Are you interested in knowing the secrets of autobiography writing? You have come to the right place! In this article, we will reveal the main stages of writing the autobiography as well as its core structure.
To be honest, you do not have to study at Harvard, travel all over the world or be a vice-president of the United States to write an excellent autobiography. We would wager you have already experienced and accomplished something that no one ever has before. All you have to do is to tell about it in an engaging manner, and that is what we can help you with. PaperCheap.com is not only a website where you can buy essay online but also a community of professional writers who are ready to assist any student in writing.
But before we begin to share basic knowledge and tips on how to write your personal story, it is crucial to notice that there are several types of autobiography – memoir, autobiographical essay, and autobiography itself. Here is a quick guide on the difference between each of them.
Types of Autobiography Writing
The memoir is a short autobiography, a vivid description of one particular event or a period of your life that has changed or affected you a lot. It is not the story from the day you were born up to the current time. In the memoir, you describe just one piece of your life and tell the lesson that you have learned.
You write an autobiographical essay in order to convince admissions officers to accept you into the college and to portray yourself as an all-around person. It is not a resume or cover letter; autobiographical essay usually has a set of specific requirements which you have to be familiar with before actual writing.
Autobiography kind of merges biography and memoir together. It is a distinct genre of writing which is predicated on notions of the self and the idea that we have an individual identity and make choices in our lives which really shape us. It is your own story with a vivid description of some meaningful moments of your life and elements that portray you as a sparkling personality. Whether you want to write an autobiography to get a renewed sense of purpose, develop your writing skills or just to leave a legacy, we are going to give you some tips on the key elements and basic structure that will suit for any type of autobiography described above.
6 Steps to Writing a Perfect Autobiography
Writing your story of life may sound simple, but it takes a lot of times and efforts. Let us make it easier by providing you with a step by step guide on how to write an autobiography.
Step 1. Unusual Research
What we mean by that is reading the world-known autobiographies like “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” by Arnold Schwarzenegger or “Scar Tissue” by the Anthony Kiedis, the vocalist of Red Hot Chili Peppers. So, start your writing with such an unusual and pleasant kind of research and get familiar with the autobiography of the persons who inspire you. After reading even a few chapters, you will understand that there are no strict rules. It is up to you what to include and what to hide.
Step 2. Mapping out Your life
Your autobiography should have the same structure as any essay do. Introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion are crucial parts of your writing. Start an autobiography by conducting research on your own life and creating a timeline of your life.
Writing about yourself can be hard in and of itself, so try to anticipate problems by actually structuring out your autobiography before you begin. One of the easiest ways to structure your story is in the linear fashion, in a chronological way. Make sure you pick out the most exciting and gripping life-changing moments, and your autobiography builds upon itself in a sequence that seems cause and effect. Even while you are outlining, write in the first person. It allows you authorial voice to shine through, the readers feel like you are sitting in the same room telling your story directly to them. You are the protagonist, you are the main character, so your experience should really come through so should your personality.
Step 3. Pick Up Key Memories
Once you mapped out your life, it is time to brainstorm and highlight all the key memories. No, we are not talking about every single memory. Focus just one the big flashing neon sign memories that must make the final cut. Think of it in this way – what do you have to include to make a full story? One of the top 20 powerful memories. They could be good or bad ones. Take 15 minutes to jot these down as bullet points only. No need to write more at this stage.
Step 4. Natural Flow
Now, let us take a director’s view of your life. Try to think about your life as a film or a documentary with its own natural flow. Order the logical sections. What are the general areas or groups? You could do this by the decades, say by your age, or by natural sections – parents, school and growing up, careers, marriage, travel, hobbies.
Step 5. Who and Why?
Have you given your brain a workout thinking back? Now think of who you are writing this autobiography for. Identify who you want to read it. Is it for your children, partner, extended family, friends, colleagues or even the general public? And what guiding message do you want them to take away from the autobiography? Think about the key reasons you are writing for. Maybe to highlight a theme, your meaning of life, essential wisdom or social changes? Try to write three to five sentences about who you are writing for and why.
Step 6. Get Organized
Now, you should have some ideas sitting in front of you after all that hard work. The final step is to lay everything out and take a good look at what you have brainstormed. Some of the key memories and natural sections of your life will overlap, and some will be left out in the cold. Your task now is to try to reshuffle them into logical groups. These ultimately will be your chapters.
Quick Tips on How to Write an Autobiography
If you do not have time to read the whole article, there are a couple of quick tips which will help you to write a perfect autobiography.
Well, your autobiography should have a plan for writing that addresses purpose and audience, a clear sequence of events using well-chosen detail and descriptions, a central message, and precise words which show the significance of your attitude towards the events. It also includes the writer’s thoughts and feelings. So, basically, the author examines their influences of personal experience. Here are some steps to take in order to get the most out of it.
1. Determine audience and purpose. Is you writing going to persuade, inform or entertain?
2. Gather descriptive details about people, places, events, time, and emotions. Focus on physical and background description, specific action.
3. Order your events chronologically (in the order they occur).
4. Use a consistent first-person viewpoint.
5. Develop interest by capturing events not just describing them. Instead of “I woke up early” try “not even the birds were awake when my clock struck 4 a.m.”
6. Use feelings. What made this event memorable? What emotions did I have and what started them? How did these emotions change throughout the event?
And remember one essential yet unspoken rule – your autobiography will be interesting for a reader as long as it will be honest.