[[quoteright:300:[[Anime/WhenMarnieWasThere http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/diary.jpg]]]]

->''"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."''
-->-- ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'' by Creator/OscarWilde

A Diary is a written work chronicling a period of time for an individual or entity. Diaries are similar to [[{{Biography}} Autobiographies]] in nature, but are written in a daily format and are generally not intended for publication. Nevertheless, many diaries have been published, and give us great insight into the times, people, and places they center around.

The most commonly known kind of diaries are written by private individuals for their own use (also called journals or logs), but institutional diaries, such as business records, also exist. In modern times, the {{Blog}}, from the words "web log," has become a medium of choice for personal journals made public.

Diaries have existed since medieval times. The earliest known were [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Bungaku written by Japanese princesses and court ladies]]. Religious devotees, male and female, used them for spiritual introspection and self-improvement. By the Renaissance, diaries held ordinary daily life events alongside personal thoughts and feelings. People also kept "commonplace books" to record quotations and ideas from other people.

Men and women from all walks of life have kept all kinds of diaries and journals, but they've become increasingly gendered over the last century or so. Partly due to the popularity in the Victorian era of fictional works in diary form, diaries became culturally coded as "feminine". Even now, diaries tend to be seen primarily as a tool of women's empowerment.[[note]]largely due to the immense influence in the 1970s of Creator/AnaisNin and her protégée Trula La Calle, author of ''The New Diary''[[/note]]. Men may be teased for having a diary which forces them to use a {{Less Embarrassing Term}} such as "a journal". [[http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/06/07/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-8-start-a-journal/ The Art of Manliness has this to say about diaries]] and why men should keep them.

Diaries are generally {{Nonfiction}}, although they can be used as a story-telling device for {{fiction}}al works as well and may contain works of {{Fiction}} within the Diary itself. Fictional diaries are easy to publish in serial formats like the WebSerialNovel.

Diaries actually seen in fiction are odd animals once a little FridgeLogic is applied. They'll often have [[GreatBigBookOfEverything everything across a person's life in one book]], whereas people who actually keep diaries know eventually you fill one book and have to start a new one (depending on how verbose you are being). Also characters may flip through a diary and it will be full to the end, despite the fact that most in-progress diaries could be at any state of completion. When pages are left blank in a diary, the immediate assumption is that something has happened to the diarist; he wouldn't leave his book behind.

See also SecretDiary, ScrapbookStory, EpistolaryNovel, ApocalypticLog, and CaptainsLog.


[[folder:Fictional Examples]]

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the tavern owner Pud Withers keeps one in the ''Jaka's Story'' arc. Initially it's very dry and repetitive, with each entry almost a carbon copy of the previous, but about halfway through it starts becoming more sinister.
* Many in the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse stories, mostly used as one of the ways Scrooge finds about some treasure.
** Paperinik (Donald Duck superhero alter-ego) found his origin when Donald accidentally discovered the journal of Fantomius, the GentlemanThief that had been active in Duckburg in the twenties. More realistically than in most examples, Fantomius had multiple journals (we know of at least three of them, possibly four).

* ''Fanfic/TheVerySecretDiaries'' of characters from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* ''Fanfic/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain''
* The excellent (but unfortunately DeadFic) Literature/HarryPotter series "Hermione, Queen of Witches" is a variant on this trope; the entire story consists of Hermione writing in her diary, but the diary writes back.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic FanFic/BackgroundPony is told through the diary of Lyra Heartstrings, although one chapter is [[spoiler: the diary of Alabaster Comehoof, who suffered the same curse as Lyra a thousand years ago.]]
* ''Fanfic/ShadowAndRose'' is basically the plot of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' told in the format of Alistair's diary.
* ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'''s tie-in, the ''Gensokyo Diaries''.
* The ''Anime/KillLaKill'' fic, Paper Cranes, is this and an EpistolaryNovel, as Ryuuko is writing her letters to her sister in a diary the latter had given her.

