1. Dirtrackfan3DH

    Dirtrackfan3DH Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    7

    *Autobiography Tips*

    Discussion in 'By Writing Form' started by Dirtrackfan3DH, Sep 19, 2018.

    Hello Everyone,

    I am in the initial thought process of starting an autobiography. I was wondering if anyone has done one themself, and has any tips on how you started yours?
     
  2. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    418
    Step one: become famous. I'm still working on that one :D
     
    Alan Aspie likes this.
  3. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,554
    Likes Received:
    1,610
    I took a lecture on memoir at a conference once. I don't read or write them, so, I didn't retain a whole lot of it. The part that stuck with me was this line someone said. "Memoir isn't about what happened to you. It's about how you felt about what happened."
     
  4. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    418
    And that's the difference between memoir and autobiography ;)
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    3,222
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Not quite. A memoir is a section or piece of your life. An autobiography is your whole life story.
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  6. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    1,906
    I have understood that there is often also a time span difference.

    Memoir: this period or this thematic aspect.
    Autobiography: this life.

    https://www.liferichpublishing.com/AuthorResources/Nonfiction/Differences-Between-Memoir-AutoBiography.aspx

    Tips?

    Most important: wide and deep self reflection + self reflection + self reflection and self reflection. Start with your flaws and weaknesses.

    1. Adair Lara: Naked, Drunk and Writing.
    2. Cowden &al: Heroes & Heroines

    3. Choose: memoir OR autobiography.
    4. Think about your personal character arch.
    5. Do a beat sheet. It must have both storyline and character arch.
    6. Play with the thought that meaningful people represent different character archetypes.
    7. "Listen" to your "voice" as an author/narrator. What subgenre works well with that "voice"?
    8. Do not try to teach your readers or you spoil your story. Don't write at all if you want to teach by teaching.

    9. Don't make yourself a hero.
    10. After publishing you can come to Finland. We have rural areas where nobody knows you. It is even legal to hunt bears (Ursus Arctos) if you don't use fire arms only knife. And you can hunt moose by running & strangling them with bare hand. (No knives here, sorry.)
     
  7. Dirtrackfan3DH

    Dirtrackfan3DH Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    7
    So I got to thinking more about writing. I’m 24 so not a ton to write about that’s happened thus far. I decided instead to write about my experiences as a Volunteer firefighter in my career so far. I have been one since 2015. Thanks for the helpful tips anyhow.
     
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    3,222
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Read memoirs. Lots of them. There are several ways to approach this. You might want to look at This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff and The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham. Both very good, but they take different approaches to telling their stories. Just Kids by Patti Smith was really good. I heard she came out with another one, but I haven't read her new one.
     
  9. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    2,277
    Location:
    Sweden
    I don't read or write biographies of any kind but I'll think first thing you should do is asking yourself if you really got enough material at 24 - firefighter or not. Why should people read about your life? I mean, most peoples life are dull and should not in an way or form be written down in other than maybe blog form.

    If you do think you got enough - make it interesting. Real life of not - if something is boring it won't be worth peoples time.
     
    Alan Aspie likes this.

Share This Page