This is the third part in a series of articles about writing a biography, or a story on someone’s life. This series of articles will discuss what a biography is, how to prepare for writing a biography, and helpful strategies for good biography writing.
See Writing a Biography – Getting Started.
See Writing a Biography – Get Researching.
7. Check Facts
It can sometimes be difficult to determine what is a fact and what is someone’s version of a fact, particularly if there are differences of opinion. If possible, try to find three different sources to help ascertain what is the truth. Where there is no clear agreement on what is fact, state there is a conflict and quote sources.
8. Reference Sources add Details
These are materials, such as atlases, dictionaries, street directories, almanacs, newspapers, and other reference sources that can provide further details for your story. These facts may hep explain and enhance the person’s timeline and may also provide further leads for additional research.
9. Keep Objective
A good biography writer keeps their personal opinions and feelings about the person out of their writing. Stick to the facts and tell the story of the subject’s life truthfully. Try not to be swayed by any personal feelings, either positive or negative. It might be tempting to ignore failings and focus on good achievements, but a good biography is well-balanced, and allows the readers to form their own opinions on the person’s life and achievements.
10. Re-check Facts
Facts are important and can impact the author’s credibility with the reader. Despite the author’s confidence in any facts, it’s important to always double check that the details the writing is based on are accurate.
Always check details even if sure that are true. It destroys the reader’s trust in a biography if they perceive certain details to be incorrect.
11. Make an Impact
The start of any writing is important and it’s important to immediately captivate the reader and ignite their interest. This might mean beginning with an interesting statement, a little know detail of their life, or perhaps an intriguing event. It’s possible that the reader has read other biographies on the same subject, so try to make this biography stand out.
Sometimes it might not seem obvious where is the best place to start writing. It might be at the beginning (say someone’s birth) or it may be more logical to start some time later. Although this may not be clear, a writer can still get started. The point where an author begins to write doesn’t have to be the first chapter; they may decide to add in earlier chapters or may decide that a later point is more appropriate. This can always be decided later on. What’s important is to get started.