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~ Writing a Biography ~ STALKING THE ELEPHANTAbout Writing Biography and Imagining a Life

BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE, SOME WRITING ADVICE TO MYSELF

I love this time of year. I've pretty much given up making New Year's resolutions, but late December is when I'm allowed by custom—no, obligated—to kick back and think about making a good start in 2013.

Of course, given the date of this post—December 21, 2012—thinking about next year could be a  Read More 
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ROBERT MASSIE: BIOGRAPHY'S KEY INGREDIENTS (TBC REPORT)

Robert Massie: Storytellers have "three ingredients" to think about. (Photo © Alex Remnick)
Robert K. Massie, the journalist and historian whose gift for vivid narrative has made him the preeminent American biographer of Russian royals, makes his job sound easy. “I am a storyteller,” he explains modestly, adding that he writes biography because “telling stories about people in the past is important to everyone trying to understand  Read More 
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CREATING A WRITING ROUTINE THAT WORKS

We often hear that one of the most important things when writing a book is to establish a regular writing routine. That's true whether you teach, spend your days in an office, or work at home. But for most of us, it's one of the hardest things to learn how to do.  Read More 
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STAYING ON TRACK: THE RED THREAD OF THE NARRATIVE

To stay on track, keep an eye on the red thread of your story. (Image via photos-public-domain.com)
As my favorite literary parable suggests (see sidebar), telling the story of a life is a lot like carving an elephant from a block of stone. The "elephant" is the story of someone else's life in potentia, while the block of stone is the mass of unprocessed research in which the story is hiding. Here and in future posts, I want to discuss the creative process of rendering the elephant visible, not only to the eye of the reader but in the mind of the writer.  Read More 
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