Nancy's Books

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Journal, a Secret Weapon for Writers, Part III

Other uses and benefits of keeping a journal:

After you read a book, jot down notes about why you enjoyed the book. What did the author do to hold your attention? The list of books your enjoyed can be referenced when you are stuck in the middle of your own manuscript and wonder where to take the character next. Refer to some of the books and study them to figure out how those authors dealt with the same issue. When I find children’s books that really appeal to me, I read them the first time for enjoyment and a second time to analyze the structure, plot, character development, pacing, phrasing and word choice, scenes, and numerous other elements of writing.
When an idea for a new book or article slams into your head, write it in a journal. As with a house, writing needs a strong foundation. Sketch character traits and plots. Plan how the writing will be organized. The more advanced planning, the less revision. At least, I find this to be true for my work. If I thoroughly examine my characters and plot before I begin writing and know the ending of the story, I stay more focused and the plot doesn’t wander too far off course. The best and most efficient way is keeping a journal for the article or book. All the resource material, notes, and ideas are in one place so they are less likely to be forgotten, misplaced, or go unused.
A journal in a writer’s toolkit=a good thing.

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
The Threepenny Review is paying $400 per story or article, $200 per poem or Table Talk piece. This payment buys first serial rights in our print and digital editions, and the copyright then reverts to the author immediately upon publication. As a rule, critical articles should be about 1,200 to 2,500 words, Table Talk items 1,000 words or less, stories and memoirs 4,000 words or less, and poetry 100 lines or less.
Submission guidelines at

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