Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Diary_Challenge_Sock, Dec 8, 2017.
Ok, so this has been weird, I joined TFN boards last month so I could find a place to post a fic I'd finally finished, and found it fit the Underrepresented challenge, and then started on another fic for the same character and decided to make it a diary, so I guess I'll start posting it here, lol.
Crisis of Faith / OCs, CCs, Canon Events / DDC2018, 2nd half
(Edit, added link)
I've launched mine:
Shaman, Traveler, Oracle: Journal of an Exile of Lasan
I am going through a bad time at present (which I'll spare you the exact details on), but seeing all these new half-diaries "brings warm feelings to my heart."
Time to dance:
It’s great to see you back, @Pandora, and I hope things will look up for you soon.
+1 - all my love and support to @Pandora!
My DDC half marathon has been posted:
(Not) The Ballad of of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus
So, I guess the two of you are looking at me and tapping your feet now? You...you..you...aaaaah!
Thank you for your kind thoughts, @Findswoman and @Ewok Poet.
And wouldn't you know--I have actually commenced writing a diary myself, and I have the first entry finished. I can always tell the instant I reach the end of a post. But I don't know about posting it yet: I should probably follow my own advice and find some impulse control within and wait until I have at least written the second entry. Then there's the fact that, due to my present situation, the tone is darker than I had originally planned to go with. Then there's the fact that the main character is unlikeable. Extremely unlikeable, probably more so than I myself realize.
(At this point, if you have read thus far, you may be thinking that you would flee this diary with great haste, or you may be curious to know just how bad can this character be?)
I do not know--but if I do put up that first entry, I will add that on to this post.
Thanks for updating the index, @Pandora and @Kahara! And Pandora, I’m thrilled to see your diary beginning—looking forward to following.
A question about color coding in the index. Is there are a particular reason why there are two colors (both maroon and purple) for on-schedule half-diaries? Is there a difference between the two, or is is just a matter of which colors are easily accessible on different people’s machines? Thanks.
It appears that one is for the January-started diaries (for the half marathon) and one is for July.
Ah, got it, that makes sense! I should have looked harder. Thanks!
July 2018 Discussion and Mini-Challenge
Brought to you by Pandora, and just in time for the new half-diary challenge.
Discussion: Dealing with the Form.
Every form of writing has its limitations—and while the diary isn’t as rigid a form as a Petrarch-worthy sonnet (“I are a serious poet. This are a serious sonnet.”) it is by its very nature a first-person narrative, with the limits inherent to that POV: Only one person speaks, and everything is filtered through their point of view. This may stand out even more so because the dominant mode in fanfiction, and certainly in the professionally published Star Wars fiction, tends to be multiple third person POVs.
So what are the advantages, and the disadvantages, to the diary form? Do you work within them, or find ways to break them? If you encounter problems, how do you deal with them?
Mini-Challenge: Communication Problems.
Isn’t there that one quote about how human language is the equivalent of bears beating on drums? Or something?
It's been pretty challenging, actually, I keep writing a paragraph (or 5) and then realise that I'm using dialogue way too much. A person writing (or in my story, holorecording) a journal entry isn't going to be using very many direct quotes, if any at all. They're going to report what they talked about, not retell the exact words, unless it's something about those words that was significant.
In my opinion, they're also not likely to use as many "flowery" words in their descriptions of what they're recalling, because it's all getting put down 'off the cuff'.
I.e. "It was an amazing sunset over the ocean, oh the colors were so beautiful!"
"The sun sank into the azure sea, the water turning crimson as the blazing orb slipped into the depths of the horizon."
The second scentence is more evocative, for sure, but the first is more realistically what an average person would jot down/say in a recording.
Though after writing this, I'm realizing I may have to revisit an entry I had considered finished and ready to post this weekend... I think it needs a bit more work, too much dialogue still.
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I think the diary writing style is a bit of a spectrum, you can take it as literal as you want, or throw out "diary logic". That's one of the advantages, you can pick where you want to write on the spectrum, and what works best for the story. Some people (@TrakNar is no longer around too often, but her diaries are good examples) take the idea of a person sitting down to write their inner thoughts very literal down to inserting editor's notes or [unintelligible text]. They very much read like real diaries (I'm thinking like Peyps' Diaries or David Thompson's Journals). On the opposite end of the spectrum, others just take the diary-POV format and tell an entire story with lots of dialogue - almost reading like a 'normal' story. Others completely throw all logic out and do diaries of inanimate objects.
