Well. Somehow, there are more than 100 pretty little pictures over there in my Followers box. How did that happen?
Y’all are amazing. Seriously. How can I ever thank you? Oh! I know! I can thank you by jumping on the 100-follower-contest-bandwagon and host the Character Journal Entry Contest!
So, what is this contest all about, and more importantly, what are the prizes?
Here’s what I want you to do: Pick one of your characters. It can be the main character, or a peripheral one. Then, write a journal entry from their point of view: something that gives us, your future readers, an understanding of your character’s personality.
What do I mean, exactly? Well. It’s just like Bridget Jones.
I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Bridget. It’s my go-to book when I don’t have anything else to read (reference the “What I’m Reading Now” box to your right) and Real Simple magazine even published a comment I made about it in February’s issue (it’s on page 25!). Just today, I told my husband that I deleted one of my Facebook statuses (statusi?) because it was about Valentine’s Day and it made me feel like I was being a Smug Married.
So it’s only fitting that I use Bridget as an example of what I’m asking you to do for this contest. Let’s take a look at an excerpt from Bridget Jones’s Diary. As you read, make mental notes about the things you can infer about Bridget from this one entry alone.
* * *
Tuesday 7 March.
130, 128 or 131 lbs.?? alcohol units 0, cigarettes 20, calories 1500, lottery tickets 6 (poor).
9 a.m. Aargh. How can I have put on 3 lbs. since the middle of the night? I was 130 when I went to bed, 128 at 4 a.m. and 131 when I got up. I can understand weight coming off – it could have evaporated or passed out of the body into the toilet – but how could it be put on? Could food react chemically with other food, double its density and volume, and solidify into even heavier and denser hard fat?
I don’t look fatter. I can fasten the button, though not, alas, the zipper on my ’89 jeans. So maybe my whole body is getting smaller but denser. The whole thing smacks of female bodybuilders and makes me feel strangely sick. Call up Jude to complain about diet failure, who says write down everything you’ve eaten, honestly, and see if you stuck to the diet. Here is list.
Breakfast: hot-cross bun (Scarsdale Diet – slight variation on specified piece of whole-wheat toast); Mars Bar (Scarsdale Diet – slight variation on specified half grapefruit)
Snack: two bananas, two pears (switched to F-plan as starving and cannot face Scarsdale carrot snacks). Carton orange juice (Anti-Cellulite Raw Food Diet)
Lunch: potato (Scarsdale Vegetarian Diet) and hummus (Hay Diet – fine with baked spuds as all starch, and breakfast and snack were all alkaline-forming with exception of hot-cross bun and Mars: minor aberration)
Dinner: four glasses of wine, fish and chips (Scarsdale Diet and also Hay Diet – protein forming); portion tiramisu, Toblerone
I realize it has become too easy to find a diet to fit in with whatever you happen to feel like eating and that diets are not there to be picked and mixed but picked and stuck to, which is exactly what I shall begin to do once I’ve eaten this chocolate croissant.
* * *
Things you probably just learned about Bridget without reading the whole book: She is obsessed with her weight, she smokes a lot, she usually drinks, she buys lottery tickets, she has zero understanding of nutrition or how food is digested, she is incapable of committing to a goal, she is incredibly insecure, and although she is aware of all these things, she is still going to eat that chocolate croissant.
Brilliant, right? Even if you’d never read the whole book, you get her. You get who she is.
So I want you to do the same thing for one of your characters. This will not only entertain me as I dive into your fictional world for a few moments, but it will also force you to dig deeper in your character’s brain. You’ll have to figure out what really makes your character tick. Who they are. What they’re all about.
Once you’ve written your journal entry, you’ll send it to me at my email address (which can be found below) and I’ll choose a winner. And the winner will get:
One (1) copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, along with one (1) copy of The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman.
Plus, I will publish the winning journal entry on my blog and slap your links all over the place so that everyone can find your blog and your Facebook and your Twitter.
So here are the rules:
1) Keep it less than 500 words.
2) Send it to me at this address: annerileybooks AT gmail DOT com.
3) Your deadline is March 1.