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I am about to begin writing a book about my life (which has been very eventful). I want people to know that it happened but I want to protect my family. Do I write a non-ficiton or a fiction?

Is there a specific format I need to be writing in? Once I'm done, do I get someone to proof read it?

To write a biography, you have to change the names and places of the real people and cities.

Unless you can afford a lawyer that will help you with written permission from EVERYONE you name.

Now, the city can sue you for using it in an autobiography/biography, even though ALL the people gave written consent.

So, to work around all that and it's liabilities, you change the name of the people and change the name of the town(s), etc.

And also, you insert in the beginning of the book, that even though it is an actual account of your life, you have changed the names of the people for their protection and privacy, etc.

You will be writing non-fiction because you claim it is a true account of your life.

The format is probably best served in an autobiography/biography in the 1st person narrative...ex: I left early to meet her, but felt uneasy. She was standing by her car with arms crossed. I noticed her sneer, I was late and she was furious.

That is 1st person narrative.

Of course your characters speak and that is fine. ex:

"Hi Amy. I hope you aren't mad. I got stuck in traffic."

"Yeah, well I have better things to do that stand in this heat waiting on you-- or anyone for that matter," she told me, face flustered.

So there you have it-- 1st person narrative, change names, change cities/towns/locations...and write the introduction to the biography that you changed the names to protect their privacy.

I hope this helps.

And yes. When you are finished, or even during writing it, you should have an editor that will proof read it, check for development and content, character development (even though they are actual people, their characters in the book must be 3D and alive) etc.

I am an editor. I charge by the word usually. So do a word count when you are ready for some help and email me at instead of my editorial service.

Also, I am a tutor and teach writing, so if you need help, I charge through the Live Person icon on my profile page. If I am offline, send me an email.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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