By Shirin Shamsi
Sometimes a smell, a taste, or even an old song can bring alive a memory that has lain dormant in the deepest recesses of my mind. Moments like this stop me in my tracks. They’re a powerful reminder that we have treasures within us, treasures of memories that can be repackaged and used in our writing. In fact, I believe everything we experience can be used as writing material.
I’m not saying we should all be writing memoirs. What I mean is simply that all the rich material, that is stored in our memory banks, can be recycled and used in many ways. An example of this can be found in my current work-in-progress, a middle grade novel (happily I have just finished a rough draft!) I was stuck on a scene. It didn’t quite resonate, and wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t authentic enough, in fact it left me feeling emotionally distant. I figured I wasn’t able to put myself fully into the protagonist’s shoes. After struggling for a while, I dug into my memory banks for the emotional and sensory details of something parallel to what I wanted my protagonist to feel. And Voila! It added layers of emotion to the scene, and brought it to life (I hope the editor feels the same way about it)! I must say, it was a gratifying moment.
By using sensory details and emotions from memories of long ago, I was able to bring the character’s experience to life on the page. What gold nuggets will you find in your memory banks?
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break