* ''Diaries of Literature/AdrianMole''
* ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'' by Meg Cabot
* ''The Literature/BridgetJones Diaries''
* ''Literature/CharlottePowers'' is presented as the journal of a fifteen year-old superhero.
* The ''Literature/DearAmerica'' book series, and its spinoffs, ''My America'', ''My Name Is America'', and ''[[Literature/TheRoyalDiaries Royal Diaries]]''. The ''[[Literature/TheRoyalDiaries Royal Diaries]]'' are fictional diaries "written" by real [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses royalty]], including UsefulNotes/CleopatraVII, [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Elizabeth I]], [[UsefulNotes/MaryOfScotland Mary Queen of Scots]], UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat, UsefulNotes/MarieAntoinette, Grand Duchess Anastasia, and others that aren't as easy to name drop.
** Becomes downright unrealistic in the case of ''My Heart Is On The Ground'', where a Lakotah child in the Carlisle Residential Indian School is given a diary to improve her English.
* The Costa Rican novel ''Pantalones Cortos'' and its sequels ''Verano de Colores'' and ''Pantalones Largos''. It's worth noticing that these are actually "pormediarios" as they are written "de día por medio" (every other day)
* ''The Diary of Adam and Eve'' by Creator/MarkTwain
* Creator/StephenKing's short story ''Survivor Type'' (collected in the anthology ''Skeleton Crew''). The story is a diary of a man trapped on a DesertedIsland.
* Very possibly the entirety of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''; it has been mentioned in the novels that wizards of the White Council are expected to keep journals, which they pass down to their apprentices--as well as the journals of their teachers, and their teacher's teachers, etc, ''ad nauseum.'' What Harry may well eventually receive will include the journals of Merlin. The ''[[Myth/ArthurianLegend original]]'' {{Myth/Merlin}}.
* ''Literature/CatherineCalledBirdy'' by Karen Cushman is written in the form of a diary by a fictional girl living in the Middle Ages.
* The ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' books by Creator/TamoraPierce is written in the form of journal entries by the titular character.
* ''[[Literature/DearMrHenshaw Dear Mr. Henshaw]]'', by Creator/BeverlyCleary, begins as a letter written by Leigh Botts to his favourite author, Boyd Henshaw, who encourages him to keep a diary. After the first few letters, the book shifts to the format of a diary (which is addressed "Dear Mr. Pretend Henshaw" because Leigh thought it would make it easier to write).
* ''Literature/PodkayneOfMars'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein is presented as the diary of the heroine.
* Jeff Kinney's ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'', a satire of middle school life, has become insanely popular, with many sequels, several movies and a TV series in the works. Marketing premiums include blank diaries with "wimpy kid" themes.
* ''Literature/ColasBreugnon''
* ''Literature/TheSacredDiaryOfAdrianPlass'', a fictional, funny account of Christian life in England.
* ''Literature/{{Shabti}}'' by Alain Gomez.
* ''Literature/TheStarDiaries'' by Creator/StanislawLem.
* ''Diary'' by Creator/ChuckPalahniuk
* The almost forgotten James Leo Herlihy novel ''Literature/TheSeasonOfTheWitch'' is entirely Gloria's journal, with a note from her friend John added to an early entry.
* The personal diaries and journals of assorted characters make up many of the chapters of ''Literature/{{Dracula}}.''
* ''Literature/IceAgeChillsThrillsAndSpills'': Pages of Sid and Manny's diaries are shared.
* ''Literature/TheFurtherAdventuresOfBatman''
** "{{Literature/Bats}}" is written in the form of a diary by Alfred Pennyworth, who is trying to deal with the possibility of Bruce Wayne having gone insane.
** "Literature/SubwayJack" has case file A-4567-C which is written in Batmanís FirstPersonPerspective.

* [[Radio/GilesWemmbleyHoggGoesOff Giles Wemmbley-Hogg]] chronicles his travels as an audio diary.

* The Website/ItHeSoftware website includes [[http://it-he.org/arx_diry.htm Am-Shaegar's Diary]], a satirical run-down of GoodBadBugs and {{Easter Egg}}s in the game ''VideoGame/ArxFatalis'' in the form of the protagonist's diary.
* ''WebAnimation/DrHavocsDiary''

* ''WebVideo/TheLizzieBennetDiaries'' is a SettingUpdate of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''. Lizzie is a vlogger and attempts to shoot her life and present it as an online diary. Who knew her year would be so exciting?
* ''WebVideo/TheAutobiographyOfJaneEyre'': Jane Eyre vlogs about her life. She's trained as a nurse, but decided to become a live-in tutor of a young girl.

