Why bother with a writing Journal?

If you are a fiction writer this post will give you insight into the how’s and why’s of keeping a journal. It’s a Storage unit for future stories.

Carry a notebook with you because you never know when great ideas will come to you.  Doing this will hone your observation skills and often you can use these details in a story. It’s important to learn how to take in everything around you.  It’s good practice for your writing. You can include things like maps, and floor sketches etc.   Fiction is a reflection of everyday life, says Ron Rozelle, who writes reference books for writers.

Fiction is a reflection of everyday life, says Ron Rozelle, who writes reference books for writers. Recently  I spent the day at the beach, and just by observation alone, I created two characters for a short story.

Movies and tv sitcoms are great fodder for details for future stories.  One show I like is M.A.S.H. Yes it’s old, but the one liners are so funny, then there is the character Max Clinger who dresses up like a woman so he can get discharged from the army… Hillarious!  Just some examples folks.

What to keep in a journal

  • What works for successful authors (without copying of course).  I take lots of notes when I read.
  • details of settings that might capture a good audience.
  • song lyrics.
  • Possible first and last sentences.
  • favorite expressions as long as they aren’t too cliched.
  • word lists, especially uncommon words.
  • jokes or one-liners.
  • story ideas and outlines.
  • character descriptions
  • words and phrases that are popular.
  • life’s little ironies, like people that don’t belong in the role they are playing. We’ve all seen these.

You can add sections as you go.  A loose leaf binder works well.  You can take smaller notebooks along anywhere and then add the content to your journal. It’s impossible to remember everything.  Next time that you’re staring at that blank page, you can go to your resource.  Keep writing.




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