Writing a Lecture/Writing an Obituary

Recently, my burden, challenge, and task was to write my father’s obituary. Obituaries typically allow 800 to 1,200 words to depict and describe a person’s entire life. As a writer, this was a daunting task. As a daughter, it was impossible. How to proceed?  After reading the obituaries of other family and friends – noting their style and form – I decided my challenge was to cover my father’s 90 years on planet Earth by giving facts and data. I wrote and then checked the accuracy of dates and spelling. The draft read like a file for a candidate for the witness protection program.

I scrapped that version and launched into version 2. I soon stopped myself. My flowery prose and long sentences sounded like a rejected Hallmark card.

Read the whole post at Wabash.

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