Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Art of Character Journaling

I often kept a journal as a child. My early entries at the age of eight are quite funny to read, but somewhere along the way, I lost interest. Most days, I resorted to writing about the weather, because for some odd reason, I thought that in the future I might care that it had been rainy and cold on this exact day some twenty years earlier. It wasn’t until my teen years that my entries got interesting as I searched for a deeper meaning. But it is my current journals that I find the most intriguing. Not because I have some great wisdom on all things big and small, but because these entries are not my own. They belong to my characters. Taking one chapter at a time and writing a journal from each character’s point of view has helped me get to know them — thankfully, none of them are as interested in the weather as I was. Character journals have opened my eyes to the truth behind even the most minor character. During revisions, I can take one look at a character’s actions, dialogue, and thoughts and know whether it is something they would actually say or do if I were to meet them in person. If you are a writer and have never tried this, I suggest you give it a chance. But then again, this is just one person’s opinion… For What It’s Worth.

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