Book Excerpt by Karen Pierce Gonzalez

The Process

Keep in mind that while the folktales are about real people, real places and real events, you do have “poetic license.” If details are hard to come by, don’t worry. It is not essential that every detail be present.
Make a list of what you do recall. That list can be useful in prompting memory. Use broad pen strokes when writing as these folktales are told from the heart. Both creative and profound, the heart is the true author of our stories.

1. You do not have to write perfect folktales. For many people, writing is a process. The first step is to get down what you recall. Then you can flesh out that skeleton with details and choice, creative impressions. Once that has been done, you can go in with an editor’s eye and make sure your work is grammatically correct. Not an editor? Don’t worry. Most computer software programs or the grammar pages of a good dictionary can help you with that.

2. Not all folktales pour out onto them page in just one sitting. Most writers usually go through a few drafts before they write the final version. This means you can write as often and as much as time allows.

3. If you start to write a folktale and then stop because you don’t know what to write, that’s okay. Just keep writing. Maybe the first folktale won’t be a keeper. The idea is to write, and practice is a big part of warming up the writing muscles.

4. Do not stop mid-stream during a writing session and read what you have written. Wait until after you have finished writing, then read it aloud. Stopping to review what you are writing can lead to “thinking” about what you are writing.

Chances are that can lead to judgment and criticism about the literary quality of your writing which can destroy any of the enjoyment and pleasure you and those you are writing for may experience.

5. Don’t worry about what form the writing takes. There are many options, including poetry (rhyming and prose), essay and short story. Maybe you’ll want to write a poem or a first-person narrative essay (“I remember when Uncle Jim…”) or third person (He was just seventeen when he joined the Navy…”). Experiment until you find a form that best fits the folktale you want to share. There is no one writing form that is “right.

Book description:
116-page workbook introduces reader to folktale themes that exist in every family. This workbook offers easy to follow writing exercises and pod cast and scrapbooking techniques. Sample folktales are also included.

About the Author: Karen Pierce Gonzalez  is an award winning fiction and non-fiction writer. Author of the Family Folktales: Write Your Own Family Stories workbook and Family Folktales: What Are Yours?, she has been interested in folktales for more than two decades.

She is a member of the Western States Folklore Society and has been a journalist for more than 20 years and has facilitated writing workshops for more than 15 years. Her writing credits include nominations for the Pushcart Prize and awards from Farmhouse Magazine, National Pen Association and California Writers Association.