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Does Your Scrapbook Have a Story Arc?

Does Your Scrapbook Have a Story Arc?

By tweaking your scrapbooks to have strong story arcs, they’ll jump off the shelf or out of the computer, fascinate your audience, and tell your family story in a compelling way. Are you ready to take your stories to the next level?


“Those who tell the stories, rule the world.” – Plato


Why is STORY so Important?

  • Expressive writing dates back to 10th century Japan.
  • Our brains think in story and don’t distinguish between a story and real life
  • Story brings meaning to our lives and puts things we learn into context
  • Story is how we gain wisdom from events that happen in our lives
  • Stories influence people
  • Life storytelling is an umbrella term that includes memoir, personal essay, songwriting, poems, scrapbook pages, and other ways of sharing your life.


“If you wish to influence an individual or a group to embrace a particular value in their lives, tell them a compelling story. – Annette Simmons, Writer


What is a Story Arc?

A story arc (contraction from “over-arching story”) is a sequence or series of installments which shows a transformation from a particular impetus. The typical 3-point story arc has an Opening, a Climax, and a Resolution.


Consider a different story arc – Nigel Watts 8-point arc:


  • Stasis – Everyday life. Business as usual.
  • Trigger – This sparks the story (positive or negative)
  • Quest – Seeking to get to a new situation
  • Surprise – Possibly multiple surprises, obstacles, pleasant events
  • Critical Choice – A big decision revealing personality, not a chance happening
  • Climax – Results of the choice
  • Reversal – Changes the status of the characters
  • Resolution – Return to a fresh “normal” situation, wiser, story complete


Tweaks to Include Story Arc in Scrapbooks

  • Identify recurring themes or compelling storylines in your past work
  • Chronological, but include ups and downs.
  • No one’s story is perfect, show your struggles (Marcia Fortunato)
  • One word (Ali Edwards)
  • Week in the life or day in the life
  • Scrapbooking your faith or other topic (Courtney Walsh)
  • Create a scene to invite readers in – What did you smell? What did you hear? What did you taste? What did you see? What did you touch? What did you feel (emotions)?
  • Pick one moment in time


If you’d like to learn how to write YOUR life stories, check out our free webinar: 4 Simple, Proven Methods to Writing the First Chapter of Your Life Story in Just 7 Days.

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