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->''"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 at least since medieval times, although they could be older (one could make a case that the ''Meditations'' of [[UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire Marcus Aurelius]] are a kind of philosophical diary, since he wrote them for himself and did so gradually over his lifetime). 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, and partly because women were the ones chronicling the westward expansion of Anglo people in North America, diaries became culturally coded as "feminine" -- despite the fact that some of the greatest diaries by men were written in this period[[note]]George Templeton Strong, the Goncourt brothers, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt[[/note]]. Even now, diaries tend to be seen [[https://www.themorgan.org/blog/do-real-men-keep-diaries primarily as a tool of women's empowerment]].[[note]]largely due to the immense influence in the 1970s of Creator/AnaisNin and her protégée Tristine Rainer, author of ''The New Diary'', which you can now borrow at the Internet Archive.[[/note]]. While both men's and women's diaries are covered in Thomas Mallon's ''A Book Of One's Own'', there are no anthologies of men's diaries, while there are several [[https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1974/11/15/to-love-and-to-work-pwhy/ anthologies]] of [[https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/books/article/13013763/no-one-writes-to-the-journal women's diaries]]. This may be a social or socio-cultural issue. Men may be teased for having a diary which forces them to be more secretive or 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. [[https://wolfandiron.com/every-man-keep-handwritten-journal/ More on diaries and journals from Wolf & Iron]], and here's an 83-year-old diarist who explains [[https://epica.com/blogs/epica-news/a-lifetime-of-journaling-how-it-can-benefit-everyone how keeping a journal or diary can benefit everyone]].[[note]]That is on the Epica website, and while a diary can be as simple as a spiral notebook or the backs of store receipts, one of the side trips of diary keeping can be the world of ''really nice blank books'' -- buying them, or making them yourself. And using fountain pens. There are online communities with photos and discussion.[[/note]]

If you keep a diary and don't know what should be done with it after you die, consider giving it to [[https://www.thegreatdiaryproject.co.uk/ the Great Diary Project]]. Anyone who has old or unwanted diaries can be sure that Bishopsgate Institute will take them gratefully and look after 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.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Fictional Examples]]

[[AC:Asian Animation]]
* The Korean series ''Animation/BanzisSecretDiary'', as implied by the title, is about a girl named Banzi who owns a diary. Every episode opens with her writing in the diary about the events of the episode.
* ''Animation/HappyHeroes'': Season 4 episode 17 reveals that Careless S. keeps a journal, probably to help him remember things he forgot or will likely forget. Big M. uses the info in Careless S.'s journal to make the other Supermen argue with each other.
* In the ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'' season ''The Happy Diary'', Weslie and Wolffy both have their own diaries and write down their daily experiences.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the tavern owner Pud Withers keeps one in the ''Jaka's Story'' arc, used to frame their perspective. 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.
** ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'': Paperinik (Donald Duck's 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).
* ''ComicBook/RobinSeries'': Stephanie keeps a diary of her adventures as Spoiler and briefly Robin. When shes the main character of an issue cursive excerpts from it are used in place of the InnerMonologue boxes Tim gets allowing her time to reflect on the events and describe them after the fact instead of reacting in the moment like him.
* ''ComicBook/BlueIsTheWarmestColor'': Clémentine's diary entries narrate the story.
* In ''ComicBook/TwelveReasonsWhyILoveHer'', both Gwen and Evan have chapters that look like diary entries and add depth to the characters.
* In her early Silver Age stories, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} kept her own private diary where she wrote down their daily experiences and adventures.
* Zoey from ''ComicBook/AVoiceInTheDark'' keeps a diary, which is used as narration for the series. Each time she fills up a book, which includes details on her violent urges and past killings, she burns the book and starts a new one.

[[AC:FanWorks]]
* ''Fanfic/TheVerySecretDiaries'' of characters from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* ''Fanfic/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain'' is a sequel to the film ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series "Hermione, Queen of Witches" is a variant: 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.
* The 4th entry of the ''Fanfic/TalesOfTheUndiscoveredSwords'' is told through the diary of Kiriha Sadamune, [[ItMakesSenseInContext an amnesiac sword]] who wants to preserve his new memory by writing it down.
* ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'''s tie-in, the ''Gensokyo Diaries''.
* The ''Anime/KillLaKill'' fic ''Paper Cranes'' is both this and an EpistolaryNovel, as Ryuuko is writing her letters to her sister in a diary the latter had given her.
* In ''Fanfic/SupermanOf2499TheGreatConfrontation'', Katherine de Ka'an inherits her ancestress [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara Zor-El]]'s diaries, and she learns about her life and [[Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy her romance with Dev-Em]] thanks to them.
* ''Fanfic/DevilsDiary'' is a series of excerpts from ComicBook/{{Magneto}}'s diary, revealing his thoughts, motivations and goals.
* ''Fanfic/ACertainDrollHivemind'': The chapters are presented as entries in Misaka-11111's. Unlike most diaries, they are labeled by entry number and not by date. {{Justified|Trope}} however, as Misaka-11111 has been ordered to keep a diary by her mental health professional and is unfamiliar with diary-keeping conventions. [[FridgeBrilliance Also allows the author to not keep track of the date]].
* ''Fanfic/{{Metro}}'': In [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/content_page/item/925-introductory-insanity "Metro 1: Chewing Through The Straps (Part 1)"]] has some sections from Metro's diary:
--> Wednesday Morning, August 22, 2007\\
Dear Diary,\\
PT sucks. So does this journaling nonsense for the headshrinkers...\\
In other news, there are more ways to screw up a forced entry than I have ever seen before.\\\
Friday Morning, August 24, 2007\\
PT still sucketh to a great degree. There has to be a good back-street body shop that handles retreaded lungs around here.\\\
Sunday afternoon, August 26, 2007\\
Dear Diary,\\
The training's "graduation" briefing could be summed up by two news items. The good news was that no one was being fired. The bad news was that it turns out that Earth has its own share of toxics and shadow spirits, no need to import any.\\
If it's just a "bug hunt" as they say, null sheen all around. But if it were my lair, I'd have plenty of nasty surprises set up for anyone poking around.\\
The plan is to hold the folks fresh out of training for backup. Yeppir. Second Platoon does not have a rock-solid reputation. So here's hoping Thomas comes back soon with my AK. The .308's nice, but the '98 is rock solid. Plus, there's all those grenades I haven't had a chance to use yet. There aren't many things with a nervous system that can shrug off a jungle load of Hi-Ex, frag, and gamma-scope splash.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''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 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 ''[[https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-of-ann-rinaldis-my-heart-is-on.html My Heart Is On The Ground]]'', where a Lakotah child in the [[BoardingSchoolOfHorrors 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 teachers' teachers, etc., ''ad nauseam.'' 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/BekaCooper'' 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'' is 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}}.''
* The ''Nyctophobia'' series is written as the protagonist Selwyn's FirstPersonPerspective as his journal. The prequel book, ''The Spectre's Shadow'', is the same but from John Watson's perspective, intended to mimic how the Literature/SherlockHolmes stories are written.
* ''Literature/IceAgeChillsThrillsAndSpills'': Pages of Sid and Manny's diaries are shared.
* ''Literature/TheFurtherAdventuresOfBatman'':
** "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.
** "Subway Jack" has case file A-4567-C, which is written in Batman's FirstPersonPerspective.
* ''My Story'' is a HistoricalFiction series, where each book is the diary of someone insignificant who knows [[HistoricalDomainCharacter a famous historical figure]] or lived during a notable historical event. For example, ''Anne Boleyn & Me'' is the diary of a young girl who becomes a lady-in-waiting to UsefulNotes/AnneBoleyn.
* In ''Literature/YoursTruly'', Truly and Mackenzie find a century-old diary under the floor boards in Truly's closet. It belonged to their ancestor, the original Truly Lovejoy.
* The satirical novel ''Literature/{{Gog}}'', besides the first chapter, consists of the eponymous protagonist's personal journal entries, arranged roughly chronologically by the narrator from the beginning.
* ''Literature/TheCatWhoSeries'': Braun sometimes allows the story to be told from Qwilleran's perspective through personal journal entries or audio recordings; it generally works very well when she does.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/Batwoman2019''. Kate Kane discovers Bruce Wayne's journal and continues it when taking up the mantle of Gotham's Caped Crusader, addressing her entries to Bruce who has gone missing. In Season 2 Ryan Wilder does the same after becoming Batwoman, with her entries addressed to Kate whom she has never met except when Batwoman saved her from a mugger.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': The Season 4 episode "Dear Diary," which sees Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane a dimwitted, accident-prone sheriff keep a well-documented, intricately-detailed accounting of Boss Hogg's criminal activities. Two former lackeys that Boss double-crossed learn of the diary and, after stealing it, plan to take it to the FBI to put Hogg away for good.

