Diary Entries and Writing in Character

So I’ve been writing for a while, like years a while, and I’ve recently been introduced to the idea of writing diary entries from the point of view of your main character. To get into their head, figure out their motivations, and better understand their voice, things like that. Now I’ve never been one to keep a diary, I’ve tried several times and never really had the discipline to follow through. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like writing about myself or maybe it’s something else. But I’ve been trying for some of my characters, to try and get to know them better.
The interesting thing I’ve been running into is figuring out how they’re going to go about writing that entry. Even taking into account that one of my main character is a sullen, angst-ridden faerie teen and probably wouldn’t even think about writing in a diary but he does at least have access to all the things he’d need to write one: paper and a pen or a computer or even his smart phone. And is most importantly, literate. Now, I’ve got a couple characters who live in medieval era worlds who don’t really have access to paper or the education necessary in order to read and write. But I think they’d still want to get their thoughts out, even if they can’t necessarily write them down. But whether it’s drawing on cave walls with charcoal or ranting at the stars, I think there are still plenty of ways for them to get their feelings out. And it’s important to me, for my way of writing, for it to feel authentic to the character, even if the entry itself isn’t going to end up in the final novel.
All in all, I’m enjoying the exercise.


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