Monday, January 7, 2013

Dear Diary...

No, this is not my diary entry.  Rather, I was thinking about diaries this week, and how they’re used in literature, including comic books, film, and real life.  I’ll give credit to Jason Leaver and Kate Conway for “Rose’s Video Diary” which got me thinking.  “Rose’s Video Diary” is a series of videos by the Rose Miller character of Out With Dad that is being released in the off season to keep all us fans interested in Out With Dad until the next season starts.  The first video doesn’t have a lot of new thoughts from Rose about her relationship with her dad, but it does have some interesting comments about the idea of keeping a diary.
Kate Conway as Rose

In the literary field, a character having a diary or journal is a good method of helping readers understand the inner thoughts, feelings, and motivations of a character.  In a written format, the only other method I can think of that is similar is first-person narration.  I think of the 1980’s as the heyday of comic books with first person narration, particularly done well by Chris Claremont in the X-Men.  Alan Moore used a journal for the character Rorschach in his Watchmen series, and I think the series would have failed without this touch.  The journal allows us to understand the motivations behind Rorschach’s actions, and provides us with the great ending! In television and movies writers often use a voice-over as first person narration, which can act similarly to a diary to communicate with viewers about what’s going on inside the head of characters.  With webseries and their ability to  create episodes of various lengths, and the modern availability of video, having a character create a video diary is an excellent device to use in telling a story.
Excerpt from watchmen
Personally, I’ve never kept a diary or journal.  Perhaps I just don’t have any deep thoughts to write down.  Or maybe it’s because I don’t particularly care for writing.  Or perhaps I don’t like talking to myself.  Anyway, I don’t particularly get the idea of a diary.  I guess it’s a therapeutic exercise, but it doesn’t click with me.  So no diary for me.  This blog is the closest to a journal I’m ever likely to have.

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