Writing is a versatile art form. In this series of “types of writing,” I’ll not only identify and define different types and styles of writing, I’ll help you find resources right here in Long Beach.
Biography writing defined
A biography is a detailed, historical account of someone’s life written by someone other than the subject. An autobiography is written by the subject. Although less literary in style than a memoir, writing a biography still requires skill and writing prose. A biography is more than a chronology … it portrays a personality, a life, through a series of events. It highlights aspects and moments of a life for emphasis. Also, unlike memoir, it covers the whole of a person’s life, rather than an encapsulated moment or set of moments in time.
Examples of biography writing
Biographies are most often written about famous people, from political figures to movie stars. However, sometimes you’ll find a biography of an ordinary person who lived in extraordinary times, but they are rare.
- Ordinary Genius: The Story of Albert Einstein by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
- Yul: The Man Who Would Be King by Rock Brynner
- Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad
Resources for biography writing
- How To Do Biography: A Primer by Nigel Hamilton
- Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call
- Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature by Bill Roorbach
Biography writing in Long Beach
- Always an Angel: Playing the Game With Fire and Faith by Tim Salmon and Rob Goldman
The autobiography of 1993 Rookie of the Year and Major League Baseball player Tim Salmon who was born in Long Beach in 1968.
- Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports by Susan Ware
Biography of tennis pro Billie Jean King who was born and raised in Long Beach, Calif.
- Nicolas Cage: Hollywood’s Wild Talent by Brian J. Robb
Biography of actor Nicolas Cage, who was born in Long Beach.
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