Complete Guide to Writing a Winning Autobiography
Autobiography: Define the Term
Autobiography is your own story. It is your personal life journey revealed in the paper. If you live a happy life, you have something to tell others. You have your own secret of a happy and successful life, and an autobiography is a good way to tell the story. This is not a separate excerpt from your life that you share with the reader. You should treat it as a real story where there are all the important parts and transitions.
The story should be meaningful and convey information about your life and experience. There should be a protagonist who tells about the events and lead the reader to the climax of the whole story. But a protagonist isn’t the only character to communicate with the reader. There should be different players to involve the reader. Writing an autobiography isn’t a piece of cake. You need to define the major idea and build your story based on it.
As you can see, there is enough work to be done to write a good autobiography. But the things are not that challenging if you know how to structure them well. So, to craft a good piece of writing, continue reading.
Take Time to Prepare for Writing
To write an autobiography, you should prepare well. It isn’t enough to have some knowledge or possess particular skills to describe the issues. It works with simple writings, but the autobiography isn’t one of them. It is the story of your life. If you want to render it coherently and make the reader enjoy it, you need some time for preparation.
Write down the chronology of your life
To know what to write about, you should remind yourself of all the important milestones that happened in your life. It’s an approximate plan that you will build your autobiography upon. Here it is important to brainstorm and remember everything that imprinted in your memory and was important for you. Remember the dates or at least the period when this or that event happened.
If you find it challenging to list everything in the right order, segregate your life in periods. Think about your childhood and note the most memorable events. Then, think of the time when you went to school. When you are done with these periods, consider your university life. It can help you make the story consistent. Thoroughly think about all the catchy moments from your life to make the story engaging.
Choose the main role players
You don’t live an ascetic life. So, you are always surrounded by people. These are family members, friends, colleagues, or your foes. These people have contributed to your personal development and played a crucial role in your life. That’s why it is important to decide whom to include in your autobiography.
Your parents are important to the plot but think about other social circles. There must be people who meant you a lot and who changed your life to a certain extent. If you cannot remember the exact person, think of the clusters. First of all, consider your teachers or mentors whom you met during studying in a school or college. They must have influenced the way you treat this life. Perhaps, some of them encouraged you to change your life and start living happily.
Then, you can think of your former relationships. Who were these people, and why did you need them in your life? You have friends, but what about your enemies? Were there people who wanted to put a spoke in a wheel? Your life is a mix of different people who meant something to you. Friends, foes, weird strangers, or celebrities are characters of your life story. They are guests who left their footprints on your own story, and you have to mention them.
Choose the best stories
You can have a life full of adventures. And if you want to try describing it in detail, it will be a drawn-out story. If you don’t want to make your reader fall asleep amid the text, make it shorter. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to choose one of the most breathtaking or worth-to-read chapters. So, it’s better to follow these steps.
- Tell about your childhood. You might have been a happy child or faced numerous difficulties at a young age. But you still need to include this experience in your autobiography. At an early age, we form our character and build our personality. So, it is important to mention what influenced you as a child and what kind of person you were in that age. Tell a few anecdotes about your childhood and dwell upon some memorable situations that left a considerable mark on your adult life.
- Tell a few words about the time when you were an adolescent. This is another major part of your life where you meet people, get on with them, and then they disappoint you. It is the story about your first love. It is your lessons that you learned. If you don’t want to go in too much detail, describe the moments in brief.
Don’t try too hard. Be yourself and try to convey the message in plain language. The reader will be bored if the text is written too scientific-like. It is not academic writing where you are supposed to stick to the rules. Yes, you need to follow a basic structure to keep the text consistent. But you also need to be yourself and let the reader know you.
If you love dramatic scenes or if you have a non-confrontational nature, show it. Be funny if that’s the way you are. Include some simple jokes about your story. Use some peculiar facts if you enjoy it in real life.
Create a Narrative
Now that you know what steps should be done before the writing, it’s time to start working on the narration itself. Let’s see what the best way to do it is.
Create a plot
If you thoroughly pondered over the content of your writing, this step has to be no difficulty for you. Your autobiography is a book where there is a story of your life. If you want the readers to enjoy the reading, you have to create a plot. You have the ideas, and to present them in a fancy way, you should develop a plot. Think of the events that happened to you and decide on what order it is best to introduce them.
Choose the conflict and decide on the central obstacle that you’ve overcome. It can correspond to the health issue, career flops, or failures in the relationships. If you don’t get what can be a conflict, take some inspiration from your favorite books or TV series. Giving your story some tension is another great option. You don’t have to make the story a thriller, but garnishing the plot with some suspense will make the text moving. Lead the reader to the pick of your conflict. When you reach the climax in your text, introduce the resolution. This way of introducing the plot will make the reading gripping and fascinating.
Include only appropriate information
You don’t have to go into detail. Your task is to let the reader get acquainted with your life as a whole. So, you’d better avoid talking about all your friends and enemies, all your ups and downs. Choose the situations that mean a lot to you. The reader will appreciate it if you don’t spoil the text with redundant facts.
Divide the story into coherent paragraphs and sections
Even if your writing isn’t a novel, you have to structure it. Chapters are a characteristic feature of a good autobiography. They tell the readers where the actual story ends and point out the beginning of the next one. To take an interest in the readers, end your chapters on an exciting and thrilling note. This way, people will enjoy the story and have a desire to continue reading.
Edit your writing
First and foremost, you should check the factual information. See if the dates, names, and places are written correctly. As the author, you can decide on the manner of writing, but you mustn’t put fabricated facts or conversations. These parts of the text can harm the whole story.
Then, check the writing and look for mistakes. You are the writer, and you need to have an immaculate work. The grammar, punctuation, and syntax issues should be checked. It is also important to look through the text and mind the stylistic aspects. Take your time and dedicate it to editing.
Autobiography is a complex piece of paper. It consists of so many issues that you need to consider. To write a good autobiography, you should practice and develop your style. But the task is adequate if you know the basic rules.
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