Nicole Dieker

is creating a novel: The Biographies of Ordinary People

Select a membership level

per creation
At this level, you get access to all the chapters of The Biographies of Ordinary People. New chapters will arrive via email and old chapters will live in the Patreon interface so you can read 'em whenever you want.

You also get access to the Spotify playlist where I post all of the music I reference in the story—everything from Mozart to Webern to Technotronic. 

You also get my thanks. Because I couldn't do this without you.
per creation
At this level, you get access to the monthly advice column. Every month, I'll answer one or two questions from Patreon supporters, and I'll give you the same honesty I brought to Advice for the Anxious or any of my other personal writing.

You also get chapters, the Spotify playlist, and my thanks. I've run two advice columns for other publications (Ask a Freelancer and Pitch Fix) and I think this Patreon advice column will be really interesting for all of us.
per creation
At the $20 pledge, you get a separate copy of The Biographies of Ordinary People with my annotations. If you are interested in the craft of writing, or in the idea of how we use personal memories to fill out narratives about fictional people—or if you just want a peek into my brain—sign up for this level.

You also get chapters, the Spotify playlist, the monthly advice column, and my thanks. Because you are supportive, and because I am excited to share my thoughts and feelings about this process with you.




per creation


February 2017 Update: The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000 is available for pre-order. The ebook is $3.99 and can be ordered through Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Play, and Kobo. The paperback copy will be available closer to the publication date in May.

January 2017 Update: THIS PROJECT IS FINISHED. I will continue posting updates as the book moves towards publication in Summer 2017, but I will no longer be releasing items for which patrons will be charged.

Please sign up for my 
TinyLetter for information on pre-order dates, tour dates, etc.

Also, and most importantly: THANK YOU.

Hi! I'm Nicole Dieker, and I'm a full-time freelance writer. I write about five short articles per day for a number of websites you might recognize including The Billfold, Boing Boing, SparkLife, and The Penny Hoarder.

I'm asking you to help me write something bigger. It's a story I've wanted to tell for a long time, called The Biographies of Ordinary People

New chapters on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
As of November 2015, Part One is finished! (35 chapters, 46,200 words.)
As of April 2016, Part Two is finished! (35 chapters, 46,200 words. I am nothing if not consistent.)
As of August 2016, Part Three is finished! (35 chapters, 43,000 words.)
As of December 2016, Part Four is finished! (35 chapters, 42,000 words.)

What is The Biographies of Ordinary People?

The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their children Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The four-part story begins in 1989, on Rosemary's thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in 2016, on Meredith's thirty-fifth birthday.

Written for fans of Little Women, Betsy-Tacy, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the story is an episodic, ensemble narrative that takes us into intimately familiar experiences: putting on a play, falling out with a best friend, coming out to your parents. Getting dial-up internet for the first time. Standing on the National Mall during President Obama’s inauguration.

At the heart of the story is Meredith Gruber, the oldest Gruber sister and the one determined to figure out how “ordinary people” should live—because all the biographies she’s ever read are about famous people. She wants to write and act, and her younger sister Jackie wants to sing opera, and the two of them pursue their goals with both ambition and limitations.

Can I read a sample chapter before I pledge?

Yes! Read the first chapter here, or read the first chapter with my annotations here.

We're helping you. How are you going to help other creators?

I'm taking 10 percent of the money you give me and putting it back into other Patreons. So if you all pledge $800 a month to my Patreon, I'll take $80 of that and pledge it to other Patreons. Giving back is as important as creating.

By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 297 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 297 exclusive posts

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