I am in the process of writing a memoir covering several years of my life while I was at Google and working on the earliest versions of Chromebook.

My goals are to write a book which is simultaneously non-fiction, information, and interesting to read.

Most memoirs and autobiographies are written in a historical narrative style or published diaries. Are there any examples of memoirs which diverge from this template?

For example, a popular book about Microsoft's early days, Microserfs, was written as an epistle, although it was supposedly a non-fiction accounting of the events.

How would it be received if I wrote a non-fiction novelization of the events, rather than a historical narrative? Most importantly, what other writing styles are available and are there any famous examples of such publications?

  • Any help? What about recommendations on unconventional auto-biography formats in literature? Aug 10, 2014 at 23:30
  • "How would it be be received" - where? By the general public? By techie audiences? Aug 13, 2014 at 17:54
  • I'm aiming for general public. Aug 14, 2014 at 2:18

1 Answer 1


I don't have the exact term for the style, but the one autobiography that I still think about (even though I am not a writer) is Stephen King's 'On Writing'. He started with his childhood and the further you've read, more of each page became about the art of writing and less about what other bios I read contain - unabashed chivalry, heroic deeds, monumental sacrifices and general nonsense repeatedly underlying 'what an awesome human being the person was.'

King's autobio just slowly faded him as a human and focused on the entire process of writing and through this process you learned a few things here and there about the real world events in his life, but mostly as marginalia. I think after reading it, I better understood him in some sense than had I read 400 pages of war stories that some other authors left of their life.

  • That's really interesting. Particularly as an engineer, I could see writing a biography that focused not the craftsmanship of engineering. Feb 2, 2015 at 6:03

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