Many novel writers create mini-biographies (or longer than that) of their characters. We should at least know the background of our characters, to help give them depth and to understand why they act the way they do (it doesn’t necessarily need to be in the book, of course).

The story of someone’s life can be quite fascinating – and can, like our fictional characters, help us understand how people turned out how they did – why they took certain actions.

My son has developed quite an interest in biographies lately. Currently, he’s reading about both Thomas Edison and Clara Barton. I’d wager one, or both, will inspire him.

May 16 is officially Biographers Day. Two hundred and forty-nine years ago today, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson met in England for the first time, beginning what calls “history’s most famous biographer-biographee relationship.” Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson is considered a model of biographical writing.

So, why not celebrate? No day is better than today to start reading – or writing – a biography.

What is your favorite biography? If you were to write a biography, who would you want to write about? Do you figure out the biographies of your fictional characters?

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