The key to writing memories is to make people feel like they are experiencing the memories through your writing.
Writing memories requires a lot of attention to detail. In order for your readers to fully experience the memory the way the writer does, you have to incorporate all of their senses. They need to be able to smell, see, hear, feel, and think what you thought in the moment.
The sense of smell is the strongest in the body because it’s linked very closely with memory and emotions. The smell of honeysuckles can make people immediately think of summer and change their mood. The smell of smoke can make people think of fall and recall a memory of a bonfire with friends. When it comes to writing about smells, you have to be descriptive. Did it smell musty at the time of the occasion or did it smell like roses? Think of what you smelled at the time and describe it in a way that makes people smell it as they read.
Whatever you saw is what you want your readers to see. What did you see? Describe it as descriptively as you can. Were you cooking, walking or laughing? Were you doing it seriously, kindly or lazily? What about the other people involved; what were they doing and how were they doing it? You also have to describe the setting and any objects that were involved. The reader should know if you were inside or outside, what the weather was like, what you were surrounded by and what everything looked like through your eyes.
Buzzing, clanging, crunching, screeching, ticking, and yelling are all descriptive words to use when talking about what you heard during that time. Describe what you heard as best as possible so that the reader knows what sounds helped the memory come together.
Emojis help people understand text on social media, but if you’re not writing a 140-character tweet then you should use descriptive wording to help readers understand what you were feeling and how they should feel. Were you happy or afraid? Amused or anxious? Sad or confident? But don’t just say you were happy; describe it. Make the reader feel happy.
In order for the reader to fully experience your memory they have to walk in your shoes for a bit. They can’t do that if they don’t know how you felt about the situation. Describing everything in detail is essential but so is knowing and stating your feelings. They can’t fully experience your memory if they don’t know how to feel about it. Did you disagree with what was happening? If so, you’re readers need to know.
Memories can be a beneficial addition to your story if they are written correctly. Use these tips to help you incorporate your memories into your writing in a way your readers can relate to. Happy writing!
Dawn Zauner – Writing Expert
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