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

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* 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''

[[AC:WebVideo]]
* ''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]]

[[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/Change123'', [[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.
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' manga anthology ''Red Like Roses'', one story involves Ruby keeping a diary. Weiss mocks her for keeping a diary at fifteen.
* ''Anime/OnegaiMyMelody'': The "Kuromi Note" is a diary Kuromi keeps of her many thousands of misfortunes involving My Melody, either [[TheDitz by accident]], by UnwantedAssistance, or LaserGuidedKarma, and she'll read them to her as a FramingDevice for a flashback.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* ''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.
** Snippets from it often appeared at the beginning or end of a story; it gave the writers a convenient way to set up or wrap up events in a single panel.
** ''Freddy's Guide to Superhero-ing'' was released as a tie-in to ''Film/Shazam2019'' framed as a series of Freddy's diary entries, as were the movie's end credits.
* ''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.]]
* ''ComicBook/RobinSeries'': Stephanie "Spoiler" Brown keeps a diary, excerpts of which serve as the narration when she's the character in focus for an issue.
* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman1987'': Vanessa Kapatelis' diary is used to try to figure out how to save her after she is abducted, altered and brainwashed by Circe.

[[AC:ComicStrips]]
* ''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''?

[[AC:FanWorks]]
* Zelda's journal in ''Zelda and the Manacle of Cahla''. Her first entries are mostly about [[ChekhovsGun herbal properties]], but after leaving her peaceful village to adventure across Hyrule, Zelda makes a point to write about the critical points in the journey. According to the author, Kyouko Joo, if the journal were an element in a real game, the player would have the option of what specific thoughts and feelings Zelda could use to describe the experience.
* Castiel's journal in ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'', a {{Series/Supernatural}} fic is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* 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.
* Bobby's diary in ''Film/PrayersForBobby''.
* 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.
* In ''Film/SummerCampNightmare'', Donald Poultry is TheSmartGuy who uses a tape recorder to dictate an audio diary of the events that take place during his time at Camp North Pines. The audio diary is later confiscated by the police at the end of the film as evidence regarding the takeover of the camp staged by Franklin Reilly, though Donald does ask if he could have the tapes back when they're through with them.
* ''Film/{{Emma}}'' (1996; starring Gwyneth Paltrow): Several scenes with Emma's writing her diary were added for pragmatic reasons to communicate Emma's thoughts and feelings since the books is narrated from her point of view.
* ''Film/AmericanScarecrow'': The diary of Mira Dean is found in a secret compartment under some floor boards in her room. [[spoiler:Since Mira is still alive, she starts adding to it.]]
* ''Film/BloodWidow'': Laurie finds a diary in the abandoned girl's boarding school next door to her. [[spoiler:Reading it reveals that there was a girl being abused by the Headmaster there, but she wasn't believed when she tried to speak out about it. She eventually murdered him in retaliation, and was arrested by the police.]]
[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* 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''.
* 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.
* 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.
* ''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.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'': Eustace's diary in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader.''
* An old diary found by Leo Colston in ''Literature/TheGoBetween'' revives memories of a traumatic summer holiday fifty years earlier.
* ''Literature/GreenRider'': 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.]]
* 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]].
* A DiscussedTrope 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.
* The title character of ''Literature/HarrietTheSpy'' keeps a notebook where she writes down her private thoughts and feelings. It gets her into trouble when she loses it during a game of tag, and her schoolmates get ahold of it and find out what she really thinks of them.
* 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.
* Zoë's diary is part of the story of Alyson Noël's ''Literature/SavingZoe''.
* A few of the "Super Specials" in ''Literature/TheBabysittersClub'' are written as diaries. In the main stories, the girls maintain a collective journal of sitting experiences; excerpts in their various handwriting appear at the beginnings of some of the chapters.
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner''. During his war against the Mafia, Mack Bolan keeps a journal in which he philosophizes about the morality of his War Everlasting.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Dawn Summers is shown writing in a diary complete with voiceover 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 ''Literature/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. Other Watchers appear to have diaries too.
** Buffy herself had a diary in Season 1. She thinks Angel read it and blurts out [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial that she wasn't writing about him]], before he assures her that her mother had just moved it when she was cleaning.
* 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...".
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Doctor keeps a ''500 Year Diary''.
*** 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.
* Sue Sylvester from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' is sometimes seen writing quips about important events or characters in a diary, most noticeably Mr. Schue.
* 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.
* 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,[[note]]Another glorious trip with my beloved David Stone. Time stops while I learn the meaning of love. And we become one, thou and I.[[/note]] 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.
* ''Series/IAmNotOkayWithThis'': Syd is given a diary to write about all of her anger and grief, which she deems as ridiculous.
* 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."
* ''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.
* 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.
* 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/NorthernRescue'': [[PosthumousCharacter the kids mother]] had one, with a lot of exposition being provided by Taylor reading it.
* ''Series/SecretDiaryOfACallGirl'', which is based on the above ''Belle de Jour'' blog.
* 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".
* Every episode of ''Series/MrBelvedere'' ends with the title character writing in his diary, with a voice over narrating the contents of the day's entry.

