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There are very few people who know how to tell a story about someone else's life. There are many aspects related to people's lives that are no more than lists or what they said or what they did. Yes, while it all may be true, is it interesting and worth telling to the world? Does it make you want to know more of their side of story? Or does it just make you want to flip to the back of the book and find out how the guy died and move on to another book? That is the difference between a life story and a great biography. If you too are wondering about 'how to write awesome biographies', this Buzzle article will prove to be a helpful aide.
What is a Biography
A biography is simply the story of a person's life. There are different types of biographies, short, long or an entire book. Short biographies contain certain basic facts about a person's life, long biographies contain basic information in detail written in form of a short story and biographies turned into a book are detailed, containing step-by-step information of the events in a person's life. The main aim of writing a biography is to explain the different events in a person's life. This may be tragic, comic, mysterious, surprising, etc. It can be about a famous personality or an infamous person. However, biographies tell us all the chronological events in a person's life. They are just like a personal diary or an autobiography. Just told by someone else after speaking to the person or researching about the person in detail.
There are five steps to writing a successful biography. These steps are essential in getting the right information and learning enough about your subject so that in the end, you put the information together in not only an organized manner, but in a way that entices the reader from one moment of the subject's life to the next until they have reached the end of the book before they even know it.
Steps Involved
When writing a biography, you first need to decide the subject on whom you wish to write. Once the subject is decided, collect as much information as possible related to the person. You can go through their letters, newspaper clippings, pictures, library, Internet, meet their friends, family, acquaintances, etc. You need to ask yourself, what makes the person so interesting and different? Highlight questions such as who, what, where, why, how. Seek out details about the person like his/her habits, likes, dislikes, interests and similar aspects. Let us learn how to write a biography on someone by going through the following steps in detail.
Step 1: Questioning
The first step is to find a subject that you wish to write a biography about, since you will be spending a lot of time on this subject you need to choose someone who you already want to know more about and someone who you find very interesting. Then you want to write several questions about their life that not only you might want to know the answers to, but that you think others would want to know the answers to also.
Some example questions might be: how was this life remarkable, terrible, awesome or other adjective you might want to use. What aspects were best for this person or others, he may have interacted with? There are those that have said you can tell a lot about a person by their enemies. Is this also true with this person? Explain, why or why not? Was your subject a hero? What do you feel a hero is? The list of possible questions is endless; however, you only need to select a few to begin with.
Write these questions in a notebook or on a computer where you can leave room for answering the answers.
Step 2: Learning
This can be the best part if your subject is still alive because this is the step that you learn the answers to the questions that you asked in the first step. You can choose to interview the person, read a book or other written material about the person. But somehow, you must learn as much as you can about this person.
Step 3: Put it all together
In this step you combine the answers to the questions in step one. Then you go about and decide what you will keep, what you will throw out and which new information provides new insights into this person or supports your answers or opinion about this subject.
Step 4: Organization
In this step you will organize it in an understandable order. It doesn't necessarily have to be chronological, but it does need to be organized in some order. Take all your information together and tell the story. Put it into paragraphs in the order you have decided upon and use anecdotes and transitions from one stage of the person's life to another.
Step 5: Editing
Editing your work is of the utmost importance; you need to check your spelling, grammar, paragraph organization as well as how your sentences flow from one to another. You also need to make sure that when you read it then you are able feel what you want the reader to feel.
Therefore, the steps in writing a biography are asking questions, learning the answers to your questions, putting the answers with the questions and lastly organizing them in an interesting story and then editing the whole. The editing consists of clarifying your content, organizing the points you wish to make, write so that your voice shows up in your writing, passionate words where you feel passion, sympathetic words where you feel sympathy, help the reader to feel what you feel by using correct vocabulary.
Make sure the sentences flow smoothly and show what you want to express. You can also do this by checking to see that your punctuation is correct and by double checking your grammar and spelling. With these points in mind, try writing an awesome biography about someone who fascinates you.