[[folder:Diaries Appearing in Fictional Works]]

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Midori of ''Manga/MidoriDays'' writes in her journal when Seiji is asleep. Plays very important to the plot later on.
* In ''Manga/{{Change 123}}'', [[TeenGenius Kannami]] suggests that Motoko use a shared diary as a means of communication with her [[SplitPersonality alters]]. While Fujiko doesn't write in it much, Mikiri and Hibiki certainly do. . . To Motoko's horror.

* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': Rorschach's Journal, October 12th.
-->''Dog carcass in alley this morning. Tire tread on burst stomach. The city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "save us!" And I'll whisper "no".''
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel Junior]] in his early career was a kind of Dickens character. As Freddy Freeman, he was a poor lame boy who lived in a chilly garret and sold newspapers. Most superheroes had sidekicks so they'd have someone to talk to; Freddy had his diary. It was his one really valuable possession, with gold-leaf decoration on the covers. Mary Marvel's adventures were also told in diary form.
* ''{{ComicBook/Circles}}'': Paulie keeps a personal one to chronicle the events that happen throughout the years. He kept it away from everyone and including Douglas who wanted to read them. [[spoiler:Of course, Paulie knew that eventually he would stop and then he would leave the journals for Douglas and the others to read. Douglas was inspired and began to write entries to Jason to pass onto him.]]

* Enda's video diaries, found after his death in ''Film/RedRosesAndPetrol'', including a dedicated poem to his wife.
* ''Henry & June'' is based on Anais Nin's actual diaries from the early 1930s.
* The German silent film ''Film/DiaryOfALostGirl'' features the titular diary, the one possession Themain manages to keep through everything.
* Sam's video diaries in ''Literature/WaysToLiveForever'', as well as the book he's writing.
* Veronica keeps a diary in ''{{Film/Heathers}}'', complete with voice-over narration whenever she's seen writing in it.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade,'' Henry Jones, Sr. keeps track of all his research on the Holy Grail in a book that both he and his son refer to as "the Grail Diary."
* In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Bruce Wayne talks about the red leather diary in which his father had written every day since Bruce was born, and how on the day of his parents' funerals he had become distraught because his father would never write in it again. He had the diary in his hands as he ran out into the rain, and fell into what would eventually become the Batcave.
* The framing device of ''Film/TheBridgesOfMadisonCounty'' is that Francesca's son and daughter are reading her diary after she has died.

* Tom Riddle's [[DeadlyBook diary]] in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets''. Riddle's diary is based on how Creator/JKRowling views diaries as "really frightening," due to their power to make little girls confide in them only to become paranoid that [[SecretDiary someone will read them and discover their secrets]].
* Eustace's diary in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader.''
* In ''Literature/FirstRidersCall'', several entries from the journal of Hadriax el Fex, TheDragon to an ancient EvilOverlord, break up the chapters and serve to provide backstory for the conflict that is happening now. [[spoiler: It is also revealed to have special significance to the protagonist, who turns out to be his descendant.]]
* An old diary found by Leo Colston in ''Literature/TheGoBetween'' revives memories of a traumatic summer holiday fifty years earlier.
* Lori finds one volume of Lucasta [=DeClerke's=] diary late in ''Literature/AuntDimity: Snowbound''. Through it, Lori learns more of her side of the story behind the theft of the family jewels.
* {{Discussed}} in Jane Austen's ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey''. Henry Tilney gently mocks Catherine that he doesn't believe her not keeping a diary. How else could she tell her friends about her glorious time in Bath? He also thinks that ladies gain their writing style from practising with diaries. This is an early (1817!) instance of the use of the word "journal" as a verb; Henry speaks several times of "journaling", making the whole discussion sound oddly modern.
* A.S. Byatt's novel ''Literature/{{Possession}}'' has several diaries. The first clue to the mystery is found in the diary of Henry Crabb Robinson (a real person, who often invited famous creators to his home for ''salons''). There's more in the journal of Ellen Ash, who is said to use her book to "baffle" future readers with complex hints. Blanche Glover's diary tells another part of the story. Sabine de Kercoz, Christabel's cousin, intended her journal to improve her writing so she could be an author herself, but ended up telling the story of what happened after Christabel's romance with Randolph Ash.
* In Lawrence Block's suspense novel ''Literature/{{Ariel|Block}}'', Ariel keeps her diary in an ordinary school notebook so her mother won't snoop. She says she got the idea of hiding secret things in plain sight from Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's ''Literature/ThePurloinedLetter''.
* ''The Cabin Faced West'' by Jean Fritz, kind of a Pennsylvania ''Little House on the Prairie'', includes a subplot about a diary and its mysterious disappearance and rediscovery.
* Zoë's diary is part of the story of Alyson Noël's ''Literature/SavingZoe''.
* Asta Westerby's diary is the subject and the core of ''Asta's Book'' (first published in the U.S. as ''Anna's Book'') a ripping good mystery yarn by Barbara Vine. Asta is a strong-minded young Danish woman living in a London suburb in 1906. She keeps the diary faithfully through the decades, completing about sixty volumes before she puts it aside in her nineties. Her daughter Swanhild discovers it years later and arranges to have it published, finding that it creates as many mysteries as it solves.