[[AC:{{Theatre}}]]
* 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."''

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* 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.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', it's confirmed that [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]] keeps a diary, although it's not shown. How is it confirmed? Clicking on the desk in Hawke's bedroom will sometimes prompt them to comment that they know [[CharacterNarrator Varric]] has been reading the diary - because he's taken to ''editing the entries'' to make them more interesting!
* 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/Persona5'': 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.
* The first few ''VideoGame/DarkTales'' games have diaries which serve as case notes for the player. This feature was dropped after about the fifth installment, but diaries belonging to other characters factor into the plot occasionally:
** The BigBad's mother leaves hers behind in the bonus chapter of ''Masque of the Red Death'', providing the detectives with a clue as to what's really happening.
** Frederica's diary is of use to the detectives in ''Metzengerstein'' as they try to solve her disappearance.
** Diaries belonging to multiple characters in ''Morella'' are instrumental to solving the mystery [[spoiler:and freeing the player character from DemonicPossession.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims 2'', one optional activity for a Sim is to write in their journal.
* In ''VideoGame/StoryOfSeasons2014'', the game is saved by the player character writing in their diary.
* In ''VideoGame/Evie2018'', the PlayerCharacter can find [[TitleDrop Evie]]'s diary, and sixteen of its pages scattered about the house.

[[AC:VisualNovels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SpiritHunterNG'', when investigating the death of [[BigBad Kakuya's]] first victim, Seiji and Akira discover that she had an online diary that accounted the last few days before the hit-and-run that killed her. While it seems innocuous at first glance, it provides enough clues for Akira to realise that he's the next target.
* 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.

[[AC:{{Webcomics}}]]
* ''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''.
* The plot of ''[[http://thewretchedoneswebcomic.com/ The Wretched Ones]]'' is kicked off with the discovery of Nicholas Thomas' lost journals one hundred years after he died.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Dr. Horrible's video blog is the framing device.
* ''WebVideo/MittenSquad'': From the description of the video, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSkD1tGNqoI "Paper Mario: Part 15 - Sneaky Princess"]]:
--> Princess Peach reads a diary. READING! HOW F*CKING EXCITING.
* ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'': The story is being told through the journals of the main characters.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''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 [[WesternAnimation/{{Barbie}} the franchise]]'s most low-key fantasy endeavour.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' "For Your Eds Only" results in Eddy getting hold of Sarah's diary, and the plot of the episode is them trying to put it back before she finds out.
* 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. The journals are later published in a Season 7 episode, which [[GoneHorriblyWrong does not end well for the ponies]].
* ''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.
* ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' - TJ blackmails his sister Becky into driving over the state to pick his friends up by threatening to publish her diary on the internet. The friends later read Becky's romance novel-esque description of a date with her co-worker. Gus and Spinelli find it hilarious, but Mikey is moved by it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Nonfiction Examples]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfAYoungGirl'', the diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, is probably the most famous diary ever published.
* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys'': 1660-1669 life in London as experienced by one of Britain's top officials. It's considered one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period, especially since his account of the Great Fire of London is considered skin-crawlingly vivid, and is sometimes analyzed in classes studying British literature. It's not nearly as boring as it sounds, either; he has quite the sense of humor, and also, um, talks about his sex life quite a lot. He would have written more, but he, writing in dim light at the time, suspected his eyes were being damaged by his writing, and reluctantly stopped writing the diary out of concern he would go blind if he continued to do so.
* 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.''
* [[https://www.bbc.com/news/education-51385884 The journals of Yorkshire farmer Matthew Tomlinson]], who among other things gave a reasonable, common-sense assessment of homosexuality as natural and not something that should be punishable by death (the law in the U.K. until 1861).
* 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. ''I am my own heroine!'' This compellingly written narrative, which she intended for publication from the beginning, took the world by storm even in its early bowdlerized editions. It was reprinted hundreds of times in many languages and well into the 20th century was read by both men and women as a cult text, similar to Anais Nin's or Opal Whiteley's. Marie assesses (correctly, as it turns out) her intellectual and artistic gifts and explores the depths of her emotions and desires. Her influence on future generations of diarists, especially women diarists, cannot be overstated. Her real notebooks were thought to have been burned, but were found in the French National Archives and the true diary has been published as ''[[https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1042645.I_Am_the_Most_Interesting_Book_of_All I Am the Most Interesting Book of All]]''.
* ''Divine Mercy in My Soul'' written from 1934-1938 by Polish nun and Catholic saint, Faustina Kowalska. It is the source of the Divine Mercy, a popular Catholic devotional.
* 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.
* ''The Story of Mary [=MacLane=]'', 1902 (originally ''I Await the Devil's Coming'')[[note]]She thought of Satan as an ally, probably since her parents were conventional Christians[[/note]], the sexually and [[EmoTeen emotionally frank]] (to the point of TooMuchInformation) diary of a 19-year-old bisexual woman living in [[SmallTownBoredom Butte, Montana]] with [[SurroundedByIdiots stultifyingly ordinary parents]]. Like Marie Bashkirtseff, she was [[TooCleverByHalf brilliantly gifted]] [[AwesomeEgo and knew it]], and wrote in ''enormous'' detail about being a TeenGenius who's CursedWithAwesome. Her published diary sold 100,000 copies in the first month, earning her over $17,000 ($570,633 today), and went viral. Controversy raged; was it a cosmically brilliant exposé or just {{Wangst}}, or both? Many young people (mostly women) formed fan clubs and attempted their own emotionally-unveiling writings. They were called the "naked soul" writers. There were songs about her along with many parodies (including one by Creator/MarkTwain), and she had a "brand", endorsing [[TheMerch hot sauce, stockings, cigars and a kind of ice cream soda]]. Race horses and prize cows were named after her. Butte's baseball team renamed themselves The Mary [=MacLanes=]. She traveled, wrote for newspapers, gave lectures and had many affairs with women, including Afro-American photographer Lucille Williams.
* ''Diary of Anais Nin'' 1914-1974 by author [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana%C3%AFs_Nin Anais Nin]] (1903-1977). Anais wrote about her personal life with detailed portraits of her friends and family. The first published set of seven volumes was heavily edited by Anais herself[[note]]for one thing, her husband asked her to leave out all entries about himself[[/note]] and gave the impression of a fairylike artist living by intuition. This is true up to a point, but after all participants were dead, a second series came out with everything she'd left out of the first one, for a very different look at the author whose life in "the dream" of artistic idealism so many men and women aspired to emulate.
* Naturalist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opal_Whiteley Opal Whiteley]] (1897-1992) 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.
* Iris Vaughan (1890-1977) was an outspoken girl whose father, an English magistrate in South Africa, gave her a government record book to use as a diary on her seventh birthday, so she could write rather than speak her true thoughts. She recorded her family life and incidents in great detail, leaving little or nothing to the imagination.
--> ''Every one should have a diary. Because life is too hard with the things one must say to be perlite and the things one must not say to lie.''
* 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.
* ''Mein Widerstand'' (My Opposition) 1939-1943 by Friedrich Kellner, life in Nazi Germany. ''[[ArcWords Thus we live in Germany today!]]''
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Reck-Malleczewen Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen]] (1884-1945) was another diarist who chronicled the rise of Nazi Germany, with historical background predicting how and why it happened. Published as ''[[https://archive.org/stream/DiaryOfAManInDespair/Reck-Malleczewen%2C+Friedrich+-+Diary+of+a+Man+in+Despair+-+A+Non-Fiction+Masterpiece+about+the+Comprehension+of+Evil+_djvu.txt Diary of a Man in Despair]]'', it was translated to English by Paul Rubens and is available in its entirety at the Internet Archive.
* Owenita Sanderlin's ''Johnny'' (1968) is comprised partly of diary entries by young Mr. Sanderlin, who died of leukemia at fifteen, outliving his doctors' 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]], Alvin Ridley's life and reputation were saved [[https://snapjudgment.org/story/the-writing-is-on-the-wall-snap-630-dirty-work-2/ 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 had been firmly against their marriage and wanted to blame Alvin for her death, thus the murder charge. On [=YouTube=], look up "Death in a Small Town" or "Virginia Ridley".
* 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 neurological condition known as ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergraphia 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 long-suffering 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.
* Before Shields, the world record holders were [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Robb_Ellis Edward Robb Ellis]] at 22 million words, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Crew_Inman Arthur Crew Inman]] at 17 million words. They couldn't have been more dissimilar. Working-class Chicagoan Eddie Ellis began his diary as a teenager and kept it for 70 years, during which time he was a newspaper reporter, historian, served in the US Navy, and wrote four books about American history. Arthur Crew Inman came from an extremely wealthy Southern family and was a white supremacist, Jew-hater, misogynist, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and wannabe poet]]. He was also paranoid about his health and never went anywhere; he hired "interesting people" to come and talk to him while he concealed himself behind dark curtains.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Maria_de_Jesus Carolina Maria de Jesus]], who lived with her three kids in a shack in the ''favela'' slums of Sao Paolo, Brazil almost her entire adult life, was a prolific diarist, writing the honest truth about her life and ambitions. Collecting paper from trash heaps, she composed poems, plays, novels and short stories as well. The diary was published as ''Quarto de Despejo'' (Place of Trash) or ''Child of the Dark'', in 1960 after a journalist found out about it. An unexpurgated version is now available along with her later works and childhood writings.
* ''[[http://drc.usask.ca/projects/notebooks/homepage.php The Note Books of a Woman Alone]]'' by a woman we know only as Eve Wilson, are diaries by an ex-governess who became a stenographer at an employment agency. She was paid starvation wages, but enough to rent a shitty little room, which was heaven to her because it was separate from her work environment and if she needed to move she could do so while keeping the same job. An OldMaid like many during and after UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, and deeply alienated from society due to an neglectful and abusive upbringing, Eve valued her few friendships, tried to help others less fortunate than herself and imagined ways to improve the world.

