Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

Contests for 2018
Currently there are no contests planned for 2018. Check the side bar "Contests for 2017" to see if this changes.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.

View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals
Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"


Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 30, April 30, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
When I was eleven things were –––––––––––––––––––––.  

List B: Questions
Which matters most?

List C: Quotations
What is the most important thing in the circus? Time. Hovey Burgess

List D: Found Dialogue 
I reached for it and the entire curtain came away in my hand, the fabric just disintegrated.

List E: Objects
First thing your character sees at lunch.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Day 29, April 29, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Seems sad not to go ahead with…

List B: Questions
What did I learn at the retreat?

List C: Quotations
I like to explore things. I don't expect to enjoy them. Jerry Seinfeld

List D: Found Dialogue 
That's your problem. You need to pay attention to your dreams; they contain crucial information.

List E: Objects
Something metallic.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Day 28, April 28, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
He wouldn't say that if he knew… [You can change gender if desired.]

List B: Questions
Agree to disagree?

List C: Quotations
Still I rise. Maya Angelou

List D: Found Dialogue 
Whose truth?

List E: Objects
Something bumpy and lumpy.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Day 27, April 27, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
I'm interested in any secret which…

List B: Questions
How elaborate do I need to be?

List C: Quotations
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous. Frederick Douglass

List D: Found Dialogue 
I've never met such a taciturn and talkative man.

List E: Objects
Something dust covered.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Day 26, April 26, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Get –––––––––––––––––––––.  

List B: Questions
What am I trying to say?

List C: Quotations
It's fun to be on the edge. I think you do your best work when you take chances, when you're not safe, when you're not in the middle of the road, at least for me anyway. Danny De Vito

List D: Found Dialogue 
We should discount that. He has advanced dementia.

List E: Objects
Your character's prize possession.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 25, April 25, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
I'm not trying to offend you…

List B: Questions
Why do I reduce everything to nonsense?

List C: Quotations
Never explain—your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway. Elbert Hubbard.

List D: Found Dialogue 
Better say nothing than make a mistake.

List E: Objects
A series, i.e., a series of objects that your character sits down to sketch at a specific moment in the day, or at different moments throughout the day, but all sketches that are on the same page spread.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Day 24, April 24, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
It all started Saturday when…

List B: Questions
Oh why am I so suspicious of [other character's name]'s motives?

List C: Quotations
I am interested in imperfections, quirkiness, insanity, unpredictability. That's what we really pay attention to anyway. We don't talk about planes flying; we talk about them crashing. Timor Kalman

List D: Found Dialogue 
I bet it was him. There was such a tone..

List E: Objects
Beauty- or health-related product in a container, tube, etc..

Monday, April 23, 2018

Day 23, April 23, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Yoga might be the…

List B: Questions
What is the real reason [his/her] actions bother me?

List C: Quotations
Doing great. Living the life. Glenn Rhee on "The Walking Dead."

List D: Found Dialogue 
If I thought you were able to understand it I would have told you at the time. This proves it doesn't it? [One side of phone conversation.]

List E: Objects
A container. [Nothing beauty-product or health-product related.]

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Day 22, April 22, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
I'm tired of delineating the obvious…

List B: Questions
Am I willing to make a sacrifice to change this?

List C: Quotations
The question is not what you look at but what you see. Henry David Thoreau

List D: Found Dialogue 
I don't care what he calls himself—he's an absentee slumlord.

List E: Objects
Something mechanical.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Day 21, April 21, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Reports suggest…

List B: Questions
Is the end in sight?

List C: Quotations
We meet our destiny on the road we take to avoid it. Jung

List D: Found Dialogue 
You've got to pull them out and rotate them.

List E: Objects
Your character's neighbor.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Day 20, April 20, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Gotcha…

List B: Questions
What could be more inappropriate?

List C: Quotations
Isolation tempers the strong. Paul Cezanne

List D: Found Dialogue 
Rich emotional stew…

List E: Objects
Haven.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Day 19, April 19, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
Who picked up the –––––––––––––––––––––?  

List B: Questions
Do I need to order more –––––––––––––––––––––––––?

List C: Quotations
The art of drawing is the art of omission. Max Lieberman

List D: Found Dialogue 
Be careful of her; you can tell by her pants she's a rule breaker.

List E: Objects
An object that really changed your character's life. [Think purloined letter type of change.]

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Day 18, April 18, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.
List A: Finish This Sentence…
I would ask you……?

