Every human being has something to tell. Whether it is about a situation, an event or a fictional story , there is always a story worthy of attention. When that true story has to do with a person’s life, it is known as a biography . A biography is a text that describes the life and work of a human being . When we write our own history it is called an autobiography.
The autobiographies may contain as much data as its author wishes, but it is best to include all the important information. That which is necessary to know to understand the rest of the events that have been generated in the life of the protagonist of that text. Each author of his biography has the complete freedom to write it as he wishes. You can do it informally or formally.
One of the characteristic features of the autobiography is that the narrator of the anecdotes himself is the character who lives them , and in this case, he is the author of the book himself. Narrator, protagonist and author thus converge in a single figure, which is not a guarantee of the veracity of what was told, since everything is subjectively addressed from the author’s memories. It would become the literary equivalent of the pictorial self-portrait.
Steps to write an autobiography
Although it is true that there are no specific guidelines to determine or carry out an autobiography since it is something based on actions and personal life experiences, it does have some elements that can be taken as a guide to be able to make a good autobiography, of which we will mention then:
- A schedule of the most important aspects of life should be developed. Trying to date it is a main element because it will allow you to determine the points on which you will base your autobiography.
- The extraction of anecdotes are of vital importance. Based on the details and dates in particular, they are elements that allow to make the content more attractive. In this space of the narration, you can make the choice of the main actors of the narration.
- After having an established organization regarding dates and anecdotes of importance and relevance, the decision must be made of where to start, that is, you must decide where you want to start your autobiography or with what story or story you want to start.
- The first person must be built through which the autobiography will be related , that is, it can be related in the first person, from the present, from the past, through a third person, among others.
- The idea of capturing the events through which various political, economic, social and historical situations were experienced are important because they add sincerity and honesty to the content.
- It must be real sincere with what is being transmitted. It is recommended to be as honest as possible.
- When writing the autobiography, it is recommended to divide it into chapters , since a single text would make the content heavy and difficult to read.
Examples of autobiography
- Example 1: Excerpt from an autobiography
«My name is XXX, I was born in the month of XXX of the year XXX in the city of XXX. Eldest / youngest / second, third, etc. of xxx children. As a child I lived together until the age of two when, due to various circumstances, they chose to separate. From that moment, Mom acquired parental authority over both of us and we moved to a more modest neighborhood, to my paternal grandparents’ house.
At the age of 6 I started elementary school at the Republic of Israel school (I don’t remember my academic performance). I think the beginnings have always been a bit difficult and abstruse for me. It does not matter; however, a shy character and a somewhat isolated and quiet, painful child stand out. In those days, Mom’s economy was not quite good (it is not easy for a mother who works as an operator and, in the best of cases, barely manages to earn an income above the minimum -even when she has the help, she is not meager , but also not prolific, from dad) and, by mutual agreement and for the convenience of both parties [example of an autobiography], it was decided that I would move to the place where my maternal grandparents resided (from now on my grandparents, since I do not know , I have not met my paternal grandparents, partly because of the distality that has always existed between my dad and us, partly because of the physical distance). For the convenience of both parties because, on the one hand, it helped to reduce the financial burden for my mother, and, on the other, the grandparents – especially the grandmother – were happier than anyone, since they argued that it would be an ideal company for them. (They… parents of 12 children, raised in a context and in a territory of large families who, by contrast, were alone on the farm).
How can we forget those thick afternoons of the blue of the sky, the fresh smell of fresh wood, even the smell of the meadow that seems to grow infinitely, the crops (especially when the month of December arrived and, then, with it the harvests and there are many hands gathering the hardened and seasoned corn, of course, also sweat, and boots, and drink, and heat, and a lot of work. And then, after this, the reward. How can I forget that smell of freshly baked bread, freshly made, freshly baked. And then the plow, the oxen that go by treading the ground for a new field. It is January. Of course, also the time when they go to school.
- Example 2: Excerpt from autobiography
«He was born on August 7, 1533 in Madrid, Spain, and died in the same city in 1594. His father was Fortún García de Ercilla and his mother Leonor de Zúñiga, who was the bed guard of the Infanta María.
Having been widowed when Alonso was 1 year old, Leonor managed to place him as the page of Prince Felipe, future King of Spain.
The permanence of Ercilla in the Court, allowed him to acquire the knowledge delivered by the tutor of pages, the Latinist Cristóbal Calvete de la Estrella. The study of classics such as Virgilio and Lucano, and the reading of other authors such as Garcilaso, Dante, Ariosto and Boccaccio, made up his intellectual universe, which also included Astronomy and Astrology. His education was complemented by a series of trips that he made accompanying Philip II to Flanders, Vienna and England.
Ercilla arrived in America in 1556 and in Chile in 1557. Here she witnessed indigenous resistance, an experience that she embodied in her work La Araucana. He returned to Lima in 1559 and in 1563, to Spain. In the imperial capital he returned to the Court, where he received the habit of the Order of Santiago and married María Bazán, a link that gave him economic independence. “
- “Starting my adult life”
«Adulthood is the stage of the consolidation of the personality , the development of hobbies and personal concerns, and in many cases the achievement of economic stability.
I got a place at the University of Barcelona, where in my first year I would meet a large number of people from different origins and origins and from whom I could learn a lot. Unfortunately, he would only keep in touch with half a dozen of them, who would become close friends. After several years of career and after taking the MIR entrance exam, I managed to enter the Clinical Hospital as a resident. It was a tough stage, with constant guards and facing complex situations and medical emergencies that, in addition to learning at a professional level, made me increasingly appreciate the importance of living in the moment.
During the residency I also met who would be the love of my life, a resident in psychiatry with artistic tastes and a strong mentality despite showing a fragile side that awakened in me a strong protective instinct. We initially met as colleagues, to gradually become friends. In 2010 I finished my residency, having specialized in immunology, during the celebration party I finally asked him to go out with me. I agree.”
Other examples of famous autobiography
- The fish in the water by Mario Vargas Llosa.
- Memories of Afterlife by Francois-René de Chateaubriand.
- Speak, Memory: A Revisited Autobiography of Vladimir Nabokov
- Memoirs of Tennessee Williams.
- Orwell in Spain by George Orwell.
- A story of love and darkness by Amos Oz.
- Autobiography of Charles Darwin.
- My autobiography of Charles Chaplin.
- “The long road to freedom” by Nelson Mandela (Aguilar).
- Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.
- «Memories» by José María Aznar.
- “Memories of my life” by Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Editorial Crítica).
- “Me and energy” by Nikola Tesla (Turner).
- “Immoral Memories” by Serguei Eisenstein (Torres de Papel).
- “The Dawning Street Years” by Margaret Thatcher.
- CS Lewis “Surprised by joy.”
- “Paris was a Party” by Ernest Hemingway.
- Memoirs of an Egotist. Stendhal’s book.
- Confessions Book of Augustine of Hippo.
- Autobiography of Malcolm X. Book of Alex Haley and Malcolm X.
- Paula. Isabel Allende’s book.
- My Early Life. Winston Churchill book.
- Errol Flynn. Autobiography: Adventures of a Vividor.
- Bob Dylan book. Chronicles: Volume One.
- If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. Bruce Campbell’s book.
- Things that grandchildren should know. Mark Oliver Everett’s book.
- Country girl. Edna O’Brien’s book.