Today’s question is: How did you build your author platform? Was it by personal effort or did you have professional help?
Last week’s discussion answered this question: If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
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:
Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
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.
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.
As writers and authors we have to be aware of how we present ourselves not only on a face to face basis but also on social media. An extreme political or religious view, either on the vast array of media sites or in person, can seriously harm how we are perceived. If we are disrespectful, arrogant or act aloof our prospective and current readers opinion of us will alter negatively and more than likely stop them buying our books, following us in cyber space or attending author readings. Be aware of the links and comments you make and ‘like’. If something is too extreme you may chose not just to hide it but unfriend or block the person responsible.
It is also best to be circumspect on the types of ‘friends’ you are adding. If someone is politically bias, posting foul language, pornography or has extreme religious views, their opinions could be a interpreted as your own. Utilizing the settings on your particular media is a good way to ensure your professional image is not damaged, as is separating personal and professional pages or sites. Try to view your ‘virtual’ presence as a stranger would to make sure it is reflecting you positively.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule and being a member of a particular group could be advantageous for your genre or novel. However, if you are a multi-genre author you have the option to use different sites specific to each one or write under pen names.
Gossip can be a good thing if it is in regard to how wonderful someone found your latest novel or how marvellous you were at a local book signing. Maintain a professional but friendly demeanour whether in the real world or the cyber one. Engaging with your fans, or prospective ones to discuss your novel’s characters, the plot or your creative processes is a great way to entice a greater readership. Nonetheless remember to keep a balance between your professional life and your personal one.
Have you experienced any negative feedback?
negative feedback system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For many writers November brings with it a sense of apprehension and anxiety as they make the commitment to National Novel Writing Month. The idea of writing a minimum of 50,000 words in one month seems like total madness to lots of our friends, family and coworkers but to others we are revered for taking on such a challenge. We are asked again and again – how do you do it? And that is the crux of the matter. All writers have their own unique methods of writing – which are as numerous as there are writers. All I can tell you is that in my experience I have always been a ‘free flow’ writer letting my mind control my fingertips on the keyboard. The spark of an idea can come from a phrase or picture even an overheard snippet of conversation. For me this sets off a internal visual scene and from there the characters take over directing me wherever they wish. I find this process enjoyable and in many cases surprising as my thoughts of where the plot may lead, doesn’t always happen.
Some writers have an internal editor who stops them constantly to revise, change and alter – I think myself lucky that I can turn mine off until I am ready for the revision process. During November to be able to write unrestricted is a blessing and one which we all hope for. Of course life has to go on as most of us are unable to disappear on a retreat! So in between our working day, household chores and interaction with family we utilize every precious moment possible to write those wonderful words we hope will lead to our winning NaNoWriMo. It is primarily a personal challenge racing against time but we are lucky enough to be able to share it with buddies from around the globe.
To date I have 19,315 words written – what is your figure? Why not share your method?
I have been nominated by fellow blogger, Patti Mitchell – thank you Patti. Please visit her blog http://pattytmitchell.com/
The nomination rules– thank your nominator, and note 15 other blogs that you’d like to nominate. And then let them know.
But first, as part of the nomination process, I must share…Seven things about me
1 – I am very loyal to the point of fighting other peoples battles.
2 – My obession with writing is well known!
3 – I listen to all types of music but write with classical.
4 – A walk with my dog lets me communicate with nature and relax.
5 – My children are my pride and joy and I love them with all my heart.They are fantastic people.
6 – Creating a writer’s community to share our journey’s is a passion of mine.
7 – I count myself extremely lucky to have found my writer circle – The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. Local & virtual members make it a wonderful palce to share and learn.
Here are my nominations:
Live to Write – Write to Live – nhwn.wordpress.com