List B: Questions
Which pigments were used in this painting? [Include a print of the painting your character is discussing as part of your page layout.]

List C: Quotations
Comedy is the most senseless profession on earth. I was born with this eyeball that sees everything different. Tragedy strikes, I got news for you—we have the jokes that night. Steve Harvey

List D: Found Dialogue 
Mom she hit her boyfriend with a car because of you. [pause] See that's your attitude. [One side of a phone conversation.]

List E: Objects
Something noisy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Day 17, April 17, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

My total was –––––––––––––––––––––. (Your total can be anything/any subject.)

List B: Questions

Did I plan for everything?

List C: Quotations

It's a mistake to think you can't be hurt if you don't care. Errol Flynn

List D: Found Dialogue 

He [she] walks in drama.

List E: Objects

The street your character lives on.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Day 16, April 16, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompt

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

We did get to hear…

List B: Questions

Who else knows about this?

List C: Quotations

[Something the REAL YOU has said] Your character is quoting the real you; attribute it to your real self.

List D: Found Dialogue 

I'm what's leftover.

List E: Objects

Weather. (Look outside your window.)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Day 15, April 15, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

The last time I achieved a meditative state I –––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Why did I expect much of value?

List C: Quotations

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

List D: Found Dialogue 

I suggest that she separate the lights from the darks but she just stuck them all in together.

List E: Objects

Leftovers. (Doesn't have to be food. What story do they tell?)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Day 14, April 14, 2018 International Fake Journal Month

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

What's the word I'm looking for to describe –––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Who has suffered the most?

List C: Quotations

Black ink only, no blue. I'm not a street artist. Captain Holt on "Brooklyn 99."

List D: Found Dialogue 

Kid: You aren't a good mom.
Mom: Why not?
Kid: What? Why? You aren't.

List E: Objects

Afternoon snack/late night snack. (Select based on the actual time you're working because we are always letting our characters work in present time. If you are a morning time sketcher/journal keeper think about switching to a different time today to explore it from your character's perspective. You might find he's more available to you later or earlier in the day from when you typically work.)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Day 13, April 13, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

So my aunt believes –––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Which condiment can I live without?

List C: Quotations

Possibilities are so much more thrilling than certainties. Flavia De Luce in "The Grave's a fine and Private Place."

List D: Found Dialogue 

It's part of growing up…

List E: Objects

Your character's favorite world leader. (Current leader, ALIVE.)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Day 12, April 12, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

I got this the day I replaced –––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

When is the right time to move?

List C: Quotations

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Ancient Roman saying.

List D: Found Dialogue 

That's easy—you can wear his shirt, belted; and he can wear your pajama bottoms tucked into his boots.

List E: Objects

Postage stamp of your character's dreams. (It can be a real stamp he wants to collect or one imagined by him as the ideal postage stamp commemorating some favorite event, concept, etc.).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Day 11, April 11, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

Everyone knows I am a fan of –––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Isn't love just the same thing as attention?

List C: Quotations

We're born naked, the rest is drag. Rupaul Charles

List D: Found Dialogue 

It's funny, dark, smart, and extremely entertaining for a puppet show.

List E: Objects

Proof.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 10, April 10, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

When I put the book down…

List B: Questions

People see what they are looking for. (Statement? Question? True or false? Why is your character thinking of this and how is he thinking about this issue?)

List C: Quotations

Sometimes the flowers arrange themselves. Robert California on "The Office" (U.S. Version)

List D: Found Dialogue 

Nothing but numbers that nobody understands.

List E: Objects

A stem, or stems.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Day 9, April 9, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

He couldn't remember…

List B: Questions

What can I do today?

List C: Quotations

Geography is destiny.

List D: Found Dialogue 

It's amazing how fast your hair grows. The older you are the faster it grows.

List E: Objects

Crumbs.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Day 8, April 8, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

And she said, "Have you eaten today?"–––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Did I imagine that?

List C: Quotations

Sitting on your biscuit, never having to risk it.—Darryl on "The Office" (U.S. Version)

List D: Found Dialogue 

When he opened the dish cupboard thousands, THOUSANDS, of mustard and ketchup packets spilled out onto the floor. He just smiled.

List E: Objects

Something inevitable.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 7, April 7, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

What's the worst I can say about–––––––––––––––––––––?

List B: Questions

Why do I –––––––––––––––––––?

