Walter Medhurst Workshop One: Which Voice?

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In terms of historical interest, the story of events promises to be very interesting. I would however, like you to think about what your personal reasons are for writing this account of your Great Great Grandfather.  You, the author, are the narrator. The time-line of events belong to your ancestor. The narrator is more than just a recorder of time-line events. At the moment, the story feels as though the narrator and the historical account are two separate entities. If you can articulate why you were moved to write his story, why you have taken so much time, energy and money into bringing him back into our memories, whether your travels in search of information and following his footsteps are part of it, it will really help to bring texture to the story. This is a difficult thing to arrive at but it will be time worth spending. In my own experience, I had finished the story of my grandmother several times but each time, it hung out there on its own. It wasn’t until I had paced the floor, walked several miles and hit my head against the brick wall many times, that I understood and articulated why the telling of the story was important to me, personally. Then, the whole thing came together.  A biography is only as true as the biographer who tells it. There is never one truth, only a series of different perspectives. Winston Churchill has had countless biographies written about him and each one will be from a different angle, according to who is telling the story.

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