How memory can figure in your story

It’s well-known that our senses are strongly linked to memory recall. Whether it is particular tastes, pieces of music or certain sounds, the touch of something familiar, or a smell.

For me, there are certain bands or albums that seem to define eras in my life and to bring back strong memories of who I was at the time; the mood of the time, the hopes and desires, the sense of self, whether it was an optimistic time or a pessimistic one, the people I knew. It depends on the music as to how I feel and what I remember.

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Dialogue And Speech

Dialogue is a wonderful tool for showing the nature of someone’s character in your story.

In real life we are constantly measuring and gauging the character and nature of people around us. From an evolutionary point of view this would be to assess safety and threat; how comfortable we are with a person, or people, or how threatened we feel.

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Writing Prompt: A bride waits by the door

What’s going on here?

Photo credit:

Scott Walsh

Writing Prompt: An old man smoking a cigar

Write about this old man’s past.

Where does he live? What has he done in his life?

Photo credit:

Ellen Carlson Hanse

Enhanced hearing

Is there really silence in a scene you’re writing?

We’ll often write that there was a silence, often between two characters or when someone is listening out for something, but is there really silence? Are we outside or indoors? Is there a clock in the room? Any passing traffic? You should consider these things in order to keep your reader in a scene. Continue reading

Characters: create contrast and intrigue in their lives

the Marx brothersReal people (you and I) form their characters and behaviour over time, but writers are creating ready-formed lives and there is a lot to think about and invent to make your character — and your story — believable in the reader’s eyes.

Let’s take a look at some examples of what I mean.  Continue reading

Writing Prompt: An elderly woman plays the piano

When her fingers touched the keys the years fell away . . . .


Making your characters believable: Body Language

Body Language

When you watch other people you don’t always need to be told what their relationship is with each other or what that relationship is like — you can see it in their body language, their eyes, and hear it in the way they speak to each other.

Using descriptions of body language in your story shows your reader what is going on between two characters rather than telling them. It helps to create an emotional response in your reader, which reflects the emotional responses your characters are experiencing.  Continue reading