How to write a diary entry

Tone is the most important element – it should be informal, confessional and immediate.

Use the 3 F’s of diary entries when constructing your own entries.

Format-Date in the top right hand corner, ‘dear diary’ to begin and close the entry with ‘until tomorrow,’ followed by your name.

Facts– Facts are the main pieces of news that have happened throughout the day. If you’ve read a comprehension or a chapter from a novel and you’ve been asked to be one of the characters in order to write a diary entry, make sure you know what happened to them that day.

Feelings-This is one of the most important aspects of diary entries. It is not enough to simply list the events of the day, you must explain how these events made you feel. You are supposed to open up to your diary and show your emotional side..

Here are a few more tips to help you with your diary entry:

  1. Write as if the events you are describing have just happened – most people write their diary at night just before they go to bed, looking back at the events of the day gone by.
  2. Because diary entries are written just after an event, the end of each entry can have the writer looking forward to the following day, wondering what will happen, describing how they hope things will turn out and possibly fearing the worst.
  3. Focus on your feelings, thoughts & opinions. Be brutally honest, confide your most intimate secrets, things you wouldn’t even admit to your best friend. Hold nothing back.
  4. Slang is appropriate here. This is one of the only times that you are expected to write as you speak. Therefore you can curse (but don’t overdo it!). Short snappy sentences work well.
  5. Making a statement and then changing your mind will create a sense of immediacy for the reader (never do this when making a speech or writing an article) as if you are pouring your thoughts out onto the page without even thinking them through fully.
  6. Witty observations, sarcastic remarks and self-mockery will keep the reader entertained.
  7. Choose a significant event /situation not a typical boring day where nothing much happens.
  8. Persona? You may be asked to pretend you are a character from one of the texts. If so make sure you reveal their personality (not your own) in the diary. If you are given the choice of being anyone you want, choose someone interesting or unusual – Hitler, God, Sylvia Plath.
  9. If asked to write a series of diary entries write 3 or 4. These can be dated consecutively (Mon / Tues / Weds) or can be spaced out (Mon / Thurs / Sat).
  10. Real life diary entries deal with unrelated events – a car crash Monday, an argument Thursday & a hangover Sunday but fictional diary entries are different. The reader wants a sense of unity and closure. For this reason, entry one should introduce an issue, entry two should develop & complicate it, entry three should reveal how it was resolved.
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