[[AC:{{Web Original}}s]]
* ''[[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.
* [[https://www.wattpad.com/story/244413665-jane-almighty Jane Almighty]] is a webdiary written by J.D. Chalk.
[[/folder]]

--> ''"Keep a diary and someday it'll keep you."'' -- Creator/MaeWest

to:

[[WMG:[[center:[[AC:This trope is [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1645817974073922000 under discussion]] in the Administrivia/TropeRepairShop.]]]]]]
[[quoteright:300:[[Anime/WhenMarnieWasThere https://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 at least since medieval times, although they could be older (one could make a case that the ''Meditations'' of [[UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire Marcus Aurelius]] are a kind of philosophical diary, since he wrote them for himself and did so gradually over his lifetime). 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, and partly because women were the ones chronicling the westward expansion of Anglo people in North America, diaries became culturally coded as "feminine" -- despite the fact that some of the greatest diaries by men were written in this period[[note]]George Templeton Strong, the Goncourt brothers, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt[[/note]]. Even now, diaries tend to be seen [[https://www.themorgan.org/blog/do-real-men-keep-diaries primarily as a tool of women's empowerment]].[[note]]largely due to the immense influence in the 1970s of Creator/AnaisNin and her protégée Tristine Rainer, author of ''The New Diary'', which you can now borrow at
link somewhere on the Internet Archive.[[/note]]. While both men's and women's diaries are covered in Thomas Mallon's ''A Book Of One's Own'', there are no anthologies of men's diaries, while there are several [[https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1974/11/15/to-love-and-to-work-pwhy/ anthologies]] of [[https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/books/article/13013763/no-one-writes-to-the-journal women's diaries]]. This may be a social or socio-cultural issue. Men may be teased for having a diary which forces them sent you to be more secretive or 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 page.

It may refer
to say about diaries]] and why men should keep them. [[https://wolfandiron.com/every-man-keep-handwritten-journal/ More on diaries and journals from Wolf & Iron]], and here's an 83-year-old diarist who explains [[https://epica.com/blogs/epica-news/a-lifetime-of-journaling-how-it-can-benefit-everyone how keeping a journal or diary can benefit everyone]].[[note]]That is on the Epica website, and while a diary can be as simple as a spiral notebook or the backs of store receipts, one of the side trips of diary keeping can be the world of ''really nice blank books'' -- buying them, or making them yourself. And using fountain pens. There are online communities with photos and discussion.[[/note]]

If you keep a diary and don't know what should be done with it after you die, consider giving it to [[https://www.thegreatdiaryproject.co.uk/ the Great Diary Project]]. Anyone who has old or unwanted diaries can be sure that Bishopsgate Institute will take them gratefully and look after 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.
-----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Fictional Examples]]

[[AC:Asian Animation]]
following pages:
* The Korean series ''Animation/BanzisSecretDiary'', as implied by the title, is about a girl named Banzi who owns a diary. Every episode opens with her writing in the diary about the events of the episode.
* ''Animation/HappyHeroes'': Season 4 episode 17 reveals that Careless S. keeps a journal, probably to help him remember things he forgot or will likely forget. Big M. uses the info in Careless S.'s journal to make the other Supermen argue with each other.
* In the ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'' season ''The Happy Diary'', Weslie and Wolffy both have their own diaries and write down their daily experiences.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the tavern owner Pud Withers keeps one in the ''Jaka's Story'' arc, used to frame their perspective. 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.
** ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'': Paperinik (Donald Duck's 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).
* ''ComicBook/RobinSeries'': Stephanie keeps a diary of her adventures as Spoiler and briefly Robin. When shes the main
AndThatLittleGirlWasMe: A character of an issue cursive excerpts from it are used in place of the InnerMonologue boxes Tim gets allowing her time to reflect on the events and describe them after the fact instead of reacting tells a story about themselves in the moment like him.
third person.
* ''ComicBook/BlueIsTheWarmestColor'': Clémentine's diary entries narrate the story.
* In ''ComicBook/TwelveReasonsWhyILoveHer'', both Gwen and Evan have chapters that look like diary entries and add depth to the characters.
* In her early Silver Age stories, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} kept her own private diary where she wrote down their daily experiences and adventures.
* Zoey from ''ComicBook/AVoiceInTheDark'' keeps a diary, which is used as narration
ApocalypticLog: A way of providing backstory for the series. Each time she fills up a book, which includes details on her violent urges and past killings, she burns the book and starts a new one.

