1. writerwannabe13

    writerwannabe13 New Member

    Aug 22, 2012
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    Western PA

    Are Journal type stories getting old?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by writerwannabe13, Aug 24, 2012.

    I am in the middle of writing a story now--well re-writing a story for the millionth time now.

    I've tried third person and first person and find first person works well but I find I get to detailed and trapped in chapters.

    My solution is making it a diary or journal entry story so that the main story is her remembering what happened and commenting on the events and then enteries about what is happening to her at the time she is writing in the journal.

    Does it sound complicated and the use of a journal type book overdone in this day or could it work?
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Epistolary writing IS an older form. It lacks the immediacy of direct narration, because journalling, or writing letters, is by its very nature contemplative. It is written after the event has occurred, and the journaller has had the time to reflect upon and filter the events. Direct narration is more reactive.

    That isn't to say it's necessarily a poor choice. It just means you should choose it to take advantage of retrospection.
  3. NuttyStuff

    NuttyStuff New Member

    Jul 22, 2012
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    I don't think it is old, but it can be at times be hard to understand. It gives a unique point of view, and a great look at how people converse with themselves to solve problems when writing good. My point is that a journal type of writing is a great way to tell a story,as long as it is written well.
  4. DanesDarkLand

    DanesDarkLand New Member

    Aug 16, 2012
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Also remember, that it shows there has been some sort of resolution of the events. If its a mystery, or fantasy, you are saying the main character has survived what is to come. Unless its someone else reading the journal, you are already showing off some of the ending. I find myself concentrating a chapter, or section of that chapter on a single character's perspective. When I shift the perspectives, I tend to end the section, changing how the action is observed and responded to. Sometimes we can make things so much more complicated then things really are.

    If you are changing the wording, but it still doesn't look like its fitting, it might not be the perspective. I found my own writing had pieces that didn't fit and didn't flow because i didn't allow the characters to direct the action. My primary main character has a strong personality, and reactive. He wouldn't sit in a bar and find ten different ways out of the place, or worry that someone is looking for a fight. He would react. Sometimes, what we perceive as integral to the story, is really just fluff that gets in the way of the reality we are building. I had to take a scene out that was a bit funny, and showed the main characters physical strength or control of his 'power', but it didn't gel with the reality that was built in the story. I removed the scene, reworked it to reflect the reality, and when I read it now, it flows.

    Also remember that sometimes, we are our own worst critics. What we feel doesn't work, or isn't good enough compared to Tolkien, maybe is good enough for what we are writing.

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