As I think about moving into college tomorrow, it makes me think of building the anticipation in a novel. In many ways, they are similar.

Preparing for college comes with ups and downs. The past week I've had thoughts that this cannot come soon enough. When I read a novel I think at times that I want to race through it, wanting to get towards to the end as quickly as I can have resolution, closure. I want the author to keep the suspense up so that I continue to experience the rush to the end of the book. It is one of the biggest letdowns to me when the author doesn't keep the adrenaline and the plot flowly quickly. It's like the author just gave up.

I've also had the experience of not ever wanting to leave for college. A good novel makes it so you never want to leave the world. It's one of the reasons series are so popular. Harry Potter, for example, has seven books for the reader to indulge in, live in the author's world.

A good book has a combination of adrenaline and never wanting to leave. It is just like getting ready for college. So hopefully, authors will think about their experiences leaving for college when they plot out their novel and the level of suspense in it.

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I never travel without my diary.
One should always have something sensational to read on the train.
~ Oscar Wilde

Ever since the summer after my sixth grade year, I have journalled every night. This journaling habit has led me through a trans-Atlantic move, a sister away to college, a sister away to China, the hardships of high school, the decision to skip a grade... basically everything. In the span of thirteen journals, I have poured out my soul each and every night in addition to telling about how the day went.

I type up the entries as a way of keeping an electronic record of everything. However, I refuse to journal on a computer. First, because I have a love of smooth gel ink pens, and secondly, because there is nothing more soothing than pouring your heart out onto a page, not worrying about the circuit shorting when you cry on it. So, the electronic copies of my journals only serve as a smaller copy of the thirteen journals.

Every so often, I reread a particular journal to see what I was going through. I see the anguish I labored over my friends in seventh grade when I had the best friend in the world right there, unbeknowest to me. I see how I would obsess about asking that guy to the dance that nobody asked anyone to. That was just when I was starting out.

As I grew, my handwriting got better (I almost always write in cursive) and I thought I would learn eons about myself. Here's the thing - a relaxing habit does not lend itself to epiphanies unless one works at it.

I have to reread and reflect on my journals to really see the path I've travelled and how it can help me in the future. Reflecting allows me to see that I have already had one crazy life and I'm capable of handling much more than I ever thought possible. (My second year of high school should be a testament to this.)

I will start a new journal tomorrow night. And while I don't know how long it will take me to fill the pages or what it will contain, I do know I will come to it when things are good, when things are bad and when I am so confused I don't know what question to ask. Journaling has helped me become more introspective. Sometimes I think that's a bad thing. But then I remember, a little self reflection never hurt anyone.

Anyway, if I always travel with my journal and I record the funny moments in my life, I can always have a joke book with me. I can be like Oscar Wilde and have something sensational to read that is extremely personal.

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I have been trying to find a writing/organizing program that works with how I write and my lack of planning. However, I also needed a program that would let me plan when I needed it.

With a little help from Nicole Humphrey Cook , I found StoryBook. StoryBook was more time-line based and aggravatingly annoying if you've already wrote the novel and just want to revise it. So, I decided to uninstall the program.

I tried writing on paper - asking questions of something I had already written. That didn't work either.

So, I laid off programs or writing novels for awhile. That was, until I looked back at Nicole's article. I had heard of Liquid Story Binder. I have writing friends who love it, swear by it. Some hate it too so I was a little cautious.

I downloaded it when I decided to completely rewrite the 2008 NaNo novel I wrote (the one I constantly talk about that is giving me trouble). I decided to first plan everything out and then write the novel semi-from scratch.

I tried Liquid Story Binder's outlining tool - I love it! I have found a program that works with how I write. It's amazing. It's fairly easy to use and has many features that I'm sure I'll find useful.

As I use LSB more, I'll let everyone know what I think about it and its different components. But for now, I'm in love.

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