Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Writing the Family History Scene

I'm currently enrolled in an online family history writing course, Writing the Family History Scene, run by Lynn Palermo, The Armchair Genealogist

Our first assignment is to write a brief summary of a scene we plan to write, explaining our main protagonist and ancestor.

Here is the scene I plan to write with a brief lead in, explaining the what happened before the scene.


The protagonist is Bede, a 29 year old Australian dentist and bachelor, who has recently arrived in Toronto, Canada. Bede has travelled there to take a postgraduate Doctorate of Dentistry degree at the University of Toronto along with several other Australians, taking the same course. He intends to return to Australia after his one-year course of studies, to resume his career as a dentist. However in the previous month, September 1939, on the ship crossing the Pacific they received news that war had broken out.

SCENE title: In the mood
The scene takes place at a party on campus of the University of Toronto in early October 1939. The party is being held to welcome the new students. Bede is in the company of an Australian dentist friend Denny, and the two crack a few jokes and enjoy the local rye whiskey. There's a Canadian girl at the party, Marjorie, a dental nurse, who has brought along some of her girlfriends. Across the room, Bede recognises Marjorie talking to an attractive young woman and he decides go and introduce himself. Marjorie's friend is named Marg. The band starts playing a Glenn Miller big band number, In the mood and Bede asks Marg to dance. They share some jokes and he's quite impressed with her and wants to see her again. Not only is Marg attractive, but she's smart and funny. Bede is a born-leader, used to being in control. He's the oldest son in the family of five and everyone looks up to him, but Marg is able to match him in wit. Bede has left behind a girlfriend in Australia, but with the war on anything could happen. The scene ends with Bede chatting to Denny again. He doesn't know it yet, but there are several areas of potential conflict looming with Marg: social status (Marg is from a well-to-do family), different national allegiances and different religion.

And here's a happy photo of Bede and his new wife Marg, taken sometime in early 1943, when she was expecting their first child.

Bede and Marg Smith in Ontario in 1943

1 comment:

  1. Julia
    I love your writing style and was so pleased to follow along as you developed your scene. I hope to see more stories from you. As a fellow student perhaps we will be in class again together - until then keep sharing your stories - Cynthia