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Question
My wife is thinking of writing a book. It will be a non fiction book biography.

I am just looking for basic information on how to organize the book? What is the basic format and/or outline for the book that she would be able to follow?

Any help on this would be appreciated.

Regards,

Duke

Answer
Dear Duke,
Thank you for your letter and request for information for your wife. At my site I have posted some articles, books, and links. A great book for non-fiction writers is "Writing the Natural Way." Also, for style, she should read "Elements of Style" (especially the last section) and "On Writing Well."
A good way to start a biography is to interview the subject, or if the subject is no longer around, interview people who knew the subject. Also, do a literature review to find out if anything has already been published. It's always a good idea to know exactly what's out there. No sense in duplicating someone else's efforts.
Also, if the subject is living, or is not considered a "public figure," you should try  to seek permission. It is possible to write an unauthorized biography, but it's more difficult and sometimes is not accepted as well in the literary world.
After the research comes writing the first draft. That's where "Writing the Natural Way" comes in. The technique of "clustering" helps download thoughts and ideas from the mind onto paper. Once she has her thoughts on paper, she can start to organize them into an outline, and then start to write the book.
If you have any further questions after reading the material at my web site, feel free to write back again.
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
Sincerely,
Nori

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