In our last installment, AuthorHouse presented our self-publishing writers with five tips for writing biographies. This time, we’d like to shift focus a little, and let the author turn the camera (or the keyboard) towards herself. In other words, we’d like to discuss autobiographies!
With an autobiography, the amount and type of research will differ from a biography. After all, you are the subject; while you might require interviews to clear up hazy memories, or to solicit the occasional opinion or impression, you already have access to the best source of information: yourself.
Here, then, are our five tips for writing your autobiography!
Be honest, but… On one hand, you should avoid exaggerating, embellishing, or simply lying about events. After all, if your life is interesting enough to warrant documenting, there should be no need for anything but the truth.
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you have to tell everything about yourself. You still have a right to privacy, and to keep your secrets… well, secret. Discuss the things you’re comfortable discussing, and feel free to keep the rest to yourself.
Don’t begin too early. There are cases, true enough, when a thirty-year-old might have accumulated enough experiences in those 360 months to warrant an autobiography. In most cases though, it’s better to wait a bit longer (maybe until retirement age.) In the meantime, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a journal or diary—look at it as research for the autobiography to come later!
How will you organize it? Chronological is the most obvious choice, but is there a better way in your case? Have you travelled the world? If so, maybe dividing your book by location would be a better choice. Are you an actor? Maybe divide your life by the productions you were a part of.
Hit the high (or low) notes; omit the rest. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to describe every last memory or incident; that’s what your journal is for. Ask yourself: if you were reading this about another person, would it interest you? If not… well, that’s what the “delete” key is for.
Outline! The value of an outline simply cannot be underestimated. Not only can it provide you with a roadmap of where you’re heading, but it can also indicate what might be the best way of organizing your book. Plus, you’ll be able to see which memories are still well-formed in your head, and which might require a bit of research (or corroboration.)
ᔥ – See more at: http://www.authorhouseselfpublishing.com/authorhouse/writing-tips/authorhouse-tips-for-writing-an-autobiography