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You can tell a lot
December 20th, 2014 by Coral

You can tell a lot about a person from their writing. What they write in books, poetry, and their journals. Sometimes, for journals, however, the more fun aspect is how little you can tell, and how much possibility is left open.

In honor of the Christmas season, I’m going to be including my siblings in a lot of my new posts. Journal entries, for one, is something my sister and I came across while cleaning out a closet earlier. We got a good laugh out of these.  They can also be great opportunities for writing prompts. For example, we will be taking a look at some journal entries from my sisters fifth grade class journal.

 

To start, we have some from the beginning of the year where she gives us an actual good idea of who she was as a fifth grader. 

 

August 23

 

Today we got fishes for our class(,) there is one that looks furry(,) one that has silver scales(,) one that looks like it has feathers on it’s tail. their are two snails on the bottom of the tank. all the fishes are in a salt water tank.  the other day my sister taught me a song called: I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves. We named all the fish today. I taught Jessica a happy birthday song.”

 

Besides the fact that she has a lot to learn about punctuation, grammar, and spelling, this gives a pretty good picture of who she is. She’s excited about the fish, and has a sister (Probably me, I’m embarrassed to say) that teaches her obnoxious songs.

 

Some of them are funny because we can see the contrast between expectation and reality.

 

August 31

Tomorrow we start P.E. I am so exited (excited) it’s going to be running.”

September 1

We started P.E. today. I hate it. We have to stay behind miss belt and if we get lapped by her we get a zero.”

 

Some are fun because they seem so trivial and random, but clearly that’s what she was thinking about.

 

August 26

My house was so cold because I left the window open last night. I am wearing the old odessy (Odyssey) jacket.”

 

There are a whole litany of journal entries from when she got a phone to take to school, she describes it in detail and talks about its different wallpapers and how cool it is because it has tetris.

 

Most of it is hilarious because she doesn’t put any emotion into it.

November 16

Today I was supposed to go to my cousins concert but I am very busy.”

November 18

“Yesterday I got fourth place in a pinewood derby.”

November 19

“Today are the try outs for the talent show. I am going to play “Peace pipe.””

 

Then, the first one with some real emotion in it is completely random and none of us will be able to understand her enthusiasm.

 

Today is Monday!” Maybe it’s just me, but why is Monday the only thing she’s excited about? Seriously?

 

And now we get to the vague ones that works as story prompts.

December 1

“Yesterday I was very sick so I wasn’t here. Yesterday everything in class changed.”  It sounds so grave, and doesn’t detail anything that changed, merely saying that “everything” did.

 

My personal favorite are her last two. There’s no context, except the date of the first.

February 14

“Today is Valentines day! Monday. so I <3 Valentines day!” (the V’s were all made into hearts in her journal.)

Which is followed directly by a single sentence on the next page, which she didn’t even bother to date. It simply says:

“I hate Taylor so much.”

 

Now that sounds like an entertaining puppy love story. Why does she suddenly hate Taylor? And does it have something to do with Valentines day?

 

So, if you’re trying to write a character that is younger, or older, than yourself, maybe look into finding journal entries by people that age. Don’t go snooping, mind you, ask permission or whatever, but it’s a good look into their mindset. And also can be really entertaining.

 

Sorry I haven’t posted regularly, things got a little crazy when I got home for Christmas. My eleven year old sister broke her leg, and that kind of threw a wrench in all of our plans. Things are going smoothly now, so I should be back for Christmas posts.


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