Monday, 9 March 2015

Diary writing

I've just finished reading Any Human Heart by William Boyd. (Thank you Roy for loaning this book to me. I finally got around to it and enjoyed every page).
The book takes the form of the diary of Logan Mountstuart from boyhood to old age. It is meticulously thought out so that it is clear to see how events in one part of his life have an impact on what happens to him at another stage. As in all lives. It is the story of a life that has contained tremendous high points - he meets Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemmingway - and terrible lows - his experiences in WWII were bleak.

It's a big book, as a lifetime diary would be, divided into phases of life. Boyd seamlessly grows and ages a man in front of our reading eyes so that each phase of his life and his means of expressing it rings true.

Using the form of a diary enables characters from different times to communicate their story in one book, it allows for times when nothing happens and in the case of Any Human Heart it gives readers a view of someone's un-edited thoughts. A diary can juxtapose two or more different voices and can provide insight into real thoughts and opinions that contrast with what a person says and portrays.

Could you write your life story or anyone else's in the form of a diary?
Can you identify some other amazing works of fiction that have been written in the form of a diary?
Write a food or mood diary for yourself this week.
write a diary entry that sets out what you did on a particular day. Make sure you include your inner thoughts and motivations. It is the anomalies and flaws in characters that make readers bond with them. Reveal yours to show the different sides of your nature.