Category Archives: friends

Genres of Literature – Biography


Biography_Word

A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.

Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research. 

At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.

There are two types of biography:

  1. Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
  2. An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!

With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.

YourLifetimeOfStories

http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/your-lifetime-stories

The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook. 

Have you thought of writing your biography?

What would the title be?

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

The prompt is – two men in a boat.

Here’s my short story.

Bob & Joe’s Fishing Trip     

A weekend of fishing ahead of them, Bob and Joe load their canoe with tackle, bait, tents and food coolers. They gently glide along the river with practiced strokes of their oars. After years of fishing trips together, their routine is down pat. They have several favorite spots for fishing and their campsite is a closely guarded secret between the two companions. The early morning mist breaks apart as the canoe bow slices through it. Their destination gradually appears in front of them, the island in the middle of the lake, covered by dense brush around its perimeter and to the untrained eye seemingly impenetrable. However, due to a chance discovery some fourteen years earlier it has become a perfect spot for the two friends to enjoy a weekend of fishing undisturbed.  Joe discovered the secret clearing when his fishing line suddenly snapped and he fell backwards into the river. While Bob tried to compose himself from laughing and row toward his friend, Joe had noticed a gap between two bushes. He crawled through to find a small clearing. It was the perfect sanctuary from their wives, who could never again surprise them with a visit.

With the camp set up, the coolers stored and a few cans of beer in the bottom of the canoe, the two men head out for the first fishing spot. As always, they ensured there were no tracks to the hideout before leaving. It isn’t long before Joe has a bite and he starts reeling in but a clonking sound on the hull signals his catch is obviously not a fish. Catching the line Bob hauls a slender glass bottle from the water. The light glistens on its blue green surface. Inside they see a roll of paper. With wordless mutual ascent Bob smashes the bottle on the gunwale and releases a brown paper roll. As he gradually unrolls the paper, a sudden gasp of wonder comes from both men. It is a treasure map, illustrating with a large X, their very own campsite.

Paddling swiftly back toward the island in excited anticipation they abandon the canoe on the bank behind a bush and race toward the marked spot. Grabbing the latrine shovel Joe digs furiously, throwing earth every which way. At the sound of a hollow thud, the friends look at each other. Falling onto their knees, they push the soil away before pulling a small wooden chest from the earth by its brass handles. A rusty lock is easily broken with the shovel and as the lid opens gold coins tumble out. Bob and Joe shout out in unison “We’re rich!”

The enormity of their find struck them later as they counted the coins. How could they spend gold coins without people getting suspicious? They talked throughout the night and hatched a plan. Bury the chest again and find a discrete dealer. Sea fishing trips in exotic locations were now in the future of the two happy fishermen.

fishermen

Why not share your story in the comments?

Genres of Literature – Superhero Fiction


superhero-text-effect

Superhero fiction originated in American comic books, although its popularity quickly expanded into other media through adaptations and original works.

It examines the adventures, personality and ethics of a costumed crime fighter, commonly known as a superhero, possessing superhuman powers, who has the desire or need to help the citizens of their chosen country or world by using their powers to defeat natural or super powered threats. They battle similarly powered criminals, referred to as super villains. The super heroes involve themselves (either intentionally or accidentally) with science fiction and fact, including advanced technologies, alien worlds, time travel, and inter-dimensional travel; but the standards of scientific plausibility are lower than with actual science fiction.

Superheroes sometimes combat other threats such as aliens, magical/fantasy entities, natural disasters, political ideologies such as Nazism or communism and godlike or demonic creatures. Super villains may not have actual physical, mystical, superhuman or super alien powers, but often possesses a genius intellect that allows them to draft complex schemes or create fantastic devices.

Both opposing characters have secret identities or alter egos, but for different reasons. The superhero hides their true identity from enemies and the public to protect those close to them from harm and to some extent problems that are not serious enough for them to become involved in. In contrast a super villain keeps their identity secret to conceal their crimes enabling them to act freely and illegally without risk of arrest.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Have you written a superhero story/novel? Care to share?

A good friend of mine wrote this superhero novel, which has a fantastic twist. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerless-J-McKnight/dp/1927510848

Powerless

 

 

 

 

Genres of Literature – Autobiography


autobio
Often written in narrative form an autobiography gives the history of a person’s life, written or told by that person.
The definition states: 
“he or she gives a vivid description of his or her childhood in their autobiography” Sub sections are memoirs, life story, or personal history.
It differentiates from the periodic self-reflective mode of journal or diary writing because it is a review of a life from a particular moment in time, rather than a diary entry, which although reflective moves through a series of moments in time. In other words an autobiography takes stock of the writers life by way of memory from the moment of the composition. A distinction on autobiography versus memoir is that a memoir is less focused on self and more on others.
The ‘life’ autobiography may focus on a subjective view of the person’s life, which in some cases can lead to misleading or incorrect information by way of the inability or unwillingness of the writer to recall memories accurately.
A ‘spiritual’ autobiography follows the writer’s journey towards God or other deity, which resulted from a conversion. It is a vehicle to endorse his or her new found religion.
A ‘fictional autobiography’ is a novel about a fictional character written as though the character were writing their own autobiography in first-person and reflecting on both internal and external experiences of their character.

An I-Novel is a Japanese literary genre used to describe a confessional type literature where the events related correspond to the author’s life. In many cases it exposed the darker side of society or the author’s own dark side.

A memoir differs from an autobiography as it focuses on more intimate memoirs, feelings and emotions, rather than the ‘life and times’ of a writer in a typical autobiography. For example, memoirs about politicians or military leaders glorify their public exploits.

Have you written or are you thinking of writing your autobiography?

Whose autobiography have you read that you enjoyed?

I still vividly remember reading The Dairy of A Young Girl (Anne Frank) at school. It is such a powerful and emotive book. Of course, I have read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King several times (or more!) 

 

 

 

 

Genres of Literature – Short Stories


short-stories

The definition of a short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. Short stories originally emerged from traditional oral storytelling in the 17th century. In terms of word count they are usually under 7,500 words, however this word count can vary. Due to the diversity of short story content it is not easy to characterize them, they may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators. They feature a small cast of characters and focus on a self-contained incident using plot, resonance, literary techniques or other dynamic components but not in as much depth as a novel.

Short stories are considered, by many, as an apprenticeship form preceding more lengthy works, however they are a crafted form in their own right. Short story writers usually publish their narratives within a collection as part of an artistic or personal expression form.

This concentrated form of narrative can be theorized through traditional elements, such as exposition, complication, crisis, climax and resolution although not all follow this pattern. For instance, modern short stories start in the middle of the action and do not include exposition. Slightly longer works do include climax, crisis or a turning point but many do end abruptly or are left ‘open’ and can or cannot have a moral or practical lesson.

Have you written short stories? Is that how you started writing?

Do you find the short prose form enables you to ‘refresh’ your Muse when immerse in larger works?

I have a steampunk story (7700 words) that I am hoping to find a venue for, whether in an anthology or some other publication. So if you have a lead please share it.

My publisher has a couple of awesome short story authors published. Karen Probert and Barbie-Jo Smith. Karen’s characterizations and attention to detail is incredible and Barbie-Jo has the most humorous tales. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books