[[AC:FanWorks]]
* ''Fanfic/TheVerySecretDiaries'' of characters from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* ''Fanfic/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain'' is a sequel to the film ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series "Hermione, Queen of Witches" is a variant: 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.
* The 4th entry of the ''Fanfic/TalesOfTheUndiscoveredSwords'' is told through the diary of Kiriha Sadamune, [[ItMakesSenseInContext an amnesiac sword]] who wants to preserve his new memory by writing it down.
* ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'''s tie-in, the ''Gensokyo Diaries''.
* The ''Anime/KillLaKill'' fic ''Paper Cranes'' is both this and an EpistolaryNovel, as Ryuuko is writing her letters to her sister in a diary the latter had given her.
* In ''Fanfic/SupermanOf2499TheGreatConfrontation'', Katherine de Ka'an inherits her ancestress [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara Zor-El]]'s diaries, and she learns about her life and [[Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy her romance with Dev-Em]] thanks to them.
* ''Fanfic/DevilsDiary'' is a series of excerpts from ComicBook/{{Magneto}}'s diary, revealing his thoughts, motivations and goals.
* ''Fanfic/ACertainDrollHivemind'': The chapters are presented as entries in Misaka-11111's. Unlike most diaries, they are labeled by entry number and not by date. {{Justified|Trope}} however, as Misaka-11111 has been ordered to keep a diary by her mental health professional and is unfamiliar with diary-keeping conventions. [[FridgeBrilliance Also allows the author to not keep track of the date]].
* ''Fanfic/{{Metro}}'': In [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/content_page/item/925-introductory-insanity "Metro 1: Chewing Through The Straps (Part 1)"]] has some sections from Metro's diary:
--> Wednesday Morning, August 22, 2007\\
Dear Diary,\\
PT sucks. So does this journaling nonsense for the headshrinkers...\\
In other news, there are more ways to screw up a forced entry than I have ever seen before.\\\
Friday Morning, August 24, 2007\\
PT still sucketh to a great degree. There has to be a good back-street body shop that handles retreaded lungs around here.\\\
Sunday afternoon, August 26, 2007\\
Dear Diary,\\
The training's "graduation" briefing could be summed up by two news items. The good news was that no one was being fired. The bad news was that it turns out that Earth has its own share of toxics and shadow spirits, no need to import any.\\
If it's just a "bug hunt" as they say, null sheen all around. But if it were my lair, I'd have plenty of nasty surprises set up for anyone poking around.\\
The plan is to hold the folks fresh out of training for backup. Yeppir. Second Platoon does not have a rock-solid reputation. So here's hoping Thomas comes back soon with my AK. The .308's nice, but the '98 is rock solid. Plus, there's all those grenades I haven't had a chance to use yet. There aren't many things with a nervous system that can shrug off a jungle load of Hi-Ex, frag, and gamma-scope splash.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''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 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 ''[[https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-of-ann-rinaldis-my-heart-is-on.html My Heart Is On The Ground]]'', where a Lakotah child in the [[BoardingSchoolOfHorrors 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 teachers' teachers, etc., ''ad nauseam.'' 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
doomed person in the form of a diary by a fictional girl living in the Middle Ages.
* The ''Literature/BekaCooper'' 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
records 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 them, such as diary (which is addressed "Dear Mr. Pretend Henshaw" because Leigh thought it would make it easier to write).
entries.
* ''Literature/PodkayneOfMars'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein is presented as the diary EpistolaryNovel: A type 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'' is 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}}.''
* The ''Nyctophobia'' series is
story written as the protagonist Selwyn's FirstPersonPerspective as his journal. The prequel book, ''The Spectre's Shadow'', is the same but from John Watson's perspective, intended to mimic how the Literature/SherlockHolmes stories are written.
* ''Literature/IceAgeChillsThrillsAndSpills'': Pages of Sid and Manny's diaries are shared.
* ''Literature/TheFurtherAdventuresOfBatman'':
** "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.
** "Subway Jack" has case file A-4567-C, which is written in Batman's FirstPersonPerspective.
* ''My Story'' is a HistoricalFiction series, where each book is the diary of someone insignificant who knows [[HistoricalDomainCharacter a famous historical figure]] or lived during a notable historical event. For example, ''Anne Boleyn & Me'' is the diary of a young girl who becomes a lady-in-waiting to UsefulNotes/AnneBoleyn.
* In ''Literature/YoursTruly'', Truly and Mackenzie find a century-old diary under the floor boards in Truly's closet. It belonged to their ancestor, the original Truly Lovejoy.
* The satirical novel ''Literature/{{Gog}}'', besides the first chapter, consists of the eponymous protagonist's personal journal entries, arranged roughly chronologically by the narrator from the beginning.
* ''Literature/TheCatWhoSeries'': Braun sometimes allows the story to be told from Qwilleran's perspective through personal journal entries or audio recordings; it generally works very well when she does.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/Batwoman2019''. Kate Kane discovers Bruce Wayne's journal and continues it when taking up the mantle of Gotham's Caped Crusader, addressing her entries to Bruce who has gone missing. In Season 2 Ryan Wilder does the same after becoming Batwoman, with her entries addressed to Kate whom she has never met except when Batwoman saved her from a mugger.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': The Season 4 episode "Dear Diary," which sees Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane a dimwitted, accident-prone sheriff keep a well-documented, intricately-detailed accounting of Boss Hogg's criminal activities. Two former lackeys that Boss double-crossed learn of the diary and, after stealing it, plan to take it to the FBI to put Hogg away for good.

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

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* 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''

[[AC:WebVideo]]
* ''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]]

[[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/Change123'', [[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.
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' manga anthology ''Red Like Roses'', one story involves Ruby keeping a diary. Weiss mocks her for keeping a diary at fifteen.
* ''Anime/OnegaiMyMelody'': The "Kuromi Note" is a diary Kuromi keeps of her many thousands of misfortunes involving My Melody, either [[TheDitz by accident]], by UnwantedAssistance, or LaserGuidedKarma, and she'll read them to her as a FramingDevice for a flashback.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* ''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.
** Snippets from it often appeared at the beginning or end of a story; it gave the writers a convenient way to set up or wrap up events in a single panel.
** ''Freddy's Guide to Superhero-ing'' was released as a tie-in to ''Film/Shazam2019'' framed
as a series of Freddy's diary entries, as were the movie's end credits.
* ''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.]]
* ''ComicBook/RobinSeries'': Stephanie "Spoiler" Brown keeps a diary, excerpts of which serve as the narration when she's the character in focus for an issue.
* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman1987'': Vanessa Kapatelis' diary is used to try to figure out how to save her after she is abducted, altered and brainwashed by Circe.