My diaries tend to fall in the middle. I have some dialogue, but sometimes I try to limit it. I have my diarist be varying degrees of biased (which is always fun). Last year I had my diarists write for a published audience so it was much more "professionally" written with the authors trying to recollect as much as they could.
An advantage that goes along with this is you kinda have an excuse to be lazy. You don't want to write a scene, meh, don't, just have the author do a 100 word summary of what happened. Want to have a weird time-jump? Have the diarist interrupted or lose the diary for X many years.
One disadvantage I really struggle with is the limited POV. I love 3rd person and not being stuck with one character. I have a scene that totally doesn't work for my diary because the diarist isn't in the room for the event in question, but I might have to slap it onto the end, after the diary is over as like an "bonus vignette".
I feel like this was made for my diarist and I.
I've started my half-marathon diary:
Now I feel alone. O_O
I never had trouble with form. I find diaries easier to write than anything else.
Edit: double post
Interesting! I think I fall somewhere in the middle of this. Some things are easier in diary form. You can literally skip over a lot more events without it feeling abnormal, and you can go on more tangents in the way that people tend to do when writing down their musings. Other things are frustrating at best. I've tended to err on the side of just include the dialogue if I feel like the story needs it, and then stick my fingers in my ears and hum whenever the topic of how realistic that isn't comes up.
It's just that...when you write in first person, you can *be* your character. You figure them out, you have an idea of how they think and what they think about, so the diary form comes naturally. At least that's how it works for me.
Excellent discussion topic, @Pandora, and I’ve been loving reading everyone’s perspectives on it—all the more so given that this is the first time I’m giving this challenge a try.
I take all the points that have been made: first, that it can be challenging to “turn off” the more narrative, story-like mode with dialogue etc., just because it is what we’re often more used to in fanfic writing. But I also agree that there is a lot of freedom and very unique expressive power in writing as the character, and specifically as the character writing. With my current diary I’m trying my best to keep up a diary-like mode as much as I can, and I have indeed been enjoying the freedom. Depending on my diarist’s mood, she might write either a long entry or a super short one. She can choose to write about past events or things happening to her RITE NOW. If she’s too tired or too emotionally shattered to continue writing, she can just stop. (That, of course, ties right in to what @Ewok Poet brought up, about the writer and the character being each other in this form, and it really is a rather exhilarating feeling.)
@TheRynJedi, I’m glad you brought up flowery descriptions, because that is one area in my own writing that can really run away with me if I’m not careful. And that’s why I’m glad I’m writing a diarist who is sometimes known to talk like that too!
OK, well, so here we go. It's none of the two things I thought this would be and it's not going to be overly complex, but I hope that somebody finds it useful and discovers the true meaning of life through it.
I BLURT FOR MY PROUD IMPERIAL FANS, BROUGHT TO YOU BY SPIN
I will do my best to post the second entry by the end of the day on July 31st. I need to finish both of my mod!challenge stories before that as well. Gulp!
I have a question for the @Diary_Challenge_Sock that is related to this one asked earlier by @Raissa Baiard and answered by @Pandora :
By this token, would it be all right for me to incorporate text that previously appeared in an earlier story into my DDC—as long as I added a substantial amount f new text to the entry in question (say, enough so that the "recycled" text would make up less than half the total entry)? In particular, I'm talking about the three "diary entry" portions from Three Strands; now that I'm writing Shulma's diary in full, it makes sense for them to be there (since the same events will be referenced), but I would of course expand on them substantially. Anyhow, do let me know if that would be a permissible approach. Thanks!
@Findswoman: First, I apologize for the delay in getting to your question. But Kahara and I have talked it over, and we think it is fine to use previously posted material, so long as you have new writing as well in the update.
If you have any more questions, just ask.
Put me out of competition, I can't focus and finish mine before the end of the day. I'll write it one of these days, of course.