Do you want a simple hack to quickly transform your boring family history into something magical? Then you must learn about "boxed text" and how to add bonus content to your family stories.
Renowned family history author Carol Baxter, shared a tip that will change how I write going forward.
Unveiling the Power of Boxed Text
Most individuals write their family histories in an expository or academic style, simply presenting the facts. However, this often results in dry and uninspiring narratives.
Carol Baxter's quirky approach to writing family history encourages us to think of an open family history book. Any two pages, when opened, is as a double-page spread.
That double-page spread includes prose, maps, photographs, or digital documents. These visual elements add depth and vibrancy to the storytelling experience.
Watch this video to visually understand the concept of boxed text.
By inserting a text box as an additional visual element, we can transform our family histories dramatically.
When boxed text is skillfully woven into our family histories, readers are naturally drawn to them. While they may skim the main text for a general understanding, the boxed text leaves a lasting impact.
What to Add In The Boxed Text?
The main text in our family histories will tell the stories of our ancestors. Within the boxed text, our creativity can run free.
For instance, we may incorporate:
Our own stories and research experiences.
Anecdotes that don't quite fit in the main body of text
Captivating details that some readers may enjoy but others dislike in the main narrative.
Our own commentary about our ancestor's life and choices.
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Real-Life Examples: Stories that Transcend Time
In Carol Baxter's genealogy research journey, she recalls hitchhiking in Scotland. Although her initial goal was to find her ancestor's burial site, the journey became remarkable. Despite not discovering her ancestor's grave, the tale of hitchhiking created a memorable and engaging addition to her family history.
By incorporating such personal experiences onto the page where her ancestor's death happens, she can infuse her narratives with a sense of adventure and connection.
When I can finalize the story of my Great-Grandparents George Geiszler and Evaline Townley Peak, I plan to use this tip to discuss how I found their gravestone.
During a research trip a few years ago, I serendipitously began by visiting their burial site. This spiritual encounter connected me to them before I started a weekend-long research adventure. Carol's suggestion to add my story into a boxed text visually associated with their death will enhance my family story.
Give Boxed Text a Try In Your Next Family History
You can transform your family histories into captivating narratives by harnessing the power of boxed text. With this revolutionary technique, your family history will leave a lasting impression, inspiring future generations.