Dona Munker: Writing a Biography

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

DEPARTMENT OF CURRENT EVENTS

November 10, 2012

Tags: Beverly Gray

Beverly Gray
This trenchant comment on the Petraeus affair just in from film biographer Beverly Gray:

"So David Petraeus is resigning because he slept with his biographer. I'd say here's a case where she got a little too close to her subject."

WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?
    Managing the Writing Life, 3: 10 TIPS FROM A FILM BIOGRAPHER

    October 12, 2011

    Tags: Beverly Gray, Good ideas, Interviewing


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

        Beverly Gray, a film biographer, shares her list of ten things to remember when writing a biography.


        Ten Tips for Writing Biography:

            In starting out, scour your life for a subject you are in a unique position to explore. When writing a biography, consider making your own relationship with the central figure a part of the story. My first book delved into the life of a movie producer who had been my longtime boss. A few anecdotes drawn from our interaction over the years effectively shed light on key aspects of his psyche. (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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