Writing Books/Biography

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Question
Recently, I decided to embark on the journey of writing a my auto-biography.  The only problem is, I'm stuck at the beginning.  I don't really have any book writing experience, and am having a hard time finding resources online (aside from this one). What would you suggest for a FIRST TIME book writer as a means to 'get the ball rolling'? Are there any online resources/books that you could suggest?

Thank You Kindly,

Jeanne' A. Spencer

Answer
Dear Jeanne,
Thanks for your question. There are several levels of writing your autobiography. The first is to write a memoir. You write it in chronological order (or any order that works) and it's written informally, like a letter. This is valuable for you and for your children and future descendents. It leaves a record of what life was like for you. Imagine how great it would be to find such a document written by one of your ancestors.
A memoir is easy to write. Just pick a child, grandchild, or yet-unborn descendent and start writing. Be as truthful and honest as you can, including the hard parts. You may also start with an outline. Start with the year you were born and note down the most important events from each year, then write about them one by one.
If you write for several hours a week, you should be able to finish in six months or a year. You can print your book out for chosen relatives and friends and keep a copy on file in your personal records.
If you feel your story is compelling and you want to reach a larger audience, you must take it to the next leve. That is, you need to turn your autobiography into a novel. This is a lot more work and takes a higher level of writing skill.
At my site I have posted the Fiction Writer's Workshop that will help you get started with characters, plot, scenes, dialogue, etc. See:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
This can become very time consuming and selling it can be a challenge. The novel writing market is very competitive, especially for first time authors. However, it can be done.
A good way to start is to write your memoir. If you decide to go on to novel writing, you can use your memoir as notes for deciding how to structure your novel.
If you want to discuss further, please feel free to write back again.
Sincerely,
Nori  

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