What is the purpose of autobiographical writing

Write your own biography

Writing a biography: structure + concept

Before you start writing your bio, you should decide whether you want your Publish book want or whether it should remain private. In the latter case, you need to take into account that readers are unfamiliar with your story. It may be helpful to add a timeline or a chronological overview to your biography.

Writing a biography is also easier for yourself if you work with a timeline. You can use it to visualize the main characters and main lines. It is also suitable for planning time leaps or flashbacks.

Usually the structure of a biography is quite straightforward: the book begins at birth and ends at the time of writing the biography. However, there are attractive alternatives. So your first memories could just as well be at the beginning. Because who remembers when they were born? Or you start with an event that changed your life and moved you to write your biography.

A foreword and an epilogue round off your biography.

Life path in chapters

Of course, when writing a biography, it is advisable to structure it according to the normal stages of life, i.e. birth, childhood, youth and school time, career. However, it is much more exciting for the reader if you orientate yourself on your most intense experiences when writing your biography. As a result, you should above all work out defining sections, i.e. friendships, crises, professional or private turning points, and possibly also social events.

In addition, the book is more pleasant to read if you break it down into subsections. Therefore, when you talk about your profession, you can, for example, start with a section about career choice. After all, it's interesting to read how you got into the job in the first place. Did you have any other career aspirations? Who were your role models? Next, you can add a separate section about your education and a section about your first years of employment. Perhaps you have changed company, retrained and started all over again?

The modern paths of life are no longer as straightforward as the paths of previous generations. Aside from structuring your biography writing, dividing the chapters into subsections will also make it easier for your reader to follow you.

Checklist: Which stations are important?

Although a biography usually spans the life path from birth to the time of writing the biography, in the end it is up to you to decide how much you want to share. Therefore, instead of sticking to a strict chronological sequence, you can start your biography with a decisive experience. Of course, what you find interesting yourself can differ from what the reader finds exciting. That is why we have put together a checklist for you, which stations you should consider in your biography:

  • Formative experiences
  • Crises
  • Professional and personal turning points
  • Important people in your life
  • External circumstances such as the zeitgeist or important political events
  • Recurring questions

Researching and writing the biography

The research plays like if you were one Write a crime thrilleror a Write a non-fiction book want to play a central role when writing a biography. The reason for this is that biographies have to "stand up to the test of truth". So try to reconstruct the facts as precisely as possible and to back them up with suitable documents. (see Laferl, Tippner 2016)

There are some stylistic rules that apply to writing a biography. One of the basic rules is that you should stick to one tense (present or past tense) and one perspective (e.g. first-person narrator).