1. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    what are your opinions?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Stephie Kaye, Mar 19, 2010.

    I was thinking about doing a novel in the form of a journal. I was hoping to get some feedback on how you guys feel about that kind of subject. What's your input?
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    We need more information. How many characters? From whose perspective? In their style, or your own?
     
  3. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    From only one character's POV. But she won't be the only character.

    What exactly do you mean by their style or my own?
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    That's a very vague question and thus hard to answer. All I can say for now is that there's nothing wrong with writing it like a journal/diary as long as you are comfortable doing it.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You mean, like Bridget Jones, or Adrian Mole? These were both humorous, and aimed at a particular readership--what's yours?
     
  6. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    well right now its just a thought.
    But, I'm thinking about a 17 year old finding a boy and falling in love with him while dealing with her dad's suicide.

    However, it could change.

    But, I've been reading the Jessica Darling series and I absolutely love the series.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make sure that you keep the story line clear. There's no reason the format wouldn't work for a YA novel, but it's the story that must hold the reader's interest.

    I've just remembered I capture the castle by Dodie Smith (who wrote 101 Dalmations). That's a good serio-comic novel written as a teenage journal. I know it's old, and a British novel, but you can probably find it because it's been made into a movie (maybe even twice?). When you read it, you can see how important the basic plot and the quality of writing is--as with every successful classic.
     
  8. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing this journal-style sounds fine. And I like your story idea. If you're writing's any good, I would totally be interested in reading a story like this.

    Life As We Knew It by S. Pfeffer is written as journal entries. You might take a look at that. The journal style really worked well there.
     
  9. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    madhoca: Thanks I will take a look at that!

    marina: I will PM you when I have something! And I will definitely check that book out! Thanks! And off the topic but, I love your signature. I'm a big fan of Anne Sexton, love her.
     
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  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Along with writing the story as letters to another person, this is called an epistolary form. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was written in epistolary form, and of course The Diary of Anne Frank is an actual journal. Occasionally this form works well, but I find it tends to be a bit dry, because the narrator is removed from the action (journalling doesn't take place when the bullets are flying or the argument with the ex is taking place)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's been done successfully, of course... but only rarely... more often, it's done poorly...

    so, if you can pull it off so it works well and is a good read, more power to you...
     
  12. Dean_Mehrkens
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    Dean_Mehrkens Banned

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    I say go for it. As long as you have a compelling story and strong characters (as you need for any story), it could work just fine.
     
  13. OPTiiMUM
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    OPTiiMUM Member

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    I love reading stories written in this style. However, more fail than succeed.

    If you focus on developing the story and describe the viewpoint characters feelings and emotions on a very regular basis, you have the potentital for a good story there.
     
  14. Cerealbox
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    I've never liked that sort of style, especially nowadays. For one thing, few people keep journals and for another it's been done far too many times. A mock-twitter account or face-book might be a bit more current, but I dunno how you'd pull that off.
     
  15. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    Cogito- This is why I love you. You have a huge knowledge of this world. I envy you. I have a lot more to learn. As for the epistolary form, I just read Frankenstein in my english lit class. =] Back to the subject on hand; do you know of any way(s) it wouldn't be dry?

    mammamaia- Thank you for your thoughts. I will try to succeed. Hopefully, I can. If not, I can always change POV's or the style it is written in. =] I'm trying to look at the bright side of things.

    Dean- Thanks! I will make sure I develop a strong character =]

    Optiimum- Thanks for the advice, I will definitely keep that in mind.

    Cerealbox- I don't know how you would go about pulling off the facebook or twitter either. I'm not even sure if that would be a good read. I mean I'm so sick of twitter. And facebook I'm on to play the games. =] Haha.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Probably the best way to keep it from being dry is to put a lot of te personallity of the observer into the writing.

    What I would first look at is the reason for choosing an epistolary form over first person. Both tell the story from the viewpoint of the narrator. But whereas first person POV tells the story that te observer experiences, the epistolary form tells what the observer wants the recipient of the letter to know or believe. So I might be inclined to choose the epistolary form if the narrator has a hidden agenda that I expect the reader to eventually see through. In your case, I would say a journal the narrator intends someone, perhaps a particular someone, to eventually read. If instead I wrote the stories as a series of letters, I might have letters to different recipients revealing inconsistencies due to the narrator wanting different people to see the events in different ways. This is the unreliable narrator, and places emphasis on the unreliability.

    In a journal, the inconsistencies would more likely be due to the narrator letting slip details that differ from what was written previously. Alternately, atitudes or prejudices might show up to call into question some of the "facts" or conclusions written previously.

    I see no advantage to the epistolary form if you intend to tell the objective truth of the events.
     
  17. MsMyth71
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    MsMyth71 Senior Member

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    I think that it's your piece and you should go for it with gusto. Just remember the voice and that the epistolary format is tricky when it comes to maintaining a voice and keeping it authentic.

    For example, if your "diary writer" is a 12 year old, then you're nailed into sounding like a 12 year old (at least for the most part).

    Evan S. Connell's "Diary of a Rapist" might be work looking into. Very dark, though. But, I think he maintains the voice quite well.
     

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