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I need your input, if I have to write a biography -

 
 
mismi
 
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 11:40 am
If I have to write a biography, what is important to include and what would be best to leave out?

I could look it up on the internet I suppose - but I would rather hear what some of you have to say about it

I do not want to brag on myself - but I want to give as much credence to my abilities as possible without sounding cheesey about it. 300 words is my limit.

Any advice would be appreciated. Very Happy
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Type: Question • Score: 15 • Views: 3,173 • Replies: 46
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 11:50 am
"I was born at a very early age. . . ." is a good beginning. It kind of sets the tone - unless that's not the tone you want to set.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 11:53 am
@mismi,
Some Writers often chose to write an outline or event timeline (as an exercise) to help organize thoughts. However, seeing this assignment has such a short, 300-word limit, I'd write down a few ideas or phrases about some highlight events of your life. Alos list on a sheet of paper what (person, place, or events)makes you the most passionate or has had the strongest impact in your life.

Leave out details that you don't want people to know. Then, after your dead, you can include them in.

Good luck!
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 11:59 am
@roger,
Quote:
"I was born at a very early age. . . ." is a good beginning. It kind of sets the tone - unless that's not the tone you want to set.


That would be a great line for me if I was trying to get into American Comedy Institute - Wink thanks Roger

Thank you Ragman...highlights - s'good..

Quote:
Leave out details that you don't want people to know. Then, after your dead, you can include them in.

You're both comedians....

mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:04 pm
@mismi,
I know you all think this is pretty simple - and it may be for most people - but I am an indecisive person. Writing a biography is harder than I thought it would be. I have deleted everything I have written - it all sounds so cheesey.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:08 pm
@mismi,
It sounds like an autobiografy.

What is IMPORTANT to u; greatest desires ?
How well have u attended to that?
What r the most important things that u have learned?
Best skills ?
Weak points?
Yet to do ?


Good Luck





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:10 pm
@mismi,
Leave out anything that anyone can use agains u.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:13 pm
@mismi,
Hi mismi,

depending on who wants your biography, you can be as professional or as
explicit as you choose to be. I had to write an extensive one when I adopted
my daughter. They did give me pointers though of what needed to be included
and where they want emphasis on.

Perhaps that could be your starting point: for whom and what are they
looking for primarily?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:36 pm
@CalamityJane,
Yep, that's just what I was going to say. There isn't really any one-size-fits-all for bios. Once we know what it's for it's easier to advise.

I'm assuming you mean a blurb in the third person ("Mismi graduated from the University of ___ with a degree in ___") rather than a book, in which case David would be correct. (If you're writing a book about yourself, it's an autobiography.)
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:42 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
It sounds like an autobiografy.


I guess it is, of sorts - but they are calling it a biography - so...

Thanks David
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:54 pm
@sozobe,
Thanks Jane - that is good advice ....

Oh Soz - third person - I bet you are right....

Okay - I am attempting (lame attempt) to submit a manuscript to a publisher. The questionaire says "300 Word Biography" - I just want to give it a shot - no big deal and probably won't be accepted - but I have to give it a shot.

Since I have not done these kinds of things since college (I was an English Maj0r, believe it or not) I am just a little rusty.

So do you think they mean third person in this case?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:00 pm
@mismi,
Third person, for sure, if it's going to be used as a cover blurb on a book. I think any degrees would be appropriate. Also, any personal experiences that might seem relavant to the manuscript.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:06 pm
@roger,
Thank you Roger...re-write number 137 Wink
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:07 pm
@roger,
Yep, agreed with Roger on both counts. Also probably match tone the tone of the book. Warm and personal vs. more straightforward and factual, etc.

Probably include where you live, how many people in your family (i.e., "Mismi lives in ____ with her husband, three sons, and two dogs." Or whatever).

If there's a reason that you were spurred to write the book, that could fit (again depending on the type of book, though).
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:08 pm
@sozobe,
This is incredibly helpful ....thank you!
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:10 pm
Well...I wouldn't include anything from the "Lessons Learned" thread...unless it's a humour book Very Happy

(Very exciting, mismi!)
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:15 pm
@mismi,
I had something accepted by a publisher once (via a letter of intent to publish), but my package was a combo letter with a short comment about who referred me, the basis of my interest in the subject and some paragraphs about the proposed contents with a short outline, a copy of a draft for the introduction, a couple of the already worked out outlines for the chapters, then a few comments about the potential market for the book, some drawing samples, and a short personal resume. Alas, my resume (or bio) isn't included in my notebook on all this. I had varying resumes over the years and can only assume this was one that was not chatty, just listing various educational markers and some later projects/employment.

Depending on what the manuscript is about, I can see the bio being anything from similar to a Wikipedia entry paragraph(s) to regular resume form. On that, I'm sure there are some past a2k threads with good advice from people like Jespah.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:16 pm
@Tai Chi,
HA! Wellllllll....it has some humor in it. It is just a collection of writings of my experiences raising the kids - mainly meant to encourage moms...most of the stuff on that thread is pre-children - I was a dare-devil back in the day - speaking of which- I have a bungee jumping incident I need to recount on the thread - ....heh heh...

Thank you Tai Chi - I have no high hopes of it being accepted - but -
...it is my attempt to quit the daycare business and get back home. I love those babies at the daycare...but not as much as I enjoyed being at home!
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:18 pm
@ossobuco,
I will look around Osso - thank you. Did you get the book published?

I am finding a lot of the smaller publishing companies will almost publish anything...but they require you to buy so many of the books and try to sell them...which is great I guess, if you think you can sell them. But I am going to try all the avenues before I settle for something like that...I think.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:31 pm
@mismi,
No. This was a small but well respected architectural publisher, with no tricks like my buying the books. I had well worked out outlines and a long bibliography and a lot of my own photographs at the ready, but life intervened before I got going on writing it all up - divorce, moving several times, intense work involvement, and then your basic inertia along with the next big move.

I wish you luck, am glad you're making this effort.
 

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