So you’re trying to create a 500 words or more memory story. You’re not sure where to start but you are keen to tap into your memory. Here are some practical ideas to get you going.
All you need is your nose’s sense of smell, some pens, creativity, imagination, photographs, the courage to interview some relatives and go time travelling, and a few things you can smell.
1. Try Catching a Scent of the Past
You can draw the smells from specific scenes in your memory like the beach, rainforest, school, family outings, or people you know.
One distinct memory I have is of my brothers’ smelly socks!
Why not try actually smelling the following to see what they trigger: spices, fresh grass, new shoes, a favourite memory plant, and for the brave old shoes.
There are some great lists at: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/memoir-writing.html
2.Writing to Bring Back Memories and Drawing a Scene
One way to bring back memories is to write whatever is in your head, and then from these random memories pick one to draw a picture of.
By drawing a picture of the scene of the memory you can transport yourself to inside the memory.
You will hopefully begin to see details you might have missed at a first writing.
Once you have a visual picture of the scene it can act as a resource for writing, and then why not now put yourself in ‘action’ in the scene.
It is fun to write memories as if they are a movie unfolding in your head and this can help a reader to make the journey with you.
Check out this link for some more great tips: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/memoir-writing-interview.html
3. Photographs as Resources
Another fabulous source for writing memories are photographic triggers.
Find family photographs to inspire your stories.
Look for childhood ones, recent ones, and enlist help from family members to collect ones you might not have copies of handy.
To be really creative think beyond the photograph itself, as well as to what is in the photograph.
Can you remember where it was taken?
Who took it?
What the weather was like?
What you could smell?
What was the occasion?
What does the photo say about the people in it?
If you are in the photograph can you remember how you were feeling, and what you could see looking out from the photograph?
If unsure can you find out information from other family members.
Now that you have written something, don’t forget to let it sit for a while, and then begin the all important editing process.
There are many more ways to tap into memory and I’ll keep exploring them on my blog and by visiting other blog links.