Write Your Life Story And Get It Published: Structure your story
by Ann Gawthorpe
There are several different ways to structure a life story. It can be a full story from birth to the present time, a defined period such starting a new life abroad, or based on topics such as major family events.
Within these categories the life story can be written in several different ways. The simplest form is chronological order – starting from the earliest date and working through to the end point. There will probably be some flashbacks to explain things which happened before the story started.
Some life stories are told entirely in flashbacks. These often start with the present and then the rest of the person’s life is filled in. This can be done chronologically but it doesn’t have to be.
Other life stories are told entirely in vignettes or cameos which highlight all the most interesting, dramatic or exciting parts. These can be linked by short chapters briefly filling in what happened in between.
It is also possible to write a life story entirely in anecdotes which don’t have to be in any chronological order.
Finally, they can be written in diary form. As these will be contemporaneous accounts the less they are rewritten the better, but the more boring or perhaps embarrassing parts can be deleted.