Does Writing A Journal Help You Write a Novel?

Keeping a Journal #writetip

In Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life  by Elizabeth George, she explains the value of writing in a journal. I’ve never kept a journal or a diary, but thought I’d try it.

My first timid entries focussed on writing. I can’t seem to get away from that, but a more valuable thing to focus on might be daily observations. I decided to behave like a writer and keep track of interesting or odd things I noticed during the day.

Over the past few days, I’ve recorded funny or critical words people said. I’ve recorded how I feel about what went on during the day. And I’ve recorded ideas for novels.

The first thing I learned from writing a journal is that there is not a lot of me in my characters. When writing a novel, I write in a completely different voice than in my journal. My characters thoughts and feelings are nothing like mine. I have to say, I’m quite pleased about this.

Do you keep a journal? Have you discovered anything interesting by doing this?

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7 thoughts on “Does Writing A Journal Help You Write a Novel?

  1. I actually do morning words as a journaling exercise, and find it to be a good way to chart my mood, and how my writing correlates with what is going on in my life. It’s also a great catch all for any stray story ideas, or writing road blocks I might be encountering.
    I’ve kept journals all my life as a way to relieve stress and I think that has helped me a lot with writing fiction, because I got into the habit of being painfully honest with my words.

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