When writing a biography, it’s important to remember that basic facts will not create a compelling piece. After all, people are chosen for their curiosity, not their intellect. You don’t want your paper to read like a list of uninteresting facts. Instead, start with an intriguing first sentence, such as an interesting statement or a little-known fact. Then, move on to explore the themes that emerge during your research.
Once you’ve gathered enough information about your subject, you can begin to identify the different themes that run through their life. For example, if your subject was famous for overcoming adversity, their life would probably be about this, and so on. If you’re writing a biography about a deceased person, you’ll need permission before you write the biography. However, if you can obtain permission for a deceased person, the biography will be more compelling.
Most biographies have a linear structure. The writer begins at a certain point in the protagonist’s life and proceeds chronologically. In contrast, a nonlinear structure focuses on different periods in the protagonist’s life and moves backwards and forwards in time. Sometimes, a biographer may use flashbacks or time skips to convey key themes. Finally, a thematic structure strategically inserts particular themes and conveys given information.
Besides being true, biography is also subjective. Some biographers make up facts or miss out on details. The book is supposed to be objective, but it is important to keep in mind that biographers write from their point of view. In addition, they are writing from their class, gender, and time. Though biographers try to capture the life of the person, they cannot fully do so. Therefore, they often must invent details to fill in the gaps.