A biography is a personalized narrative of somebody else's life. In comparison, an autobiography is a biography written by the subject themselves.
More than just a series of facts and figures, a biography will include a descriptive narrative of the subject's life story. Conveying experiences and memories, it will highlight various points in an individuals life, and is often very personal and anecdotal.
There is no easy way to write a biography, with many hours of research and interviews required. However the following are the basic steps you must follow:
It may sound simple, but without a subject your biography will never get off the ground. You can write about anybody you like, family members, friends and celebrities.
- Collect as much information as you can find
An ill-prepared biography will not be interesting, and the more research you do the better the final outcome. Biographers often spend years compiling information, such as letters, newspaper clippings and pictures. They conduct interviews with the subjects friends, family, acquaintances and even in some instances the individual they are writing about.
Before you begin to write, make a conscious effort to prepare how you would like the biography to progress.
From the preparation stage of gathering your information to the writing, continually question what you are writing. Remember you will already have a keen interest in the subject, but you are writing for an audience who may not be aware of who or what they have done.
Always think to yourself - 'Why and what makes them so interesting?', 'How can I describe them?, 'How did an event change them or influence others and society?'.
Always read and re-read your work. Ask others to check it for you and try reading it out loud as this will help you notice any repetition and errors.