* The Doctor keeps the ''500 Year Diary'' in the series ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The Twelfth Doctor upgraded recently to a ''2000 Year Diary''.
** River Song also keeps a diary. Because they keep meeting out of order, they have to compare recent diary entries to confirm when and where they are in their respective timelines, to avoid "spoilers".
* ''Series/DoogieHowserMD'' ended each episode with Doogie writing on his computer diary.
* ''Secret Diary of a Call Girl'', which is based on the above ''Belle de Jour'' blog
* Bobby's diary in ''Series/PrayersForBobby''.
* Sue Sylvester from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' is sometimes seen writing quips about important events or characters in a diary, most noticeably Mr. Schue.
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'', Scully writes a diary to Mulder, presumably as a means to help them both cope with her [[spoiler: impending death from an inoperable tumor.]] Shown in "Memento Mori".
** Mulder also finds the diary of [[spoiler:his sister]] in "Closure".
* Brazilian show Casseta & Planeta had a frequent sketch called ''Diary of a Macho'', revolving around a violence-loving DumbMuscle (a stereotype known there as "pitboy") writing one of those. The opening line is always "Dear diary - not dear, because 'dear' is a queer thing! [more manly term] diary...".
* In ''[[Series/BuffytheVampireSlayer Buffy]]'' Dawn Summers is shown writing in a diary complete with voice over narrating of what is being written. It's presumed that she has done this for most of her life but could also be an [[ActorAllusion allusion]] to Michelle Trachtenberg's role as Harriet in ''Series/HarrietTheSpy''. Rupert Giles also keeps his own diary, which briefly gets touched upon in an episode when we learn what he thought of Buffy upon their first day meeting.
* In the ITV adaptation of Creator/JaneAusten's ''Northanger Abbey'' (2007), Catherine and Henry Tilney discuss ladies' writing diaries as in the book, and moreover, Catherine is shown as an avid diary keeper.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'', "Shades of Grey":
** Lily, the victim of the week, kept a diary, but she wrote nothing important there, only boring stuff. George is probably close to the truth when he says she did it to confuse her potentially nosy mother.
** Constable George Crabtree says that he keeps a diary himself, which surprises Detective Murdoch. Later in the series, George is revealed to be an aspiring mystery novel writer.
* Another aspiring novelist is Beaver of ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver''. Hearing that Beaver is contemplating a writing career. Ward gives him a diary. He emphasizes its private, personal nature and the fact that some great writers used ideas from their own childhood diaries. Beaver openly despairs of simply recording his "boring" real life. When he is late home from school, Ward and June [[{{Hypocrite}} of course break into the diary]], where they discover lurid accounts of reckless, criminal activity. Completely snowed by the SecretDiary stereotype, they fail to realize he is using the book to practice fictional narrative.
* A worn, stained diary figures in the ''Series/MagnumPI'' adventure "Forever in Time". It's kept by the elderly traditional Pali-Uli Keahikapu, once a lady-in-waiting to a Hawaiian princess, who is now concerned about the safety of the princess's granddaughter.[[note]]If you pause the video you can see that she also writes about missing her dead husband, the entry breaks off, and the next page begins "Well, now that I've had some buttermilk I feel I can continue." Aww.[[/note]] The last entry, twenty or so pages before the end, is "MUST STOP VICTORIA'S DEATH."
* There's also a diary in the ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' episode "Up Tight". This one belongs to young Edie Hastings, who [[DrugsAreBad threw herself off a cliff while on "speed"]] (though clearly LSD is meant). The trail leads to Prof. [[MeaningfulName Stone]], a Timothy Leary {{Expy}}, whom Edie's father confronts with her book. He demands Stone read Edie's words, revealing that the two were lovers, before forcing him to take some of his own drugs (he ends up on the same cliff). Stone reads from the ''front'' of the book, which looks very new; Edie had only made a couple of entries before her death.
* Joel, Crow and Tom Servo are shown to keep diaries (the latter two not readily admitting to it at first) in the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode ''Film/TheHellcats''. Tom uses an automatic typewriter, Crow records an audio diary, and Joel just writes his down as normal. Gypsy tries to dictate to a typewriter, but it obviously doesn't work.
* One episode of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' has Blanche discovering Rose's diary, and she and Dorothy are horrified to read entries in which she talks about "living with these two pigs." As it turns out, the diary they've been reading is Rose's old 4-H diary, kept one summer when she raised two pigs for the county fair.
** In another episode, Blanche pulls out her own diary to try to resolve a plot point. Dorothy is baffled to see the word BED on the cover, at which Blanche laughs and explains that it's not the word BED - it's her monogram, which just happens to spell that word.

