How to Write an Autobiography in Narrative Form
An autobiography is a biography of someone's life written by the person who lived it. Autobiographies are typically written in first person and detail events in someone's life from the beginning, often leading to a core subject of the author's life. Autobiographies are often boring to read because the emphasis is on presenting events in a factual manner rather than in the narrative style of storytelling. It is far better to write an autobiography in narrative form that will tell your story in such a way that readers will be engaged enough to believe it could be their story as well.
Choose the focus of your autobiography and the events in your life you will write about. Outline those events in the order they'll appear. The mundane events that come with living are there for all of us and important only to those who live them. Keep your story interesting by only including what is unique to your story.
Plot your autobiography creatively. Order the events as if you're telling a story. Forget about chronological order. Think about a beginning, middle and end. Consider breaking your autobiography into several major chapters that cover specific periods of your life and add sub-sections within those chapters that cover events that shaped those periods of your life.
Keep it colorful. Don't just stick to the facts. Engage your reader with writing that draws them in and makes them feel as if you're telling them a story. Don't make up events in your life, but a little creative license can go a long way. This can often be achieved by combining events in your life to make them more interesting or to better pace the telling of your story.
Treat the people in your autobiography as characters in a novel. Find the traits about them that made you love them and show those traits to your readers.
Don't wander. This isn't the time to reminisce. Tell your story in a smooth-flowing narrative. Keep the focus on that aspect of your autobiography that made you want to write it to begin with.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.