As a young girl I stayed up late whenever I could with a flashlight under my blanket so I could write in my Diary.
That diary heard all my tales of childhood woe and celebration. I didn’t think anyone would read it, so I poured out my heart. Word after emotional word.
A few years ago, Susan May Warren, got me to thinking about the benefits of journaling for writers. It brought me back to my diary days and the thoughts below.
There are some powerful things about writing in a diary or journal that we can use to journal for our stories. If we look at those diary entry days and apply some of the principles to today’s journaling, we can make our scenes stronger.
What makes your ‘Dear Diary’ journal times capture the moment:
*Written in a favorite place. When I wrote in my diary I always picked a favorite place, or a secretive place. Those were places without interruption that allowed me to think.
*Written in a place with no judgement. When I wrote in my diary there was no worry about censure. These were carefree thoughts and emotions, written without care for editing.
*Written to tell not only what happened, but how it made me feel. Diary’s are all about emotions. Since they are usually secretive, there is no worry about speaking emotions freely. They flow onto the page without pause, making them more authentic and vivid.
*Written to capture only what the Point of View author is thinking. The entries focused on what mattered to me, since it is journaled from my point of view.
*Written to show other characters in the way that I viewed them. This adds depth to the story of my life as I see it.
*Written to show my values, goals, and challenges. Reading my diary you could learn what I valued, what some of my goals were both short and long term, and the challenges I faced to reach my goals.
*Written to show who I don’t trust. In my diary, I’m completely true to myself and the opinions I have about others. Reading it would tell you who I trust with my most prized possessions and who I wouldn’t trust with pocket lint.
Journaling your way to stronger scenes can be done by using some of the same techniques we use to write in a diary. Try some of the tips above to add strength to one of your scenes.