Attended Faulkner Foundations. Completed English Lesson 107.
Attended Sight Singing and Chapel, completed English lesson 106.
Attended Theory 1, Computer Applications, and Intermediate Algebra. Completed English Lessons 104-105 and Lesson 105 Essay.
I have just finished reading Charles Darwin’s autobiography. He became one of the most famous men of all time by writing The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, which outlined the current theory of evolution by natural selection. He spent his entire life from age 33 onward in his home working on his many publications, due to a mysterious illness that could not be cured or even identified. (This is the background information you’ve been asking for, Oma.) However well he wrote these books, he didn’t do a very good job on writing his autobiography. What would I do differently in my autobiography?
Darwin does a fairly decent job in the first two chapters, which tell the story of his childhood. He relates how he was a very ordinary boy in school; in fact the only remarkable thing about him was his passion for collecting, especially beetles. He even stuffed one in his mouth while attending Cambridge University because he had no other place to put it. He immediately realized the horrible decision he had made. Darwin agreed with many others that the lectures that were given were low quality and boring. He stated that reading was a much better way to learn. Eventually, under pressure from his father, he consented to training as a clergyman.
But something else happened. A friend suggested that he join a voyage on the ship Beagle, to be the crew’s naturalist. This voyage turned out to be incredibly important. It started his road to fame, and gave him the basis for his most famous works.
He does much worse from this point on. After became homebound, he basically said “This is the end, unless you want to read about my books.” Of course many people want to know about his books, so they read on. It is just page after page of books that he wrote, and why he thinks each one is special. He devotes a whole page to his book on barnacles. Barnacles! When he finally gets to Origin of species, he does tell how he waited and waited and waited to do it, and then his hand was forced by another naturalist. But when he gets to the Descent of Man, possibly his greatest work, he spends one sentence on it. One sentence.
Darwin’s son omitted a good chunk on his marriage and family, so it is possible that we are missing a piece of the story. But Darwin’s biggest problem was that he could not identify what was relevant. He left out many important things, and replaced them with events which may have been important to him, but seem trivial today.
So I would focus on answering the “So what” question, and making sure that every detail matters in my autobiography.
Many autobiographies have sections where the author uses dialogue. This can help liven up the book, as it is usually more enjoyable to read than descriptions and gives a nice change of pace. I have another post on this. However, up till the past century, voice recording was not available, and if there was no one to write it down, nobody would. So most writers have used recreations of conversations from within their memories; sometimes doing a very good job with accuracy, and sometimes inventing the entire thing while still advancing the plot and their point thereby doing a good job too. ???
Sentence is long and very very messy intentionally.
But now the question at hand: should I use recreated dialogue in my autobiography?
Recreating dialogue can embellish your story, making it more interesting to read. It can also help give specific words to specific people, and often just doesn’t work any other way. But here is the thing. Recreating your dialogues from memory can accidentally misinterpret people’s personalities and actions. You may get people complaining about your accuracy. And you don’t have to do this. You can do all these things without this by using vocabulary, timing, and good questions.
Sorry for the ending, it used to be much better, but I forgot to save the draft and forgot what I had written, so this is very different.
Monday-Tuesday: 4 English Lessons + 1 essay
Wensday-Saturday: 4 English lessons + 1 essay +Faulkner classes
When writing an autobiography, there are three general target audiences that are usually selected. I could write the autobiography for myself, for my family and friends, or for the whole world. I do not need to explain the benefits of these, as I have already done so. While I have no real idea of what God has in store for me, or even what I plan to do, I will most likely write for the second audience.
Why? Well, writing for only myself would keep a record of my life, and give me some writing experience, but what is the point of doing this without someone to share it with? I would also probably do a horrible job without some help.
On the other hand, writing for the public would be a bit of a hassle. It is easier than ever to do this today, but there isn’t much point in doing so unless something very crazy happens to me later.
What benefits could I get from writing an autobiography?
When most people think of autobiographies, they normally associate them with hugely popular or wealthy people such as Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. They normally think of autobiographies as things that people who had large influence in the world write, so that their children, fans, and other people could read about how their life once they’ve passed on. For the most part, autobiographies are made by these people, but that doesn’t mean that “regular” people can’t write them too. The best way to start an autobiography isn’t by sitting down and trying to write it, but by starting at a young age by keeping a journal. There’s are huge advantages and benefits from writing an autobiography of your own, no matter what social status that you hold. Yes, you’re not likely to make much money on it, and only a select few people are probably going to read it, but there are still benefits.
The first benefit is the most obvious one, that it’s a great way to save your memories, and a documentation of your life. Even if only a few people are going to read your autobiography, it’s a great way to keep your important memories in order. Writing an autobiography can be helpful in getting your entire life story right in your head, along with getting it right on paper. As you’re writing down your story, you’re likely to remember important and treasured memories that just got lost through the years. Once you’ve written your autobiography, it’s a great thing to have around, simply so that you can go back and re-read it once in a while.
You can also write an autobiography with the purpose of leaving a legacy, a handbook for your children. You could leave a story of the things that you wished that you did different in your life, in attempt to possibly keep your children from making the same mistakes. If you were fortunate enough to own a business, you could leave information about the business in your autobiography, such as how you built it and how you kept it alive. This would be a great way to keep your legacy alive long after you’re dead, and a great way to even teach other people how to start their own business.
If you happen to be a famous, popular, or influential, there are some more benefits for making an autobiography. You could sell your autobiography online or at book stores, and if you’re popular enough, you could make quite a large sum of money. If you had a particularly interesting life, you might gain even more of a reputation for your interesting autobiography.
Without a doubt, writing an autobiography can have benefits for everyone. There will obviously be different benefits for different people, but I find it hard to imagine any person that wouldn’t gain some benefit from writing an autobiography in the future. An autobiography is helpful for the both the writer, and the reader.
What can make your biography less disjointed than Twain’s?.
Well, probably the first and best thing is to get clear in your head exactly what happened. Twain was inconsistent throughout his book. Usually it was about dates and times, but not always. He even wrote three or for different results for the same event. So do your research before you start writing.
Now you should ask the question “so what?” If you can’t find a reason to put a detail in, don’t. This is how you should get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t really matter. Twain put in quite a few things that seemed to have no point. In one chapter he gave a day-by-day account of them moving into a house. Yet he gave no sense of what it was like during the process or after it was finished.
Once you have all of your events corrected, its time to get them sorted out. Make sure that you organize your modules into a specific order. Generally this should be chronological, but flashbacks (and flashaheads) can make your autobiography more dramatic and can help with issues of relevance. Twain had many things in the wrong order. A lot of things.
Why do I think that George Washington Plunkitt was so open about how he made his money?
Probably the best answer is this: The year before his “autobiography” was written, Plunkitt lost his first election in a long time. He had virtually no hope of getting elected to the same position again, and sensed that his political career was coming to an end. So he figured that it was worth the price of this information to become nationally famous.
Of course, the ironic thing is that almost the opposite of what he had intended happened. Riordan was adept at manipulating words, which is a good skill given the right goal. But Riordan’s goal was not what Plunkitt had anticipated. Riordan actually wrote the book for the opposite side from Tammany Hall, the Civil Service Reformers. And Riordan was good at what he did. He turned Plunkitt into the ultimate stereotype for Tammany. In fact, Plunkitt actually lost his next election because he allowed the book to be published.