List C: Quotations

Birth, life, death is a cycle. And they're all beautiful. Animals do grieve, but they move on. That's the lesson behind animals. Cesar Milan

List D: Found Dialogue 

You know he's only going to add fuel to the fire…we'll just have to tread carefully.

List E: Objects

An article of clothing or jewelry.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Day 6, April 6, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

The wording on the package says…

List B: Questions

What makes this special?

List C: Quotations

Things aren't unresolved; they just are what they are. Frankie's sister on "Grace and Frankie."

List D: Found Dialogue 

Trust your gut.

List E: Objects

An inextinguishable hope.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Day 5, April 5, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

Allegedly…

List B: Questions

Will [your character] do something about [whatever]?

List C: Quotations

Pissed off beats scared every time. Frank Castle, The Punisher (Marvel Comix/TV)

List D: Found Dialogue 

What do you want for supper?…Are you sure?…What brands?…What color is the can?…How many? [One side of a phone conversation]

List E: Objects

Something on your desktop (or workspace). You do not have to draw the desktop (or workspace).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day 4, April 4, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

Choose…

List B: Questions

What's happening to me?

List C: Quotations

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

List D: Found Dialogue 

Anecdotes do not equal evidence.

List E: Objects

A clock (any size, including one in a tower or on a wrist)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Day 3, April 3, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

Happiness is…

List B: Questions

Describe the tongue of a woodpecker.

List C: Quotations

The important thing is to keep on drawing when you start to paint. Never graduate from drawing. John Sloan

List D: Found Dialogue 

Everything that needs to be said has already been said.

List E: Objects

Kitchen utensils or pan, etc.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Day 2, April 2, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Here are the five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal today.

List A: Finish This Sentence…

When the zombie apocalypse comes I'll be able to…

List B: Questions

What's the word of the day?

List C: Quotations

Everybody's got dead people. It's no excuse to get everyone else dead along the way.—Rocket Raccoon, "Guardians of the Galaxy"

List D: Found Dialogue 

It's about more than just one night.

List E: Objects

Something organic.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Day 1, April 1, 2018 International Fake Journal Month Prompts

Welcome to the first day of the 2018 IFJM Celebration.

Here are your five prompts which YOUR CHARACTER can respond to or incorporate into his journal.

Remember you can incorporate all five prompts into your entry, or one, two… You can also ignore the prompts entirely. Just because you don't use them at the beginning of the month doesn't mean you can't use them later (come back each day for new prompts). And if you get frustrated with incorporating the prompts stop using them!

List A: Finish This Sentence…

Your character finishes this sentence or thought by writing about something he thought, saw, drew, noticed, tec. Sometimes it is a matter of filling in the blank as your character writes, or setting up a context where he is thinking about this.

My life is about…

List B: Questions

Begin journaling with this question and explore an event in your character's mind or develop a context in the journal in which the character will write about this. Or have your character write with thins obviously in mind, in which case you don't need to actually state the question because the character just writes about it and is obviously thinking about it. Of course your character can also be involved in a prompts project and respond just as he would to a prompt in a prompt project.

What would change look like today?

List C: Quotations

Have your character use these on the page in some decorative way, or as a way your character generates ideas to write about, or in journaling text because you are developing a context in which your character just came upon that quotation.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker

List D: Found Dialogue

These are statements that are overheard by your character. That means that you are out and about in your real day and decide to journal in your character's voice and while he's doing that he overheads this statement. Your character responds to it not you. These types of inclusions in the journal help to better describe your character's world, the place he lives, the people around him, and the attitudes of the people around him.They also give him an opportunity to comment back in his journal—to agree, disagree, or wonder and otherwise explore. Be specific as your character writes. Be specific about where, when, how, does he/she overhear this and WHO is saying it to Whom? How are those people interacting? What is the scene like? What are the sounds, sights, smells, weather like when this is overhead? How does your character feel about what is said? Or about the people who said it? About the person addressed? Maybe a partial statement sends your character off on a reverie about that topic, a related topic, or a past event that has been weighing on his mind.

My ears are my most attractive feature.

List E: Objects

Your character will draw the following items. He will either do it because he is following a prompt project, or because he (and you) are going out to do something that will allow him time to sketch such an item.

Bakery goods (or home baked items).

 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Prompts for the 2018 International Fake Journal Month Celebration

This year, for the first time I am going to be providing prompts each day of April for International Fake Journal Month (IFJM).

You do NOT have to use the prompts. I am providing prompts because recent (last year) events made me wonder if some participants would enjoy prompts and if new participants would find the project easier with one less option taken out of their hands—or rather focused for them.

