Writing biographies can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. It’s personal character reference writing. The biography writing format can be easily followed when you know the person about whom your wish to write.
Writing a biography can be about someone you wish to compliment to have them remembered. It can also be about documenting the life of an mean-spirited person, a generous public servant, a family member, or anyone you find of interest for that matter.
If writing about someone other than yourself, an easy to follow format is included on the Biography Writing Format page.
When writing about yourself, perhaps for business and promotion as we writers must, you will want to write out your own history, from which to select chronological information.
When writing biographies, what you should omit is as effective as what you include.
Since I use myself and my writing history as an example especially for writers and anyone wishing to document their own successes, before studying the examples, you should first know a little about me.
When I first began, all I can say is that what I wrote could never serve as personal character reference writing. I wouldn't think of letting anyone see those notes. And the thought of writing biographies never occurred to me.
All my life I’ve jotted ideas on everything from the proverbial table napkin to the soles in the arches of my high heels! After all, they weren’t meant for anyone else to see. Later, I'd transfer the notes to something more permanent.
Suddenly, I began conjuring plot after plot for stories to write at some future time.
I found myself writing a character analysis for each character that came to mind. I wanted to give my fictional people strong personal character traits.
I couldn’t help myself. I felt compelled to develop these heroines and heroes. For each, I spent time writing a character analysis. Now I have many characters with full descriptions and no stories for them. What a hoot!
Sadly, I couldn’t write them all at once.
I wasn't too sure what my friends thought about my writing habits. One person commented that I should apply personal character reference writing to myself. I should apply the Biography writing format to my own history!
I returned to my journal writing techniques and established a separate set of notebooks just for the many story ideas that kept popping up. These notebooks were filled with personal character reference writing, including writing biographies anytime I felt compelled.
As stated, some of my pieces were published way back in the early 1970s. I thought I had passed through the writing phase and moved on. To my surprise, two decades later, a lot of my work was being published!
I began to teach on a very informal basis. What we learned, we each in turn shared. Our little group was like a very informal writer’s club. Yet, when we studied, we were careful not to be teaching or learning in a vacuum.
As I worked through the editing process, my short pieces were getting published. I was happy.
In 1995 I moved to Kauai, Hawaii. My connections to my writing friends and classes were managed through emails. I could email my Biography writing format to new friends in one click. I loved teaching and advertised for clients on my Web site.
A club was a great way to impart knowledge to those who seriously participated in the group’s activities.
Even though most of us were not widely known as writers, we hoped to be in the near future. That called for each member becoming familiar with my Biography writing format and writing biographies for themselves. Of course.
Each club member had different writing needs. That's when I began formulating my plan to write How to Organize a Writer's Club.
After serving my 1996 to 1997 tenure as club President, I resigned to work on my own and ready my books for publication.
Forcing myself to use my own Biography writing format for the first time during the Club’s activities was a blessing in disguise.
Up to that time, I had written a long mainstream romance and a sea and island life suspense. The latter was completed while spending four years researching Egyptian dynasties for a paranormal suspense.
During the research period, I published a trilogy of entwined novellas, The Tropics: Child of a Storm-Caught in a Rip-Hurricane Secret, through print-on-demand. I have since taken it out of print and republished it as the eBook, Legacy of the Tropics.
Also during the research period, I wrote my first mystery thriller to first draft. That ultimately ended up being my award-winning thriller, River Bones
However, the first draft was put aside once I began to write the Egyptian novel titled The Ka.
I referred to the analyses frequently. That is, until those characters were firmly fixed in my mind. Once that happened, anything each might do was a surprise and always meshed into the story.
When I finished The Ka, and while I searched for literary agency representation, I wrote a second mystery thriller, also to first draft. That story is Down to the Needle. Then I edited and polished both mysteries.
I wonder if I will get to them in this lifetime. I did manage to combine two plots into one when writing River Bones, a story that takes place in my childhood hometown area. That was exciting.
I don’t limit myself in years that I may have left to write all these stories, but I do get sidetracked into other forms, other genres, of writing.
Since the original posting of this personal history, my writings have garnered some awards:
My 1st and only screenplay so far, made the Semi-Finals in the Moondance International Film Festival River Bones, a thriller, was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and a Finalist in the Indie Excellence Books Awards.
Both Write It Right - Tips for Authors and Legacy of the Tropics were nominated for inclusion in the Global eBook Awards
My flash fiction short story, The Last Thing I Do was nominated for the coveted Pushcart Prize.
I have since become a columnist for Kauai's local newspaper, The Garden Island. they publish my column Write It Right which includes articles I write about the craft of writing.
Over a period of about 12 months from 2011 into 2012, I published four eBooks which will also go to paper in the coming months:
Writing a Biography serves many purposes and can be reprinted in your Media Kit and other promotional materials when you’ve got a special project to tout. It serves as your personal character reference.
For those who need some tips for writing biographies, or for those who wish to write about someone other than themselves, I recommend reading the tips on Biography Writing Format before continuing to my shorter Bios.
Here are versions of my own Bios with analyses to help you apply industry standard Biography writing format to your history.