* Two great quotes from Creator/OscarWilde's ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'':
--> ''"I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down, I should probably forget all about them."''
--> ''"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."''

* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' had one strip:
-->'''Calvin:''' History will thank me for keeping this journal at such a young age. As one of those individuals destined for true greatness, this record of my thoughts and convictions will provide valuable insight into my budding genius. Think of it - a priceless historical document in the making! Wow!
-->'''Calvin:''' So who ''else'' should I add to my list of total jerks?
-->'''Hobbes:''' Who else do you even ''know''?

* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', [[CreepyChild Maria's]] diary is used by [[FutureBadass Ange]] 12 years after the mass murder on Rokkenjima in order to communicate with Maria herself.
* Each chapter of ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 5}}'' is ended with Rebecca reading from her diary entry on it. She also tries to use her diary to explain her real feelings to Dean, but he refuses to read it out of chivalry.
* Valdo, the protagonist of the PC mystery game ''VideoGame/SecretsOfDaVinciTheForbiddenManuscript'', maintains a diary throughout the game which provides the player with additional hints and clues.
* Similarly to the above example, the player character in the PC adventure game ''Siege of Avalon'' keeps a diary which the player can read. It's of particular interest as the means of displaying each NonstandardGameOver which can occur.
* "Write in diary" is one of the action choices when the player clicks on a bookcase in ''VideoGame/TheSims''.
* You save your game in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' by writing in a diary.
* There are several diaries in ''VideoGame/{{Calling}}'' which are needed to help the story move along since you're trying to learn about the mysteries of the game.
* April keeps a diary throughout the original ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', which is an important source of her characterization. How she manages to update it even after being pulled into a parallel universe in just her underwear is never explained.
* Luke's diary in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' functions as both NowWhereWasIGoingAgain for the player and showing CharacterDevelopment for Luke outside party interactions.
* In role-playing games, diaries seem to be kept by an inordinate number of people - even those one wouldn't expect to be particularly literate or to have much interest in chronicling their thoughts or day-to-day lives. The real purpose of these diaries, of course, is to conveniently tell the protagonist exactly how to break the curse, find the hidden treasure, or what have you, without too much strain on the player's (or the game designer's) part.
* Alexander Morris can keep a diary in ''VideoGame/DraculaUnleashed'' at the player's discretion. Writing in it after a trip to the local newsstand will include some newspaper clippings to browse.
* The Master Detective of the ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles'' games maintains a diary in each game. The plot of ''Ravenhearst'', the first game in the "Ravenhearst" sub-series, hinges around collecting the scattered pages of a young woman's lost diary in order to find out what happened in the titular manor several years earlier.
** In ''Fate's Carnival'', the Master Detective ends up reassembling Alister Dalimar's lost diary [[spoiler:which turns out to be the key to destroying him]].
* It's never seen, but the {{player character}} of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' can mention staying up to write in his/her diary in a certain sequence of dialogue with Leliana, if she is romanced.
* While walking about the castle in ''VideoGame/PaperMario64'' Princess Peach comes across Bowser's diary and upon reading it learns the location of an important PlotCoupon. Bowser also mentions that [[StalkerWithACrush he hopes Princess Peach likes him.]] [[spoiler:Luigi]] also has one that Mario can find.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'': On Saïx's suggestion, Roxas keeps a journal of his time during the Organization. It serves the same purpose as Jiminy's Journal from previous games by giving small recaps of each day's events (assuming the day is story-relevant), on top of giving some insight as to Roxas' feelings.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'': As part of his probation, the protagonist is forced to keep a log of his activities in a little black book he keeps in his back pocket. However, the game also uses it as a meta-narrative stand in for your SavePoint.
* Frederica's diary is of use to the detectives in ''VideoGame/DarkTales: Metzengerstein'' as they try to solve her disappearance.