[[AC:ComicStrips]]
* ''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''?

[[AC:FanWorks]]
* Zelda's journal in ''Zelda and the Manacle of Cahla''. Her first entries are mostly about [[ChekhovsGun herbal properties]], but after leaving her peaceful village to adventure across Hyrule, Zelda makes a point to write about the critical points in the journey. According to the author, Kyouko Joo, if the journal were an element in a real game, the player would have the option of what specific thoughts and feelings Zelda could use to describe the experience.
* Castiel's journal in ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'', a {{Series/Supernatural}} fic is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* 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.
* Bobby's diary in ''Film/PrayersForBobby''.
* 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.
* In ''Film/SummerCampNightmare'', Donald Poultry is TheSmartGuy who uses a tape recorder to dictate an audio diary of the events that take place during his time at Camp North Pines. The audio diary is later confiscated by the police at the end of the film as evidence regarding the takeover of the camp staged by Franklin Reilly, though Donald does ask if he could have the tapes back when they're through with them.
* ''Film/{{Emma}}'' (1996; starring Gwyneth Paltrow): Several scenes with Emma's writing her diary were added for pragmatic reasons to communicate Emma's thoughts and feelings since the books is narrated from her point of view.
* ''Film/AmericanScarecrow'': The diary of Mira Dean is found in a secret compartment under some floor boards in her room. [[spoiler:Since Mira is still alive, she starts adding to it.]]
* ''Film/BloodWidow'': Laurie finds a diary in the abandoned girl's boarding school next door to her. [[spoiler:Reading it reveals that there was a girl being abused by the Headmaster there, but she wasn't believed when she tried to speak out about it. She eventually murdered him in retaliation, and was arrested by the police.]]
[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* 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''.
* 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.
* 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.
* ''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.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'': Eustace's diary in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader.''
* An old diary found by Leo Colston in ''Literature/TheGoBetween'' revives memories of a traumatic summer holiday fifty years earlier.
* ''Literature/GreenRider'': 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.]]
* 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]].
* A DiscussedTrope 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.
* The title character of ''Literature/HarrietTheSpy'' keeps a notebook where she writes down her private thoughts and feelings. It gets her into trouble when she loses it during a game of tag, and her schoolmates get ahold of it and find out what she really thinks of them.
* 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
{{Fictional Document}}s, 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.
* Zoë's diary is part of the story of Alyson Noël's ''Literature/SavingZoe''.
* A few of the "Super Specials" in ''Literature/TheBabysittersClub'' are written as diaries. In the main stories, the girls maintain a collective journal of sitting experiences; excerpts in their various handwriting appear at the beginnings of some of the chapters.
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner''. During his war against the Mafia, Mack Bolan keeps a journal in which he philosophizes about the morality of his War Everlasting.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Dawn Summers is shown writing in a diary complete with voiceover narrating of what is being written. It's presumed
ones 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 ''Literature/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. Other Watchers appear to have diaries too.
** Buffy herself had a diary in Season 1. She thinks Angel read it and blurts out [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial that she wasn't writing about him]], before he assures her that her mother had just moved it when she was cleaning.
* 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...".
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Doctor keeps a ''500 Year Diary''.
*** 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.
* Sue Sylvester from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' is sometimes seen writing quips about important events or characters in a diary, most noticeably Mr. Schue.
* 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.
* 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,[[note]]Another glorious trip with my beloved David Stone. Time stops while I learn the meaning of love. And we become one, thou and I.[[/note]] 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.
* ''Series/IAmNotOkayWithThis'': Syd is given a diary to write about all of her anger and grief, which she deems as ridiculous.
* 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
sent 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."
* ''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.
* 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.
* 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/NorthernRescue'': [[PosthumousCharacter the kids mother]] had one, with a lot of exposition being provided by Taylor reading it.
* ''Series/SecretDiaryOfACallGirl'', which is based on the above ''Belle de Jour'' blog.
* 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".
* Every episode of ''Series/MrBelvedere'' ends with the title character writing in his diary, with a voice over narrating the contents of the day's entry.

[[AC:{{Theatre}}]]
* 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."''

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* 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.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', it's confirmed that [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]] keeps a diary, although it's not shown. How is it confirmed? Clicking on the desk in Hawke's bedroom will sometimes prompt them to comment that they know [[CharacterNarrator Varric]] has been reading the diary - because he's taken to ''editing the entries'' to make them more interesting!
* 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/Persona5'': 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.
* The first few ''VideoGame/DarkTales'' games have diaries which serve as case notes for the player. This feature was dropped after about the fifth installment, but diaries belonging to other characters factor into the plot occasionally:
** The BigBad's mother leaves hers behind in the bonus chapter of ''Masque of the Red Death'', providing the detectives with a clue as to what's really happening.
** Frederica's diary is of use to the detectives in ''Metzengerstein'' as they try to solve her disappearance.
** Diaries belonging to
multiple characters in ''Morella'' are instrumental to solving each other.
* IShouldWriteABookAboutThis: A story ends with
the mystery [[spoiler:and freeing hero deciding to write a book about their adventures, with the player implication that it's the story you just heard.
* ScrapbookStory: A story with a framing device that takes the form of [[FictionalDocument in-universe documents]] written by characters in the story, such as diary entries.
* SecretDiary: One
character from DemonicPossession.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims 2'', one optional activity for a Sim is to write in their journal.
* In ''VideoGame/StoryOfSeasons2014'',
finds the game is saved by the player secret diary of another character writing in (almost AlwaysFemale), that contains all their diary.
[[DarkSecret darkest secrets]].
* In ''VideoGame/Evie2018'', the PlayerCharacter can find [[TitleDrop Evie]]'s diary, and sixteen of its pages scattered WritingAboutYourCrime: A criminal writes about their crime as though it's a fictional story, such as to brag about it or taunt the house.

[[AC:VisualNovels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SpiritHunterNG'', when
authorities who are investigating the death of [[BigBad Kakuya's]] first victim, Seiji and Akira discover that she had an online diary that accounted the last few days before the hit-and-run that killed her. While it seems innocuous at first glance, it provides enough clues for Akira it.

Please change any link
to realise that he's the next target.
* 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.

