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OUTLINE THE EULOGY and decide your tone. Although some people can write and speak eloquently off the top of their heads, most of us cannot. Therefore, use outlines and notes. It will make things much easier.
Outlines help for many reasons:
It will help you focus
It will help give organization to your eulogy.
It makes the writing process easier.
An outline will help you break down the writing into smaller pieces, so you don’t forget important details.
Your outline can be whatever length you desire. Actually, the more details you include, the easier it will be to write your eulogy. Part of the detail is deciding what tone or overall theme you want the eulogy to embody. It can be sad, serious, or humorous. You are the best judge of what tone is suitable for the occasion.
You may outline by using whatever method you feel most comfortable with. There are traditional vertical outlines, using letters and roman numerals. You can also outline by free association. I find this to be the most effective.
Free association is a term used in psychology, where patients are asked to openly and freely discuss their inner thoughts as they “pop” into their heads, no matter how unrelated the thoughts might seem. This stimulates creative thinking because you are free to jump from one idea to the next, no matter how unrelated the thoughts may seem. It’s very simple to do.
Write the person’s name at the top of the paper. As thoughts come to mind, any thoughts, write down a word or phrase that quickly summarizes that thought. For example, “charitable contributions.” As more thoughts come to mind, write them down. As ideas become more detailed, expand on the thoughts you have already written down. Just keep writing down everything that comes to mind.
After you have jotted down many ideas, go back over your outline and number the main points in the order they should be addressed. It gives structure for your writing. It can be changed later. It is even OK to eliminate entire topics.
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