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2002-08-16 a copy of the journal of the wizard]] who enchanted the [[MineralMacGuffin Dewitchery Diamond]].
* David's diaries (from the mid-XX century) are vital for kicking off the modern part of the plot in Webcomic/HeroByNight.
* [[http://thewretchedoneswebcomic.com/ The Wretched Ones]] plot is kicked off with the discovery of Nicholas Thomas' lost journals one hundred years after he died.

* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Dr. Horrible's video blog is the framing device.
* ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'': The story is being told through the journals of the main characters.

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' uses the title character's diary entries as narration. He [[InsistentTerminology prefers the term "journal"]], however. It becomes the focus of one episode in which it goes missing.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBarbieDiaries'' features this, making the movie the franchise's most low-key fantasy endeavour.
* In season 4 of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' the Mane Six use a diary to tell the friendship lessons they have learned in that week's episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' has the title character write in her diary and [[ComingOfAgeStory narrate her adolescence]].
* Smurfette in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' has a diary that she writes in that appears in a few episodes.

[[folder:Nonfiction Examples]]

* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfAYoungGirl'', the diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, probably the most famous diary ever published.
* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys'': 1660-1669 life in London -- historically intriguing and hysterically funny. Also dirty.
* The second most famous childhood diary is probably that of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorie_Fleming Marjory Fleming]] (1803-1811). Begun to improve her handwriting, her diary became an attempt at internalizing proper feminine moral character, supervised by her beloved cousin Isabella. But Marjory was a LittleMissBadass whose feisty spirit came through on page after page. After her sudden death at age eight, she was mythologized and edited heavily by MoralGuardians. The most factual account of her life and writing is in Alexandra Johnson's ''The Hidden Writer''.
--> ''Marjory Fleming was discovering that every writer has a critic shadowing her shoulder. The drama of her journals is watching who won.''
* Mary Chesnut's diary of Southern life during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, published under various titles
* ''Diary of George Templeton Strong'' 1835-1875. New York lawyer and musician, also writing during the Civil War, detailed descriptions of culture, politics, current events. Both Chesnut's and Strong's diaries were heavily used in Ken Burns' documentary ''The Civil War''.
* Naturalist [[http://www.rookiemag.com/2014/02/ltbte-emily-shore/ Emily Shore]] kept a prolific diary from 1830, when she was eleven, until her death eight years later. She had been so frank and honest that her sisters cut out a good four-fifths of her writing (a common practice in Victorian days) [[MoralGuardians to make it decent]] for publication. "They placed a self-representation on a Procrustean bed and tailored a narrative to suit their own taste and times." Fortunately two volumes survived intact and were later incorporated into the published work.
* ''Journal des Goncourt'' (Goncourt Journal), 1851-1896 by brothers Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, about the French Second Empire
* ''Diary of Marie Bashkirtseff'' 1873-1884 by artist/early feminist Marie Bashkirtseff, published by family members after her early death.
* Edith Holden, ''Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady''. Its original title was ''Nature notes for 1906''. Artist Holden wrote and drew this lovely diary for herself alone, and it lay forgotten until its discovery in 1977. Her illustrations have appeared on hundreds of tie-in items and premiums.
* ''Diary of Anais Nin'' 1914-1974 by author Anais Nin, her personal life and detailed portraits of her friends and family.
* Naturalist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opal_Whiteley Opal Whiteley]] wrote diary notes from the age of five (about 1902) which she edited into a bestselling and controversial book, ''The Story of Opal'', first published in 1920.