[[AC:{{Webcomics}}]]
* ''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''.
* The plot of ''[[http://thewretchedoneswebcomic.com/ The Wretched Ones]]'' is kicked off with the discovery of Nicholas Thomas' lost journals one hundred years after he died.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Dr. Horrible's video blog is the framing device.
* ''WebVideo/MittenSquad'': From the description of the video, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSkD1tGNqoI "Paper Mario: Part 15 - Sneaky Princess"]]:
--> Princess Peach reads a diary. READING! HOW F*CKING EXCITING.
* ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'': The story is being told through the journals of the main characters.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''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 [[WesternAnimation/{{Barbie}} the franchise]]'s most low-key fantasy endeavour.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' "For Your Eds Only" results in Eddy getting hold of Sarah's diary, and the plot of the episode is them trying to put it back before she finds out.
* 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. The journals are later published in a Season 7 episode, which [[GoneHorriblyWrong does not end well for the ponies]].
* ''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.
* ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' - TJ blackmails his sister Becky into driving over the state to pick his friends up by threatening to publish her diary on the internet. The friends later read Becky's romance novel-esque description of a date with her co-worker. Gus and Spinelli find it hilarious, but Mikey is moved by it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Nonfiction Examples]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfAYoungGirl'', the diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, is probably the most famous diary ever published.
* ''Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys'': 1660-1669 life in London as experienced by one of Britain's top officials. It's considered one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period, especially since his account of the Great Fire of London is considered skin-crawlingly vivid, and is sometimes analyzed in classes studying British literature. It's not nearly as boring as it sounds, either; he has quite the sense of humor, and also, um, talks about his sex life quite a lot. He would have written more, but he, writing in dim light at the time, suspected his eyes were being damaged by his writing, and reluctantly stopped writing the diary out of concern he would go blind if he continued to do so.
* 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.''
* [[https://www.bbc.com/news/education-51385884 The journals of Yorkshire farmer Matthew Tomlinson]], who among other things gave a reasonable, common-sense assessment of homosexuality as natural and not something that should be punishable by death (the law in the U.K. until 1861).
* 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. ''I am my own heroine!'' This compellingly written narrative, which she intended for publication from the beginning, took the world by storm even in its early bowdlerized editions. It was reprinted hundreds of times in many languages and well into the 20th century was read by both men and women as a cult text, similar to Anais Nin's or Opal Whiteley's. Marie assesses (correctly, as it turns out) her intellectual and artistic gifts and explores the depths of her emotions and desires. Her influence on future generations of diarists, especially women diarists, cannot be overstated. Her real notebooks were thought to have been burned, but were found in the French National Archives and the true diary has been published as ''[[https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1042645.I_Am_the_Most_Interesting_Book_of_All I Am the Most Interesting Book of All]]''.
* ''Divine Mercy in My Soul'' written from 1934-1938 by Polish nun and Catholic saint, Faustina Kowalska. It is the source of the Divine Mercy, a popular Catholic devotional.
* 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.
* ''The Story of Mary [=MacLane=]'', 1902 (originally ''I Await the Devil's Coming'')[[note]]She thought of Satan as an ally, probably since her parents were conventional Christians[[/note]], the sexually and [[EmoTeen emotionally frank]] (to the
point of TooMuchInformation) diary of a 19-year-old bisexual woman living in [[SmallTownBoredom Butte, Montana]] with [[SurroundedByIdiots stultifyingly ordinary parents]]. Like Marie Bashkirtseff, she was [[TooCleverByHalf brilliantly gifted]] [[AwesomeEgo and knew it]], and wrote in ''enormous'' detail about being a TeenGenius who's CursedWithAwesome. Her published diary sold 100,000 copies in the first month, earning her over $17,000 ($570,633 today), and went viral. Controversy raged; was it a cosmically brilliant exposé or just {{Wangst}}, or both? Many young people (mostly women) formed fan clubs and attempted their own emotionally-unveiling writings. They were called the "naked soul" writers. There were songs about her along with many parodies (including one by Creator/MarkTwain), and she had a "brand", endorsing [[TheMerch hot sauce, stockings, cigars and a kind of ice cream soda]]. Race horses and prize cows were named after her. Butte's baseball team renamed themselves The Mary [=MacLanes=]. She traveled, wrote for newspapers, gave lectures and had many affairs with women, including Afro-American photographer Lucille Williams.
* ''Diary of Anais Nin'' 1914-1974 by author [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana%C3%AFs_Nin Anais Nin]] (1903-1977). Anais wrote about her personal life with detailed portraits of her friends and family. The first published set of seven volumes was heavily edited by Anais herself[[note]]for one thing, her husband asked her to leave out all entries about himself[[/note]] and gave the impression of a fairylike artist living by intuition. This is true up to a point, but after all participants were dead, a second series came out with everything she'd left out of the first one, for a very different look at the author whose life in "the dream" of artistic idealism so many men and women aspired to emulate.
* Naturalist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opal_Whiteley Opal Whiteley]] (1897-1992) 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.
* Iris Vaughan (1890-1977) was an outspoken girl whose father, an English magistrate in South Africa, gave her a government record book to use as a diary on her seventh birthday, so she could write rather than speak her true thoughts. She recorded her family life and incidents in great detail, leaving little or nothing
to the imagination.
--> ''Every one should have a diary. Because life is too hard with the things one must say to be perlite and the things one must not say to lie.''
* 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.
* ''Mein Widerstand'' (My Opposition) 1939-1943 by Friedrich Kellner, life in Nazi Germany. ''[[ArcWords Thus we live in Germany today!]]''
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Reck-Malleczewen Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen]] (1884-1945) was another diarist who chronicled the rise of Nazi Germany, with historical background predicting how and why it happened. Published as ''[[https://archive.org/stream/DiaryOfAManInDespair/Reck-Malleczewen%2C+Friedrich+-+Diary+of+a+Man+in+Despair+-+A+Non-Fiction+Masterpiece+about+the+Comprehension+of+Evil+_djvu.txt Diary of a Man in Despair]]'', it was translated to English by Paul Rubens and is available in its entirety at the Internet Archive.
* Owenita Sanderlin's ''Johnny'' (1968) is comprised partly of diary entries by young Mr. Sanderlin, who died of leukemia at fifteen, outliving his doctors' 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]], Alvin Ridley's life and reputation were saved [[https://snapjudgment.org/story/the-writing-is-on-the-wall-snap-630-dirty-work-2/ 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 had been firmly against their marriage and wanted to blame Alvin for her death, thus the murder charge. On [=YouTube=], look up "Death in a Small Town" or "Virginia Ridley".
* 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 neurological condition known as ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergraphia 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 long-suffering 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.
* Before Shields, the world record holders were [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Robb_Ellis Edward Robb Ellis]] at 22 million words, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Crew_Inman Arthur Crew Inman]] at 17 million words. They couldn't have been more dissimilar. Working-class Chicagoan Eddie Ellis began his diary as a teenager and kept it for 70 years, during which time he was a newspaper reporter, historian, served in the US Navy, and wrote four books about American history. Arthur Crew Inman came from an extremely wealthy Southern family and was a white supremacist, Jew-hater, misogynist, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and wannabe poet]]. He was also paranoid about his health and never went anywhere; he hired "interesting people" to come and talk to him while he concealed himself behind dark curtains.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Maria_de_Jesus Carolina Maria de Jesus]], who lived with her three kids in a shack in the ''favela'' slums of Sao Paolo, Brazil almost her entire adult life, was a prolific diarist, writing the honest truth about her life and ambitions. Collecting paper from trash heaps, she composed poems, plays, novels and short stories as well. The diary was published as ''Quarto de Despejo'' (Place of Trash) or ''Child of the Dark'', in 1960 after a journalist found out about it. An unexpurgated version is now available along with her later works and childhood writings.
* ''[[http://drc.usask.ca/projects/notebooks/homepage.php The Note Books of a Woman Alone]]'' by a woman we know only as Eve Wilson, are diaries by an ex-governess who became a stenographer at an employment agency. She was paid starvation wages, but enough to rent a shitty little room, which was heaven to her because it was separate from her work environment and if she needed to move she could do so while keeping the same job. An OldMaid like many during and after UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, and deeply alienated from society due to an neglectful and abusive upbringing, Eve valued her few friendships, tried to help others less fortunate than herself and imagined ways to improve the world.

