There are so many types of nonfiction that you can write. In this series of “types of nonfiction,” I’ll not only identify and define different types and styles of nonfiction, I’ll help you find resources right here in Long Beach.
There are two basic types of biography, one being a subset of the other. In general, a biography is a detailed, historical account of someone’s life. If the someone in question is the writer, the biography is called an autobiography.
Biographies are less literary in style than memoirs, usually organized by chronology. That said, they are not a dry listing of facts and anecdotes. Biographies still try to paint a picture in words of a personality, a life. Each event or moment is highlighted for emphasis to help deepen the overall portrait. Biographies usually cover the whole of a person’s life, which also contrasts them from the memoir, which focuses on an encapsulated moment or set of moments in time around a central theme.
Examples of biography
Most biographies are about celebrities, political figures and other well-known individuals. There are biographies about Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill and even Ted Bundy. Libraries and bookstores often have a section dedicated to this type of work.
- Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe by Fred Lawrence Guiles
- Churchill: A Biography by Roy Jenkins
- The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy by Stephen G. Michaud, Hugh Aynesworth, Roy Hazelwood and Stephen G. Michaud
Resources for writing biography
- How to Write a Biography
- How to Write an Interesting Biography
- Biography Writing Format
Biography in Long Beach
- Nicolas Cage: Hollywood’s Wild Talent by Brian J. Robb
Biography of actor Nicolas Cage, who was born in Long Beach.
- Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports by Susan Ware
Biography of tennis pro Billie Jean King who was born and raised in Long Beach, Calif.
- Always an Angel: Playing the Game With Fire and Faith by Tim Salmon and Rob Goldman
The autobiography of 1993 Rookie of the Year and Major League Baseball player Tim Salmon who was born in Long Beach in 1968.
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NOTE: Are you a writer based in Long Beach? Please contact me … I’m going to start doing a series of profiles of local writers and I need to know who you are!