Each day of April 2018 I will post the FIVE prompts in a blog post at 3 a.m. CDT. (We are on Daylight Savings now.) Participants who live outside the US will get access at whatever the corresponding time is there, so expect to be a day later or earlier, whatever. Don't fret, just keep working. There is no happy work around for this.

The prompts are in five different groups. A prompt from each group will be released each day. You can use any or all of the prompts.

Or rather—your character can. Please keep that in mind, it is your character who is responding to the prompts.

Incorporating Prompts in Your Character's Journal Entries

Your character can incorporate prompts into his journal entry in the following ways.

1. You can sit down, get into character and he or she will sketch exactly what the prompt suggests. You'll date it, write the time down, as you will on all journal entries and you're done.

2. A more complicated way to deal with the prompts is to read all the prompts in the morning. Ascertain, based on your pre-April character analysis which prompts might work for a character's day and then do something in character and have your character respond to or include the prompts.

Example: One set of prompts is overheard dialog. You can take yourself off somewhere to work as your character, and as you work as your character you can work in the found dialog. You will be somewhere your character overhears people. As you work you will include on the page the overheard dialog as given in the prompt. And in this situation it would be typical for most journal keepers to then say something about why they are writing that found dialog down: it's so funny, weird, strange; it makes him muse on his own life and he starts writing more about it or what he wonders it means, etc.

3. You sit at home imagining you are your character, working as your character, and when you are doing the journaling portion of the day's entry you weave in the various verbal prompts.

Example: Your character puts the quote of the day on the page, simply because it's his habit. Or you are in character and pretending your character has just read that statement and you are writing it in your journal so that you can examine it from your character's perspective. It depends on how you want your character to journal.

4. With the "finish this sentence" category of prompts you will be in character and your character for whatever reason, for whatever is happening in his life/art/etc. will use that sentence and finish it from HIS PERSPECTIVE. Keep in mind that if the thought is about how he's going to spend an inheritance what he writes down must come out his character's mind, not yours. You are looking at getting answers which don't relate to yourself, it's the fun of understanding a character. Often the most fun is when a character holds diametrically opposed options from you. You then have to stay in character and let him have a voice.

5. For the Questions category of prompts you will again be answering the question from your characters point of view. He may be answering the question because it is a prompt in a project he is doing. He may be answering the question because he just read a book on the topic. Your character doesn't need to be doing a prompt project, but there does need to be a reason that your character is thinking about that question on that day. Before journaling think about what that reason is and write about it from your character's point of view.

Going Promptless

Remember, you do not have to use any of the prompts to participate in 2018 IFJM.

The prompts are there because some people enjoy working with prompts. 

You can work 15 or more days into the month using any or all of the prompts each day and then you can decide that it doesn't work for your character any longer and the rest of the month you work without the prompts.

The MOST IMPORTANT THING is that you keep journaling every day, in character. I cannot stress that enough.

If you find that the prompts are slowing you down, confusing you, frustrating you, or otherwise making you grumpy, well simply stop using them.

If you are going to use them come back tomorrow any time after 3 a.m. and get your first set!

Have a Great 2018 IFJM!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Discovering Your Character for IFJM 2018

This year, Translating the Inevitable, I've provided a list of character questions and a character checklist that you can work on before you begin your first entry on April 1. Many people like to do preparation before starting. This document will aid you in preparing. You can download this PDF for use on your IFJM project.

When I tried to get the document loaded here my design in blogger didn't accommodate the width of the embedded PDF.

I have put the checklist up on a page of Roz Wound Up.

You can also click directly to the PDF window by clicking here.

Once you are in the PDF window you will find the usual symbols you can click on to download or print the file.

Sorry I had to do it this way, but there didn't seem a way to do it here that was quick and easy, without changing the simple layout of the blog—and I don't see any point in doing that tonight!

Hope you have fun getting to know your character.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Translating the Inevitable: International Fake Journal Month 2018

It's February and International Fake Journal Month 2018 is only a few weeks away.

The 2018 the tagline/theme is "Translating the Inevitable."

What does that mean? You decide. Or rather your character decides. Your IFJM Character can either embrace the theme or ignore the theme. That's always been the option for participants.

If you look in the sidebar right now you'll see the "button" for IFJM 2018 right at the top. Maybe the image will inspire a mood, an idea, a character, a style or method of approach.

