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Which format is better?

Hey guys!
I'm writing a story about a miner who stumbles upon an ancient tomb. I'm using a diary format, as if one was reading the diary of the miner. I like it so far, but I'm thinking about making the story longer, and I don't know if it would be enjoyable as opposed to a normal story with a narrator and everything.
What I like about the diary format is that I'm able to not describe many things, as one doesn't normally describe stuff in a diary. It also allows me to show the MC's feelings in a more personal way, as if he was telling the reader himself. Still, it may be best to use another format. What do you guys think?


Myth Weaver
Nothing wrong with the format. But you will need to show the reader you can tell a story with it and win there trust. Otherwise, kind of like a found footage movie. Might work best with a mystery or horror.
There is no best format. If you like writing the story as a diary, then go for it. Epistolary stories work great when done well. Dracula by Bram Stoker was one, and it's still a lovely tale (if a bit cliche for some reason...). Modern tales that do it well are The Martian (I think, haven't read that), and 16 Ways to Defend a Walled city.

it lets you tell the tale a bit differently from what you normally would. Though you don't completely write it like a diary, but only like the illusion of a diary. Just like when you write dialogue, you don't write how people actually talk, but rather a stylized version of it.


I would say that the main concern is knowing your diary writing character completely- this may entail separate notes for your own reference as to what sort of person he or she is, e.g. background, education, likes, dislikes, - get the character clear in your mind so you know what they might or might not say about a certain situation. Have a written conversation with your character, as you might at a party or with a room mate.

'Dracula' succeeded in part because in that time it was common to write in what might seem to us an overly literate, flowery style. On the other hand, 'Flowers for Algernon' by David Keys traces the intellectual growth of the diary writer from retardation to a vastly superior intellect and then, due to a failure of the experiment he is the subject of, back to his original mental state. You can, in other words, chart the growth and development of a character by means of their diary entries over time, as well as tell a story.

Good luck!


Another workable option is to write a first-person narrative so that the important elements are not lost, and then interlude it with diary entries/letters. I've seen it done well before from top-selling authors.
I’d agree with Lynea’s comment above, and also seen this done to great effect. I think what it does is bring the reader into real time, when the diarist is actively writing their entries, so it reads as-it’s-happening.