This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings Prompt: Dear Diary

Ok, so my novel-in-progress (Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills) wasn't initially intended to include diary or journal entries, but reading "The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers" by Julia Quinn and seeing this Sunday Scribblings prompt, I thought: Eh, let's give it a try... ;-)

So here's something Jennet might write if given a journal to fill...Please note, this isn't truly in her "voice" as I'm rushing to do this before I trot off to the gallery and I usually rewrite things to get the voice in the period I'm writing (especially when my hubby's watching Spongebob in the same room). Ugh ;-)


Today I told Thomas I love him.

I waited until our game was over --I let him win--and then I said it. It was easy, really. Just three little words. He jumped up like I burned him. He just gawked at me.

I think that was when I stopped breathing. I could see the lump in his throat as he swallowed. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He stood there, suddenly mute. Stunned beyond comprehension.

I started breathing again, but I burned beneath a blush. He made some lame excuse and raced off. Something about meeting his grandfather for hunting. I stared after him for the longest time.

I know he feels something for me, there's a magic in his kiss. I mean, we've been friends forever, and he's shown he likes me more than other girls.

Maybe he just doesn't love me... Marion says boys do that sometimes. They do one thing and mean another. They get frightened at the oddest things. They can corner the biggest buck in the forest with only one arrow left, but they can't talk about their feelings.

She said boys do that all the time. I tried to explain that Thomas isn't a boy, but she glared at me. I guess his failure to tell me what he feels relegates him to boyhood. I think that means there are a lot more boys out there than I ever imagined.

So that's my answer to this week's prompt. Hope you enjoyed it at least a little! And yes, the Highland Cattle are finally here, the African Geese broke loose this morning, so I was scared the cattle were out, too. Thank God that wasn't the case! The geese are hanging out at another watering hole on the property (where the Jacob sheep will be moved soon enough). We just don't care to chase them and hope they'll settle there happily until we get the rest enclosed.

Have a great weekend!


Rob Kistner said...

First -- I enjoyed reading this... a lot! ;)

Second -- we men are all boys at heart, differentiated only by the form of our toys. We do not grow up, we either grow older, or cranky... depending on whether we held on to our 'sense of wonder'.

Nice write!

paisley said...

very interesting entry,, up till now i am not aware of having read any of your book,, so i am not in the know as to your character,, and her voice .. i will have to check in when i have time and read in more depth

gautami tripathy said...

I think romance writers can make use of diary entries. It works well.

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Rob-- First of all, thanks. :-) Secondly, I agree that the very best men are still boys at heart with the ability to "suddenly mature" to meet any situation. I get the feeling from your writing that you're one of those (fortunately so is my Dad, Hubby, and Brother). A healthy "sense of wonder" is VERY important--I think it makes life more exciting, and romances more powerful.

Hi Paisley! I've only put snippets of my story up here (publishers seem to be getting pickier about even letting something be on a blog that they'll contract later, so what you see here is generally stuff that can be edited out without hurting the overall story's integrity). Feel free to prowl through my archives, there's a good chunk of prologue in there and a few other parts that I could relate to Sunday Scribblings prompts ;-).

Hi Gautami! I hadn't thought much of the use of diary entries in romances until recently. I read "The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers" by Julia Quinn and found her usage within the rest of the text to work very nicely. Although I probably won't do "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" that way, it still opened my mind to some possibilities. I've seen diaries done badly--Quinn's was one of the rare ones that really made it work. :-)

Take care, all!

colleen said...

I like the angle of using the prompt to write an entry from a character's voice. It's a great exercise and maybe will end up in the book.

I had a hard time saying "I love you" to the love of my life because it just sounded so pat. I finally was able to look him in the eye and say "I'm loving you," making it active and ongoing.

Elspeth said...

Writing romance into life definitely beats writing lists. I agree with Gautami that the diary approach can work, but that is if it reveals things we would not have known otherwise (as opposed to simply being a mechanism to advance the story as regular narrative would).

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I like the idea of including diary entries in fiction--I might have to try that in my own WIP.

I really enjoyed this post...hope it sparked some inspiration for your WIP and character. :)

Lucy said...

great story.. I need more! You are SO right about men and feelings. geeeshhhh! :)

Frances said...

First off thank you for your visit and comment.
Second I just loved this post.
Diary entries are the perfect addition to a romance novel.
I shall return again soon,

Hera said...

Thank you for your offer of help with my blog last month! I don't think I need it any more as I am not in the NR, but I have but some rudimentary form of links to provide a little direction.

I love this piece of writing. I think I'd really like the character, flawed but lovable. How old is she? I also think it's great how it actually reads like a diary. So many writers just put a date on the top to try an mix things up a bit and then just go ahead and write as they would.

khambagirl said...

Well done! I really enjoyed reading this, and look forward to more!!! Thanks, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Colleen--I like that--the active way of expressing love is quite cool--neat idea! My hubby once said he thought my family says "I love you" too often, but now he realizes we mean it ALL the time. For us, it's like a pledge or oath that reminds us how we're bound together.

Elspeth--I agree with how diaries can be best used in fiction. If it's just restating what we read in a different way it's repetitive and loses power. I'd only use something like this in my text if I didn't show Jennet talking to Marion and if I told the situation from Thomas' POV. :-)

Mardougrrl, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for visiting! It did make me think about a scene that is upcoming, so it was well worth the mental exercise :-)

Thank you, Lucy! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by, Frances, glad you enjoyed the post. I do think romances and diary entries can work well together (I'd read some that seemed poorly thought out, but "The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers" helped change my opinion).

Hera, if you ever do need help--let me know. Thanks for the kind words. :-) This diary entry would put Jennet at about 12 or 13. She's decently educated and very observant, but Thomas is her weakness (as seems the case with many first loves). She has a few siblings, but she's thrust into a mothering position young in life and so she's a bit ostracized by the other kids.

Thanks, khambagirl! Glad you liked it and stopped by! :-)


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