Writing a biography requires care and tact, whether you want to be a published author, need to write a biography essay, or need to complete a professional bio. You’re telling the story of someone’s most prized possession, their life, in a biography. Learn how to write a biography by following a few simple steps and using biographies writing tips.
What Is a Biography?
You must first comprehend the definition of a biography before you can write one. A biography is defined as “an account of a person’s life written by someone else.” You could write your own biography in the world of online biographies.
In a biography, everything you write must be accurate while also being interesting and engaging. What about your subject’s life will pique people’s interest or educate them?
Step 1: Choose a Subject
Choosing a subject for your biography is the first step. Is that person alive or dead? The process will be largely the same in either case. You should look into the person’s major life events, relationships, and social influence.
- There are several important questions to ask yourself when deciding on a subject.
- Is the life of the person interesting enough to merit a biography?
- Have they had an impact or made significant decisions that will inspire others?
- Will their story be able to reach a wider audience?
- Is the subject already well-known, or is it a lesser-known figure who deserves to be spotlighted?
Writing About Celebrities
Celebrities and well-known figures are universally regarded as fascinating and will appeal to a larger audience. If you’re going to write a biography about a famous person, make sure it stands out from the rest.
Writing About an Unknown Person
Don’t be afraid to write about an ordinary person who has an extraordinary story that could resonate with others. Just make sure to concentrate the biography on the key elements that will pique the readers’ interest. It will be more difficult to sell someone unknown because you will have to persuade people to care about this unknown entity.
Writing About a Person Who Is Dead
When writing about someone who has passed away, you won’t be able to hear their voice or know their thoughts on your work. To gain an intimate view of your subject’s life, you can work with their family and former colleagues, or use personal writings such as journals.
Step 2: Gain Permission From the Subject
You’ll almost certainly need their permission once you’ve chosen your subject. If the person is deceased, you can seek permission from their living relatives. This is not always a requirement. Many “unauthorized” biographies about celebrities have been written based on publicly available information. A biography, on the other hand, is usually much more compelling if the subject is willing to speak with you.
If you don’t get permission but still want to publish, make sure you don’t print anything false that could be considered libel or slander. You may be setting yourself up for a lawsuit if your unauthorized biography damages someone’s reputation.
Step 3: Research the Life of Your Subject
The subject is the ultimate primary source when conducting research. However, whether they are alive or dead, this may not always be possible.
Using Primary Sources
Other primary sources, aside from the subject of your biography, are thankfully available. Personal writings by the subject, those with firsthand knowledge of the subject, original historical or legal documents, statistical records, and audio or video recordings are among them. A primary source can also be a piece of writing created at the time of an important event, such as a news article.