We interrupt the blog scheduled for this time for Breaking News
Dot Dee Dot Dot. Dot Dee Dot Dot. Writing short is hard.
Authors in the Guppies anthology, Fishnets, are being asked to provide a 50- word biography in preparation for publication. A number of authors have mentioned that it is difficult to summarize a person’s life in 50 words or less. Some have set off emergency flares. I thought I would see if I could offer examples and information to see if I can help.
For the anthology I wrote: the following 47-word bio.
Warren Bull, a multiple award-winning author, was nominated for a 2012 Derringer award. He has more than forty short stories published. His novels ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOR THE DEFENSE, HEARTLAND, MURDER IN THE MOONLIGHT available at http://www.warrenbull.com/kindle_editions.html and a short story collection, MURDER MANHATTAN STYLE available at http://www.warrenbull.com/
It’s not exactly scintillating reading but it is an example of some basic ideas.
It is written in the third person.
My name is on the first line.
Awards and publications are noted.
The bio has a clear target audience.
In this bio I want to reach readers. I want to say, “If you enjoy this story, you might want to find, buy and read my other work and then write glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Here’s a map to my works.” (I might mention blog readers are also invited to do the same.)
Awards and publications say, “Look, dear readers, I know my way around a paragraph. I’ve worked with a thesaurus, a dictionary, an eraser and a red pencil many times before.”
What did I write before I had publications and awards? I tried to give readers a little background and taste of my word-smithing. For example: “Warren Bull is a psychologist in his ‘day job.’ He comes from a functional family and is a fierce competitor at trivia games.”
A biography gives you the opportunity to address the most important people in the writing world — readers. So write, polish, re-write, run it by people whose skills you respect and keep your audience in mind.
Does this help?