Daily Prompts Available This Year

But wait—there is a change to IFJM this year. There will be daily prompts!

Really?

Yep. Last fall I was talking to a group of students. It struck me how some journal keepers, regardless of how long they've been at visual journaling really love prompts. (Readers will know that I typically find prompts annoying and use them as "anti-prompts" by doing the exact opposite.)

My goal, since 2001 has been to get more people involved in this exploration of journaling and of their own creative approach. The constraints of IFJM allow participants to explore creativity from the mind of another character and how each participant chooses to do this will tell them a lot about his or her own creative process. What each participant chooses to work on, whether it's the minutia of life or the finessing of a style, again brings insight.

In an effort to open up IFJM to even more participants I've decided that this year I will supply prompts. These are prompts that you'll respond to AS YOUR CHARACTER. 

I thought that this approach might help people new to visual journaling, or new to IFJM to decrease the time spent on their projects so that they could actually find the time to participate. People comfortable working with prompts will find that their character's first response to a prompt is what they'll act on and in no time the page will be completed. (Well in less time than if you are having to sort through all the ideas in the universe.)

Your character's responses to the prompts will also tell you more and more about your character and his or her likes, dislikes, approaches, values, whatever.

How The Prompts Will Work

But you know me, I couldn't be content with a simple list of prompts. And we are translating the inevitable this year…this is how it will work.

There are FIVE (5) lists of prompts for IFJM 2018.

You can elect to use one list alone throughout the celebration. You can use a prompt from more than one list each day. You can use all five prompts each and every day. Or you can use some of the prompts some of the time and some of them all of the time. You get the idea.

Which list(s) of prompts you select is the first step in learning about and deciding on your character (more about this in a moment). There are no wrong selections! There is simply a selection and then your character's response to it.

Each day from Sunday, April 1, 2018 until Monday, April 30, 2018 I will post ONE prompt from each of the FIVE lists—so five prompts. These will go up at 3 a.m. CST on the day. If you're in some other time zone or country where this means you'll get the prompts a day early or late—just work for 30 days, one day at a time, using the prompts for the numerical day they were released. You get the idea.

Don't get wrapped in knots about this. Use the prompts or not. That's your choice.

I was going to say it's your character's choice but here's something I would like you to think about:

Because of the nature of the different prompts I encourage you to think about using them as part of your character's fake day.

For instance one of the categories is found dialogue. To use the daily found dialogue prompt I encourage you to go about your day and when you go into character do what your character is going to do, let's say you're at the zoo and your character sketches. Then pretend that you hear the found dialogue there at the zoo. Incorporate it into your page or page spread as something your character actually overheard.

I know this is a little bit of a departure because you are pretending your character overheard this dialog and before I've asked you to snap into your character and respond to your life as things are happening to you and use that for the grist of your entries. But many of you have already gone back and forth over this line so I don't think any of us will have our heads explode!

The important thing is that the prompt you choose is used in a reaction by your character.

What Are The Prompt Categories?

List A: Finish This Sentence… (Obviously a new unfinished sentence will be supplied each day and you can use it as something your character is thinking about.)

List B: Questions That Your Character Asks Himself or Herself

List C: Quotations that your character comes across during the day—which triggers something for him or her creatively.

List D: Found Dialog—these are bits of conversation that are overheard by your character and he or she finds them worthy of noting down and perhaps responding to.

List E: Objects—this list provides a series of visual journaling prompts so that your character's attention will be directed to drawing certain physical objects. This list is open to a lot of interpretation by your character. I'm encouraging you to use this list to think about the situation and thoughts of the character. I also suggest that you think of the sounds, smells, and all the ways YOUR CHARACTER'S senses register the subject of the prompt.

Why Can't I Get All The Prompts Now?


I want the prompts to be a surprise to all of us every morning. I've actually already created the lists but I have a random number generator which will select a prompt from each list for each day.

This means that there won't be any advance cherry picking from the lists, any pre-planning of entries (which isn't journaling), or combining of "obvious" choices to force your character's responses.

It also means that if I elect to use the prompts I can't know what's coming up and push my own character. (I'm not sure if I'm going to use the prompts yet or not. Originally I though I'd use all five every day, but life is a bit involved for me to get my head around that right now.)

I will release a PDF of all five lists at the end of the month—in their date order so you can save them for your records or your own journaling if you like.

