Scribbles Blog Hop

This week I am participating in Scibbles Hop and along with fellow writers and bloggers, will share the role my journal plays in my own writing practice.  Below is a list of other Scribbles Hoppers.  I hope you have a chance to visit them all and read about how their journals add to their writing experience.

A journal is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidant.  (Ron Klug)

To some people a journal is some of the above, to others it is all this and more.  But I think everyone would say their journal is REFLECTIVE.  That’s the key for me.  It’s the personal element of putting pen to paper, the slower pace of forming sentences that forces words to gel in a way it might not when hands are flying across the keyboard. 

I scribble lots of unrelated things in my journal, from a quote that inspires me, to a tip I heard about plotting.  I’ll also write portions of a whole such as a paragraph for an important moment or an exchange of dialogue.    While I rarely write large pieces by hand, I will plot out a scene in my journal before I write it on my laptop.  I will jot down the sequence of events in point form, any foreshadowing I want to include, even a line of dialogue that I have in my head.  By the time I set fingers to keys, this first step keeps the scene flowing, making the writing more fluid and the writer more focused.  Whether I have to refer back to the page or not, the scene is clear in my head, along with all the hits I need to make.  Before I started doing this, I often remembered something afterwards that I missed in the heat of the writing moment, even a subtle interchange that was important but then it’s hard to go back and interrupt what’s already written.

Below is a photo of a page from my journal of a scene that had to be just right, an example of how I plot the scene before I write it.  (Spoilers for those of you following my critique posts.) 

I couldn’t resist sharing another writer’s journal.  With special permission from my six year old daughter, I have included a page from her writing journal.  This journal is sparkly pink with a big “A” for “awesome” because her initial was sold out.  I think she’s pretty awesome, and so is her writing.  This photo is from her WIP “Kitty and Natalie.”

 

Leave a comment and tell me how your journal helps you.  And don’t forget to check out the other Scribbles Hop Bloggers and their insights into the use of writing journals:

Danielle La Paglia

Anne Michaud 

Victoria D Griesdoorn 

Ren Warom 

J.A. Campbell 

Tammy Crosby 

Maria Kelly 

Chrissey Harrison 

Natalie Westgate 

Tony Noland 

Larry Kollar


In My Forest

For all of you who are getting “lost” in your stories this NaNoWriMo, here is a little something for you.  

In My Forest by Marianne Su

My scene wasn’t done.  My character was still lost in the forest.  I shifted in my chair and forced my fingers to tap along the keys, focusing on the clicking sound to keep me awake in the dark room.  My eyes wanted to squint against the cruel glare of my laptop but I forced them open, just a little more.

I needed another cup of coffee.  I reached over to grab the mug off the table beside me.  Half a cup of cold coffee.  Good enough.  I gulped it down.  Caffeine was caffeine.  Besides, making a fresh cup would take precious minutes away from finishing the scene.

Meg’s legs carried her through the forest.  It was getting cold.  I wrapped myself tighter in the blanket, lifting my icy feet and burying them in the soft fleece.  I slurped the last drop of cold coffee from the bottom of my mug and kept typing.  Meg was losing hope.  A brisk wind blew hair into my face.  I reached up to sweep it away as disturbed leaves rustled around me.  I spun around, hearing the snapping of twigs under my feet.  Prickling spikes reached for me, taunted me as I raced through the branches, my vision blurred with confusion.  The forest was quiet.  The night was dark.  Like Meg, I was lost.

I had to find a way back.  Pinching my arm didn’t work.  Screaming didn’t work.  I ran.  Out into the clearing I tumbled, tripping and falling onto the soft moss.  The night shone down on me, not with the brilliance of stars but with electronic luminescence.  Words scrolled across the sky.  My words.  I reached up, the distance to the screen not deterring my attempt to reach the only trace of where I belonged.  My scream filled the empty forest as a hand appeared up above, visible through the screen in the sky.  His voice, calling for me, echoed off the trees, so distant.  A click, a shutdown box flashed across the screen.  I screamed a futile protest as the laptop went black, leaving me alone with the dim stars, forever lost in my forest.