Dona Munker: Writing a Biography

      ~ Writing a Biography ~
      STALKING THE ELEPHANT
      About Writing Biography and Imagining a Life

WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?
    Managing the Writing Life, 2: THE DIGITAL DIMENSION

    September 22, 2011

    Tags: Charles J. Shields, Blogging and Social Media

    What's the best idea you've had for coping with a major challenge of the writing life?

      "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?" invites experienced biographers and narrative nonfiction writers to hold forth, in an article or just in a couple of sentences, on some useful solution they've found for coping with any major challenge of the writing life. What works for you? Share it with the rest of us by posting a comment below.

        Charles J. Shields on Blogging

            Most publishers these days want authors to cultivate an online presence to attract readers (a "platform," in publishing jargon). (more…)

        AN ELEPHANT IS A MOVING TARGET

        September 14, 2011

        Tags: Beginnings, Telling the story, Oline Eaton, Sara and Erskine (book)

        (Credit: Hayward Public Library)

          For me, nothing about writing biography is more difficult than remembering that I'm tracking the long, slow evolution of a human being. (Two human beings, actually: in a sense, Erskine is as important to SARA AND ERSKINE as Sara herself; maybe more, in some ways.) Which means that the elephant (more…)

          WHEN SHOULD YOU BEGIN WRITING?

          September 8, 2011

          Tags: The writing life

          A spiral galaxy giving birth to stars (NASA)


                  First-time biographers often assume they have to complete all their research before writing anything. But since the writing process itself always generates new ideas, a nonfiction writer can always find more research to do.

                  Case in point: A long time ago, (more…)


                  The disciple of a famous sculptor came upon his master carving an elephant from a huge, shapeless chunk of stone. "Master," cried the disciple, "What splendor! What realism! What insight! How do you do it?" "Simple," replied the sculptor. "You just cut away everything that isn't elephant."

                  Stalking the Elephant is a blog about creating an elephant from a chunk of stone, a.k.a. writing a biography.

                  It's also about the biographer's writing life (well, mine, anyway) and a work in progress, SARA AND ERSKINE, AN AMERICAN ROMANCE. This is an intimate reconstruction of the life of SARA BARD FIELD, a World War One-era minister's wife, suffragist, and poet, and her extraordinary affair with an outspoken attorney, philosophical anarchist, and Renaissance man CHARLES ERSKINE SCOTT WOOD.

              Subscribing is easy.

                  This couple takes up a lot of time (not to mention a lot of oxygen), and since I don't have a regular posting schedule, the best way to receive updates is to sign up to be notified when I post something new.

                   Here's how: On the blog page, click on the RSS button of your browser. (In Firefox: Go to the Bookmarks menu and select "Subscribe to This Page.") You can then check to see if there's been an update in the RSS feed of your browser's toolbar.




              Visit the RESOURCES page and take advantage of a growing list of links, blogs, and books for anyone interested in biography and writing lives.


                Sidebar Photo Credit: Elephant Country Web


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