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  1. homerjoe
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    homerjoe New Member

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    Voice for a biography

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by homerjoe, Apr 22, 2010.

    What voice should I use for a biography I'm working on, co-writing with a famous musician? I've seen first person and third person. My preference would be third, but what sells better and reads better? Thoughts?
     
  2. TeabagSalad
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    TeabagSalad Member

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    I would say that it depends largely on what the musician prefers, it is after all his biography. Having said that I find biographies easier to read in the first person, speaking about yourself in the third person is often quite odd.

    Just IMHO.

    Regards,

    Ian
     
  3. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Basically, is it an autobiography, with you as a "ghost writer"? In which case, it has to be first person, as the reader expects to "hear" the celebrity directly.

    But if it is quite blatantly a biography written by you, perhaps an "authorised" one where the musician is giving you his full cooperation, then the writer is clearly you, and it has to be written in the third person. :)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You beat me to it, Halcyon.

    And if you are ghostwriting it as an autobiography, you will have to master writing the narrative in the musician's voice.
     
  5. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha, I knew this day would come Cogito!

    I was waiting behind the grassy knoll. :)
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    gotta just ditto you two, guys!... i almost always get here too late, being halfway around the world and many times zones away from you... so thanks again, for saving me so much typing, cog!...

    love and hugs, m
     
  7. Kursal
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    Kursal Senior Member

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    You ask what sells better. I don't think you can answer that question at all. People buy biographies because they are interested in the person, not because of the style in which it is written.

    I'd echo what Cog said. If you are writing an autobiography then you should really consider writing in the first person because people will be expecting it to be more personal than a 'normal' biography.

    I've actually ghostwritten an autobiography and you really have to connect with your readers on a deeper level. It is the personal slant that makes these books appealing to a large part of the readership.

    If you are just writing a biography then I suggest reading "Don't Panic" by Neil Gaiman, which is his biography of Douglas Adams.
     

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