* Bruce Frederick Cummings' ''The Journal of a Disappointed Man'', written from 1902 to 1919 (as W.N.P. Barbellion), vividly chronicles the life of an energetic spirit doomed to die from MS. Another diarist who wrote about what it was like to live with chronic pain was the poet William Soutar.
* For a long time, historian-journalist Edward Robb Ellis was considered to have written the world's longest diary, from 1927 to 1997. It boasts an impressive 21 million words, give or take, but Ellis' record was soon beaten by Rev. Robert Shields (see below).
* ''Mein Widerstand'' (My Opposition) 1939-1943 by Friedrich Kellner, life in Nazi Germany
* Owenita Sanderlin's ''Johnny'' (1968) is comprised partly of diary entries by young Mr. Sanderlin, who died of leukemia at fifteen, outliving his doct alors' predictions by five years.
* ''Film/PrayersForBobby'' (1996) has sections of the book that are diary entries of [[http://www.prayersforbobby.com/ Bobby Griffith]], an actual young man who committed suicide after being subjected to CureYourGays.
* ''The [[UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan Reagan]] Diaries'', published in 2007 and an unexpurgated version in 2009.
* [[http://people.com/archive/out-of-sight-vol-51-no-15/ Accused of murdering his wife Virginia]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUDPZHkeuug Alvin Ridley's life and reputation were saved]] [[http://snapjudgment.org/writing-wall-0 by his dead wife's hypergraphic diary]] [[https://krazykillers.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/reclusive-ridley-caused-a-riotous-reaction-in-ringgold/ in 1999]]. Turns out [[https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1999/01/27/from-murder-trial-in-ga-town-a-love-story-emerges/dbe5c208-ad20-4712-9b06-31dcb804f3c4/?utm_term=.ea7788e50528 they really were just an eccentric but happily married couple]] who [[LonersAreFreaks kept to themselves]]. She had passed in her sleep because of an epileptic seizure but her family were firmly against their marriage and wanted to blame Alvin for it, thus the murder charge.
* The [[UpToEleven longest]] diary in the world is that of the Reverend Robert Shields, who spent a quarter of a century in his retirement years starting in 1972 documenting ''all'' the minutia of his life, right down to the timestamps - the temperatures of certain points in his office where he wrote, the weight and contents of the day's newspapers, the price of certain products at the grocery store, [[{{Squick}} his bowel movements,]] his medications, the weather, what he ate, the conversations he had, musings on God and life, his dreams,[[note]]legend has it he slept for only a few hours at a time so he could retain his dreams long enough to write them down[[/note]] what he was reading at the time, and of course that he was writing the diary itself. Entries in the latter category all read about the same - "I was at the keyboard of the IBM Wheelwriter making entries for the diary" - and exist solely to account for all the time he did exactly that. While he might have had a mental condition known as ''hypergraphia'', in which affected individuals have an insatiable urge to write, Shields defended his writing and resulting reclusiveness by arguing that perhaps his extremely detailed work would matter one day: "Maybe by looking into someone's life at that depth, every minute of every day, they will find out something about all people." He suffered a stroke that stopped him from writing any further ten years before he died - [[TearJerker though he had said much earlier that if he stopped writing it, he would feel as if he'd "turned off [his] life"]] - and while his longsuffering wife did try to continue his work via dictation, she of course didn't have the drive that he did and quickly stopped. Shields' diary was donated to Washington State University, where it remains stored in ''94 cartons''. {{Doorstopper}}? This thing could stop every single door in his hometown of Daytona all at once. It's estimated that the journal has ''37.5 million'' words in it, but Shields mandated that an exact count cannot be derived for fifty years after his passing; as he died in 2007, we'll never know how many words are actually in it until '''2057''' at the earliest.

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* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_de_Jour_%28writer%29 Belle de Jour: diary of a London call girl]]'', written by Brooke Magnanti beginning in about 2003.