Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free Class: Start Writing That Biography You've Been Putting Off

Roland Lazenby at his Writers Conference class in January.
Roland Lazenby, who has written in the neighborhood of five dozen books, will talk about biography Wednesday at 6:30 at Community High School in downtown Roanoke during the second edition of the Writers Series classes. These classes are an extension of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference and are free.

Roland, who teaches journalism at the college level in addition to his book writing, has become quite proficient with the biography and recently finished Black Jesus, a bio of Michael Jordan. He will share some of the inside workings of the biographer's trade during the hour and a half class. I took the opportunity to get a quick bumper-sticker answer from him in light of the upcoming class.

Here's the question and the answer:

What is the most important step in helping to narrow your focus when writing a biography and how do you go about it?

The single most important thing is obviously the right idea. That's where I'm beginning. That's the heart of so much success in all media. Developing ideas.

First, understanding the media market place and the shifting nature of publishing products. Second, divergent thinking, the making of lists, then breaking down and analyzing your lists.

You'll get a lot more of this kind of information, as well as an excellent networking opportunity with the region's writerly types. Bring your own beverage and we'll pass the hat at the end of the session to help cover expenses. If you don't have the money to contribute, don't worry about it. Your presence is requested in any case.

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