Does anyone here write part of your stories as diary entries or logs?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by TheCrystallineEntity, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    For my sixth book, the entire book is composed of log entries from the captain, crew, and passengers of the hospital ship Zenith.

    For my seventh book, half of the book will be diary entries of two different characters sharing the same diary [and a third character is actually reading the entries].
     
  2. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Shadow Lord

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    I write dairy entries and in-character writing as a way of creating characters but I don't include them into the work itself.

    I think there's a certain type of story or subject matter that lends itself to that kind of narration over traditional prose. I've had one type of story that would've worked with that style. It was a mystery (so characters' inner-thoughts and what information they have were super important) that covered a long amount of time. A more traditional storytelling style with that subject would have meant a lot of jumping around, flashbacks, switching viewpoints and that would have been a nightmare to actually read.
     
  3. Epaminondas

    Epaminondas Journeyman

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    I read a story like this years ago. I want to say it was Bram Stoker's; Dracula (though its been 20+ years so my memory may be off). Anyway I must have really liked it because I've toyed with the idea a couple of times over the years too but for whatever reason never really tried. To me it almost gives the work a bit of realism; as though you're reading a history of something that actually did happen. Plus you get to use the characters own words to tell the story at a point when they have had time to think on what has happened as opposed to as it's happening. I suppose that would make it difficult to show tension in some places but...
    I have tried to open each chapter with a paragraph from a diary, letter, or note from a later historian about the events of that chapter. Never had the nerve to try to do a whole story that way though. Would love to try it but don't know if I'm quite there yet.
     
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Yes, this is how Dracula is written. IMO it becomes rather ridiculous in that book as the entries become extremely long and detailed and it stretches suspension of disbelief a bit too far. (Like, it would have taken hours to write this entry, you didn't have the time, by your own description!)

    A more recent example is Gene Wolfe's The Sorcerer's House, which was good, but ultimately answered none of my questions. Though that's not really because of the format. That's just Gene Wolfe.
     
  5. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    Is it like those captain's logs that Kirk often records in his head during a dramatic situation?
     
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

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    'Labyrinth: Journal' is just exactly that - a journal of a desperate expedition into a wondrous and dangerous region. The prologue and epilogue feature the journal's discovery - and the character reaction upon reading it. Also, the 'published' version is a cleaned up rewrite by a third character.
     
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  7. Corwynn

    Corwynn Master

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    A lot of my early fiction writing was in the form of journals or diaries. While I like the format, I eventually stopped doing it because I used it so often that it became a personal cliche. I find that I can express myself more fully and vividly in the third person, since a first person perspective (journal form or otherwise) limits the writer to what the narrator character could and would say and write.
     
  8. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    ^I'm the other way round. My next two books will be the first books in my series to use journal entries.
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Jules Verne does this for part of A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
     
  10. ApaCisare

    ApaCisare Journeyman

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    Yes, as, "I've just witnessed someone being murdered and I ran straight to my room to write in exact detail how it happened instead of calling for the police. My hand is shaking as I write this, etc. etc." is a just a little too much for me to believe, even within a fictional world.
    Sure, that's what normal people do when they experience something like that in real life, running to their room to write a journal entry about it lol!
     
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