什么是自传? (+3件避免写的事情)


You may or may not have noticed the slew of celebrity autobiographies filling the shelves at your local bookstore. People have loved digging up fun facts about other people since the dawn of time, 在AG体育手机版痴迷名人的文化中, it’s impossible for someone famous to write an autobiography and not have it be a bestseller

但是什么是自传呢? What makes an autobiography different from, say, a memoir? 

Buckle in! Let’s discuss. 

什么是自传??

An autobiography, simply put, is a full account of a subject’s life as written by the subject. This is different from a biography, which is just someone 书写自己的人生故事 按时间顺序. If I wrote a book 关于我自己的生活, 那将是一本自传, 但如果你写一本关于我生活的书, 这将是一本传记. 

The objective of an autobiography is to be informative, interesting, and detailed. We want all of the fundamental facts about this person, AG体育手机版希望它们按顺序排列, AG体育手机版希望他们是, you know, 值得阅读. 

自传vs. Memoir 

You may see ‘memoir’ and ‘autobiography’ used interchangeably, but they’re actually 不同类型

While an autobiography is a full picture of someone’s life, from the day they’re born to the day they finish writing it, 一本回忆录开始着手做其他事情. It’s more artistic, generally, in its portrayal of the subject, and will usually read more like the 写传统小说. Instead of focusing on a subject’s entire life, it focuses on specific moments or a specific moment. A memoir will also take more liberties with presentation since it isn’t as tied down with details, facts, and timelines. 

A book about an older woman’s childhood that ends with her leaving home, for example, 会是一本回忆录. We aren’t getting her entire life story, just one part of it. 关于一个人童年的详细的书, adolescence, 和成人职业, 在今天结束, 会是一本自传. 

By the way: the order of these events is essential to an autobiography. They’re told 按时间顺序 from someone’s birth to their present-day. 写一本回忆录 plays around more with this structure, but autobiography does not. 

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你如何写自传?

Now that we know what makes an autobiography an autobiography, 让AG体育手机版来谈谈最好的游戏包含了什么内容. 

1. 从有趣的角度写作 

This is a bit subjective, but basically, autobiographies should be interesting. 每个人的生命都很重要, of course, 每个人都有自己的故事, 而是为了让自传变得有趣, AG体育手机版需要一个有趣的话题. 

For example: 一个从未离开家乡的人, 从不挑战他们的理想, and never changed much as a person probably won’t have a lot of interesting things to say about themselves, their world, 或者他们经历过的事情. 这并不意味着他们的生活很无聊! It just means their perspective might be a little flat. 

By contrast, someone who’s undergone some transformative experience (which is nearly everyone on Earth) and given it some balanced, nuanced thought, 挑战自己的想法, and considered these experiences in the context of the society in which they live? Delicious! Interesting! 

This doesn’t mean that someone has to have undergone trauma or something ‘bad’ to 写一本有趣的自传 —it just means that someone needs to give their own perspective a critical lens so they’ve got something to say about the life they’ve lived. 

2. 按时间顺序如实叙述 

Autobiography strives to chronicle someone’s life, which means it needs to be factual. The events will be told in order, from a person’s birth to their present-day. The information in it should also be true and detailed. 

For example: in a good autobiography, we don’t want huge gaps missing. It may be that someone doesn’t remember a good chunk of their teenage years—if so, 这是为什么呢, 以及健忘现在对他们的影响. An autobiography might not spend an equal amount of time at each stage in a person’s life, 但除非这是真的, AG体育手机版不应该跳过几十年. 

An attention to historical detail and factual detail helps autobiographies be the best versions of themselves. Ideally, an autobiography doesn’t just tell us about one person. 它告诉AG体育手机版那个人生活的世界, what it was like to be that sort of person living in that world, 以及那种人如何看待别人. To get this rich, historical detail, we need a clear timeline, and we need honest storytelling. 

3. 提供细节,有趣的东西, & fun facts 

自传需要一些有趣的素材! 

让我说清楚:一个人不需要登上月球, 获得10亿美元, or become a CEO in order to be an interesting person with an important story to tell. In fact, I’m often more moved by stories about regular people navigating regular life, just like me. 

But autobiography should still contain important, pivotal details. This isn’t the place to sugarcoat or gloss over events, people, or places. If someone underwent something hugely interesting and impactful to their life, 应该写在他们的自传里, 至少应该讨论一下. 

A note: some people might not choose to write about particularly traumatic things that happened to them, 这完全没问题. I just mean that we should figure out huge or exciting facts about someone off-hand in an autobiography—the person’s life should be front and center. 

4. 彻底的研究

We want to know all about this person, which means we want to see some research. An autobiography should be extensively researched, fact-checked, and revised. 

Memory is fickle and distorted, and writers are already kind of bad at being biased. A good autobiography will present a balanced point of view backed by interviewing, 故地重游的地方, 还要进行事实核查,确保时间安排合理. Again, we’re looking for that nuanced, balanced perspective. If someone just writes a few hundred thousand words about their life however they remember it, 它可能会在完成的草稿中出现. 

阅读这篇关于 如何研究一本书 for more help.

5. 使用令人满意的叙述 

自传也需要一个令人满意的叙述. 这些书不同于小说, and they don’t need to read like a thriller novel (in fact, 如果他们不这样做可能会更好). But they should still have some connective tissue throughout to make the reading experience satisfying. 

