1. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Having a character write a diary

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Jul 17, 2017.

    Okay. So I have this idea which I think would be a neat short story and is quite possible all pandering to us writers. lol

    Since I am in a writing forum. I assume you approve!

    The thing is. The character is alone. Has been all alone for a long time. She essentially finally decides to move on. Before moving on. She sits down and writes a dairy explaining how she arrived here. What this place meant to her. How things went bad, and why she is now gonna move on.

    She has no expectations of anyone reading it. She is essentailly writing it for herself, to remind herself and harden her resolve towards moving on.

    Yet, not sure how to do this. About a third through my re-write and it is feeling very horrible. There is no one for her to bounce off of. And her writing dialoque down seems like it would be wierd. Since it is more like a general lettr to herself.

    So not sure how to break up the piece and make it less just telling and make it more engaging.

    Guess I didn't get to the pandering part. lol. Well this is a redo on a blog entry I have called. "A dream Worth having" and its about a character that thinks books are the most facinating thing EVER and wants to create as many libraries as she can. To her. Nothing in the universe is more valuable than a book. llol
     
  2. samcifica

    samcifica New Member

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    So, your character is writing a diary entry about the place she's leaving? Maybe you should try reading some examples of diary entries for inspiration.

    I haven't really written much of one myself, but I think a lot of people like to write in their diary like they're talking to it, or to some imaginary person... Like, imagine you're leaving a message on someone's answering machine if that helps. They don't have to believe that it will ever actually be read in order to write it that way. I think people are just social by default; the best way we know how to convey information is through conversation.
     
  3. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    How much of the narrative is going to be the excerpts of what she's writing, how much is going to be her thinking about what she just wrote and what to write next?
     
  4. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Questions like this is why I opened the thread. I started writing it but it feels very..... Tellly and not very showy which I am not sure if that is a fault or a feature of this kind of idea.
     
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I wrote a short in 3rd with 1st diary entries through out.

    All I can say is use italics and a date the entries so it
    does not get mixed up with the narrative.
    Beyond that, I have no other useful help.
     
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  6. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Oh yeah. I get the date which would probably scene break for the actual entries. Or do you mean switch even more often than that?

    Because I am not sure why italics would be useful here.

    But I like the idea!
     
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  7. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    Since she's well-read and fascinated by books, might she write it in a "showy" kind of prose? Not necessarily purple, but well-written for the most part in a way that shows off her character at the same time. It could be a story in a story!
     
  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Well my story is just a little over 16 pages.
    So I guess scene break with a double space
    between story and entries. That is what I
    did any way, and when some entries were
    around a small chunk of story, the second part
    of the entry was double spaced without the
    date. So that it would not seem like it was
    a whole new entry.
     
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  9. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    That was an idea I had actually. Here is a quick little snippet to demonstrate me trying to do just that.

    Hi. I suspect I am bad at this, and as such I feel the striking need to apologize which I find humorous in context. Here I am scribbling down words on paper in a language that is dead. The meaninglessness of such an action does not escape me, but it does not change this undeniable urge within what I can only describe as my core. Even if these words and this book were to be destroyed mere moments after I finish, I still want them to exist; even if just for a partial fraction of a second.

    This is from my old version though.

    I am still not sure I follow why you advise italics or what for. Unless that is just your personal preference.
     
  10. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Well the italics defined the difference between story and entry, as
    well as the characters POV shift between them.
    Example from the end of said story:


    She spent her last years mending her shattered soul. Always giving her all in what she could manage. Tending her flower garden, and beyond her aging home. The inside was captured in a time of many years past, and remained as such since that fateful day when she started to lose her self, and her magic warped in a mix of emotions. To those around her, she was still apart of the quiet hamlet. Always bringing her magic into the community, adding it to the others.

    Right up until her final hours and moments, she shared her magic with all that would accept it. Even in her passing to the other side, her magic still worked it’s way into the world. It took a lifetime, but she understood the magic she had. Many would say that when she was laid beside her husband under the tree in the quiet cemetery just outside the city, that she was an extraordinary woman. In her final moments she realized that she was imperfect, and that is what helped fuel the magic she had. It was something that came from deep within her. Not in her skills, not in her determination, not in all her knowledge. With her final sight in the dimming light in the evening sky, she was not afraid to fully forgive herself. She went warmly into the arms that had carried her on many occasions.




    March 1st 2080



    This is the last time I will be capturing my thoughts. I can feel the sands of time as they trickle to a standstill in my hourglass. I am not scared of what lies before me as my physical body eases to an end. I do not wish to try and stop it from losing animation. It has been quite a journey I have been on in my time spent here on this brilliant blue ball, as it spirals around this mysterious universe.

    Ever since that peculiar dark time many years ago, I know that I am not at the end of my journey, but rather just at the very beginning. Still to this day there are so many things that I have been through that I cannot explain, but they do not need to be. Even as they defy my cognitive ability, I some how understand them in my own way. I have always kept that mysterious note with those magical words, gifted to me from my late husbands ever gentle hand. I know now that there are forces out there that can break the laws of nature, space, and time. They may be small miracles, but they are most profound when they do happen.

    The magic I have worked for my many years, is not that of a magician, or sorcerer. It is not something that can be seen in a trick, and there are no incantations or spells. It is something we all have deep within our souls, that is found if we seek it. The magic is very powerful and takes time to learn how to use it. It can be used in good will, or in contempt. I hope that when you find yours, you will use it wisely. It can be muddied at times, as I have found out. Even with the best of intentions, it can harm.

    With the sun setting on my life, do not be sad for me. Soon I will be back in the arms of my Prince. I want to leave you knowing that even when you feel lost and alone, and hope seems in short supply. Do not despair as you can call upon me if you need a light in the darkness. I will be there, just as my husband was for me in my darkest hour. I will share my magic with you when you need it, as I will keep my eyes upon you. I will smile upon you and give you the greatest of gifts one can give another. Even though we never have met, I want you to know that I give you the most wonderful, life saving, heart felt words in my magical soul:



    I love you

    (See it denotes the difference (both in my case) between straight story and diary entry.
    That is why I recommended italics. Also it makes the entries appear more hand written.) :)
     
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  11. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    I like that! What's the voice of the non-diary narrative?
     
  12. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    https://www.writingforums.org/entry/the-order-a-dream-worth-having.63009/

    Figured if you want to see. You can see as much or as little as you like.

    Fair warning though, that is the old version I am trying to redo! lol.
     
  13. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Let's say that we have a few sentences of the character's POV as she decides to write something. We've already seen the general thoughts that she's going to put down, but then seeing a few sentences of the actual words she's writing, adds something that wasn't explicitly mentioned in her POV.

    After a few sentences of diary-writing, we switch back to the character's internal POV as her word choice reminds her of something, or maybe she changes her mind about what to write next because now she thinks that something else is more important.

    A few sentences of POV, a few sentences of diary-writing, a few sentences of POV, and a few sentences of diary-writing going back and forth... would feel different than just a 3-page block of diary-writing because we would be seeing the character's decision-making process while she's writing it.
     
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  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Personally, I would scratch the whole diary idea and just tell the story in first person. It seems like you already have down a lot of the idea. Dropping the diary concept could fix the problems you're having and also give you a better shot at publishing.
     
  15. RWK

    RWK Member

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    I think you should write it from the cows' point of view.
     
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  16. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    corrected the typo in the thread title :p
     
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