of a family history story into a concise and hopefully moving tale that has flow and direction. Now it’s time to write!"


How the Class Works

Each Tuesday a new class is ready for you to access usually in the form of a downloadable videos, handouts and worksheets. 

Each week you'll pop into the forum to talk about the current weeks topic, share your exercises and discuss any successes or struggles you may have encountered along the way. 

The Forum is a closed group for students only.  It is a friendly and supportive environment lead by your coach where you will learn to give feedback to your fellow students. You will also learn  to receive constructive feedback so that you can grow as a writer.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Do I have to be online at a specific time each week? 

Can I access the material after the course has concluded? 

What if I don't have a lot of computer experience?

Do I need to  complete the exercises and participate in the forum discussions. 

Register Now for Our Online Course​

Plotting a Family History Story

Our next class begins May 23, 2017. 

Template Design © VibeThemes. All rights reserved.