这很难做到, 因为事实证明, life is random, chaotic, 完全没有被整齐地分为三幕. Sometimes, autobiographers will separate these acts into childhood, adulthood, and old age. But more often than not, they’ll pick a narrative structure to sort their information. 

A few common narrative arcs found in autobiographies and memoirs alike: rags-to-riches ( CEOs, famous authors, entrepreneurs), person vs. self (mental health, self-help, abuse narratives), person vs. 社会积极分子, 边缘化的声音评论他们的经历), 航行和返回(常见于经常旅行的人). 

Authors will also often use comments on society as a way to shape their work. For example, a marginalized author might write about their struggle to accept themselves in a society that shuns them, or someone who travels often might have something to say about the ethics of visiting certain places or the difficulties of backpacking in an unfamiliar land. 

写自传的时候有什么是不能包括的 

We know now what autobiography includes and what a good autobiography should try to do. 但那些不属于自传的东西? 

Here, I’d like to take a moment to talk about some things that just don’t belong in an autobiography. 它们也不属于回忆录或一般小说, but they tend to come up in autobiography most frequently. 

1. 无聊,平凡的细节 

It may be that something pivotal happened to someone whilst enduring a long lecture in their junior year of college. 如果是这样的话,我想看看! What happened, what was the impact, and how did the person change? 

But if the author is just putting us through college lectures, 整个高中生活, 商务会议, and so on with no real objective except to make sure they don’t skip anything they remember? 我会失去兴趣的. 

这就是叙事派上用场的地方. If something in the story isn’t actively participating in that narrative, and it doesn’t contain important information about the subject, AG体育手机版不需要它. If someone went to college and it didn’t end up affecting them or mattering that much, 用几句话来总结是可以的. 

可以这样想: 在任何一本小说里, you wouldn’t excuse chapters that included nothing relevant to the central arc. You’d be furious with the author for putting you through hoops for no good reason. It’s the same in an autobiography, even if autobiographies don’t read like fiction books. 

2. 指责和干草叉 

Autobiography isn’t the place to take old rivals to task for their crimes. For one, 它会给作者带来法律上的麻烦, and for another, 这不是一个好的阅读体验. 

Autobiographies shouldn’t have horrible, cruel depictions of ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. They shouldn’t set out to vilify people or pit the reader against someone. The objective isn’t to convince everyone that Stacy was a total lunatic—it’s to tell the complete, 乔·史密斯的完整故事. And if Joe Smith spends a full chapter writing about how Stacy is a total lunatic, the reader is probably going to have more opinions about Joe’s self-reflectiveness than they will about Stacy. 

3. 无序和混乱 

Autobiographies need to follow a structure, and they need to be organized. Some newbie writers will reach for journal entries as an autobiographical structure, 这几乎从未奏效, because, 就像我之前提到的, our lives just aren’t structured and they don’t follow a narrative. 

当然,这条规则也有例外. We have autobiographies from people undergoing extreme circumstances which come to us in journals or essay collections. But generally speaking, autobiographies should follow some sort of structure. 

Also, remember: an autobiography ought to include everything. Having a ton of disorder means the author is likely to leave gaps without any information about the subject or confuse the timeline, 这两者都破坏了阅读体验. 

自传的例子

找一些自传作为开始? Look no further!

下面是一些自传的例子: 

  • 我知道笼中鸟为何歌唱 在玛雅的这句话 
  • I Am Malala 由马拉拉Yousafzai 
  • Becoming 米歇尔奥巴马 
  • Me by Elton John 
  • 本杰明·富兰克林自传 由本杰明·富兰克林

结束自传的写作

许多人会犯错误或混淆 自传与回忆录相比.

Which is why, when answering the question, “What Is An Autobiography?”, one also has to ask the question “What is NOT an autobiography” or “How does an autobiography differ from a memoir?”

An autobiography is a personalized account of an individual’s life, written by that person. It may be factual or fictionalized to some degree and the main focus will always be on that one individual rather than others around them. A memoir can also refer to someone else’s life story but the author must have witnessed it firsthand.

写你自己的自传, you’ll need to consider what not to include so as not to tarnish any other people in your story who are still living (or even those who aren’t). You’ll want this document for yourself down the road so don’t forget about things like photos!

For example:在他的回忆录中,爪印在AG体育手机版心中“, 由AG体育官网APP下载教练撰写, Kerk Murray, tells the stories of some major life events in his life as he experienced them with dogs in his life.

Using the theme of processing parts of his life through phases of canine companionship, Kerk reveals how his story led him to start an animal rescue foundation, 他的书中哪些销量是用来支持的.

If you’re interested in writing a Memoir, check out our video training series below!

Surprise! 这不全是关于你的….

写作和出版你的人生故事

Learn the 3 Core Elements in every great memoir – the hidden framework used in memoir bestsellers – and get started writing your own in this free video training!

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, 对你没有额外的费用, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

Gloria Russell

Gloria Russell is a freelance writer and author living in Colorado. If she isn’t 写短篇故事, she’s probably knitting or stomping around on a mountain somewhere. 跟着她在这里: Twitter Twitch

bella@www.maria-miracles.com

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