This Sounds Too Complicated To Me

Don't over think this. Just as the tagline/theme is something participants can choose to embrace or ignore, so too are the prompt lists. They provide the possibility for an added layer of fun and understanding of one's character. They are meant to quickly spark ideas and speed your time creating your page—remember I suggest that each daily entry be completed in 30 minutes or less. 

People who follow that recommendation typically finish 30 entries with the least amount of disruption to the rest of their lives.

What Do I Need To Do Now?

The main thing you need to do right now is decide if you're going to participate in IFJM 2018.

If you are, go and friend me on Facebook. Once you've done that you can ask me on Facebook to put you in the Facebook Group for International Fake Journal Month. There you'll meet other folks who have participated before and are busy getting ready for their celebration. (This is the same Facebook group we used last year so if you are in that group you don't need to contact me. Just go there.)

This supportive group posts their entries as they are completed and you'll be able to read along during April.

I Hate Facebook So How Do I Participate?

So do I. Don't worry, you don't have to be on Facebook to participate in IFJM.

1. You can keep a fake journal that is private and only for you. When April is over if you feel so inclined you can write about your experience in the celebration and send that wrap-up to me in an email with to jpgs to accompany it. I'll explain how to do a wrap-up at then end of April. I'll put any wrap-ups I receive on this blog as a post. (You can also send a link to your wrap-up blog post if you post about your experience after April 30 on your personal blog.)

2. You can post images from your fake journal on your regular blog. If you do item this, at the end of the month you can send me a URL to the first post of your 2018 fake journal and I'll add you to the list of posters that is on this blog's page (see the side bar).

3. You can post images from your fake journal on a blog dedicated to your 2018 IFJM journal. If you do item this, after you have posted at least 6 entries this year, you can send me a link to the HOME page of your DEDICATED IFJM BLOG. I'll add you to the list of posters that is on this blog's page (see the side bar).

I'm Still Not Sure What IFJM IS And How To Begin To Participate

Still don't understand IFJM? Read this post to find out about it. You'll also learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals. (Faux—is all done in a clump, it's fiction writing and not what we're doing. Also, I don't recommend you try a fake historical journal for reasons explained in the post. We are doing FAKE journaling—journaling in the character's mind at a specific time in the present moment, just as journaling takes place.)

If you go to the top of the home page you will also find links to some of my past fake journals. Click on them to get an idea about what's going on.

If you want more information on getting started and keeping going please go to the category cloud in the right-hand column of this blog and look for the following key words: 

tips, tips on fake journaling, creative planning, creative play, definitions, finding your character, paper selection, media selection, choosing a journal.

That will get you started.

The Key Guidelines To Follow


The only catch is that you need to date your entries in present time, as your character completes them, i.e., April 1, 2009, 8 p.m.; April 3, 2009, 4 a.m.; and so on. 

Oh, and it has to be a self-contained journal, not your regular journal. (That's two catches.) It can however take any physical form your character wants to use, a specially bound journal, loose pages all collected together—it's up to your character and how he/she wants to work.)

There's actually one other catch—it seems to be catching people up. You need to be a person. An animal or inanimate object is not a suitable or workable character for IFJM. How will a dog hold a pencil? How will you get into the mind of a dog who thinks differently and uses his senses so differently from a human? How will you get anything down on a page? It becomes a creative writing project, and an interesting one, but not a project that will work for IFJM. This all goes double for an inanimate object who has no eyes to see, no ears to hear. How will it sense things? You have to do so much spade work to get to a "reality" in which an animal or inanimate object can communicate, that you would have to work on your project all day to set ground rules for yourself before you even started the project. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. 


Final Thoughts

Remember the main thing to decide right now is whether or not you are going to participate. The next step is to decide if you want to prepare or just start on April first. There are two schools of thought on approach. I've done both with great success.

Look in the categories list for topics on preparation to help you decide if you want to prepare and what you need to do to prepare if you want to prepare.

In the next few days I will be posting a "Character Check List." I haven't done this before, but I told the Facebook group last year I was thinking of it and there was interest, so watch for that.

Remember IFJM is for fun. It gives you an opportunity to explore the mind and art of someone else. It gives you the opportunity to work in a different style or with a different medium.

Additional I have found that keeping a fake journal has helped many of my students get over some rather strident internal critic issues. Look, if you aren't creating the pages your internal critic can't tell you that "you suck" because it isn't your work. You can look at the work and assess it from a step removed. You can practice telling your internal critic to shut up. All of that is just one added bonus.

The main reason for keeping a fake journal is that—

Life's so short, why live only one?