[[AC:{{Web Original}}s]]
* ''[[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.
* [[https://www.wattpad.com/story/244413665-jane-almighty Jane Almighty]] is a webdiary written by J.D. Chalk.
[[/folder]]

--> ''"Keep a diary and someday it'll keep you."'' -- Creator/MaeWest
correct page.

Added DiffLines:

[[WMG:[[center:[[AC:This trope is [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1645817974073922000 under discussion]] in the Administrivia/TropeRepairShop.]]]]]]


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", in spite of the fact that some of the greatest diaries by men were written in this period[[note]]George Templeton Strong, the Goncourt brothers, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt[[/note]]. Even now, diaries tend to be seen [[https://www.themorgan.org/blog/do-real-men-keep-diaries 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]]. While both men's and women's diaries are covered in Thomas Mallon's ''A Book Of One's Own'', there are no anthologies of men's diaries, while there are several [[https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1974/11/15/to-love-and-to-work-pwhy/ anthologies]] of [[https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/books/article/13013763/no-one-writes-to-the-journal women's diaries]]. This may be a social issue. Men may be teased for having a diary which forces them to be more secretive or 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. [[https://wolfandiron.com/every-man-keep-handwritten-journal/ More on diaries and journals from Wolf & Iron]], and here's an 83-year-old diarist who explains [[https://epica.com/blogs/epica-news/a-lifetime-of-journaling-how-it-can-benefit-everyone how keeping a journal or diary can benefit everyone]].[[note]]That is on the Epica website, and while a diary can be as simple as a spiral notebook or the backs of store receipts, one of the side trips of diary keeping can be the world of ''really nice blank books'' -- buying them, or making them yourself. And using fountain pens. There are online communities with photos and discussion.[[/note]]

to:

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, and partly because women were the ones chronicling the westward expansion of Anglo people in North America, diaries became culturally coded as "feminine", in spite of "feminine" -- despite the fact that some of the greatest diaries by men were written in this period[[note]]George Templeton Strong, the Goncourt brothers, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt[[/note]]. Even now, diaries tend to be seen [[https://www.themorgan.org/blog/do-real-men-keep-diaries 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, Tristine Rainer, author of ''The New Diary''.Diary'', which you can now borrow at the Internet Archive.[[/note]]. While both men's and women's diaries are covered in Thomas Mallon's ''A Book Of One's Own'', there are no anthologies of men's diaries, while there are several [[https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1974/11/15/to-love-and-to-work-pwhy/ anthologies]] of [[https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/books/article/13013763/no-one-writes-to-the-journal women's diaries]]. This may be a social or socio-cultural issue. Men may be teased for having a diary which forces them to be more secretive or 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. [[https://wolfandiron.com/every-man-keep-handwritten-journal/ More on diaries and journals from Wolf & Iron]], and here's an 83-year-old diarist who explains [[https://epica.com/blogs/epica-news/a-lifetime-of-journaling-how-it-can-benefit-everyone how keeping a journal or diary can benefit everyone]].[[note]]That is on the Epica website, and while a diary can be as simple as a spiral notebook or the backs of store receipts, one of the side trips of diary keeping can be the world of ''really nice blank books'' -- buying them, or making them yourself. And using fountain pens. There are online communities with photos and discussion.[[/note]]


* ''WesternAnimation/TheBarbieDiaries'' features this, making the movie the franchise's most low-key fantasy endeavour.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheBarbieDiaries'' features this, making the movie [[WesternAnimation/{{Barbie}} the franchise's franchise]]'s most low-key fantasy endeavour.


[[/folder]]

to:

[[/folder]][[/folder]]

--> ''"Keep a diary and someday it'll keep you."'' -- Creator/MaeWest


* Castiel's journal in ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'' is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.

to:

* Castiel's journal in ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'' ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'', a {{Series/Supernatural}} fic is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.


* Castiel's journal in ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/2654327/chapters/5930561 A Winter's Tale]]'' is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.

to:

* Castiel's journal in ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/2654327/chapters/5930561 A Winter's Tale]]'' ''Fanfic/AWintersTale'' is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.



to:

* Castiel's journal in ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/2654327/chapters/5930561 A Winter's Tale]]'' is featured in the first chapters. It showed how he survived on the streets and all his thoughts and feelings during his time. It became a form of letter for Dean to read.


* Mary Chesnut's diary of Southern life during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, published under various titles

to:

* [[https://www.bbc.com/news/education-51385884 The journals of Yorkshire farmer Matthew Tomlinson]], who among other things gave a reasonable, common-sense assessment of homosexuality as natural and not something that should be punishable by death (the law in the U.K. until 1861).
* Mary Chesnut's diary of Southern life during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, published under various titlestitles.

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* ''Animation/HappyHeroes'': Season 4 episode 17 reveals that Careless S. keeps a journal, probably to help him remember things he forgot or will likely forget. Big M. uses the info in Careless S.'s journal to make the other Supermen argue with each other.


* [[http://people.com/archive/out-of-sight-vol-51-no-15/ Accused of murdering his wife Virginia]], 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 had been firmly against their marriage and wanted to blame Alvin for her death, thus the murder charge. On [=YouTube=], look up "Death in a Small Town" or "Virginia Ridley".

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* [[http://people.com/archive/out-of-sight-vol-51-no-15/ Accused of murdering his wife Virginia]], Alvin Ridley's life and reputation were saved [[http://snapjudgment.org/writing-wall-0 [[https://snapjudgment.org/story/the-writing-is-on-the-wall-snap-630-dirty-work-2/ 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 had been firmly against their marriage and wanted to blame Alvin for her death, thus the murder charge. On [=YouTube=], look up "Death in a Small Town" or "Virginia Ridley".

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