Sometimes we writers forget to look for stories that have
roots in our childhood; the ways in which we were raised and everyday life experiences.
Two things to note about these times. One is how they
influence our lives and the other how they can influence our writing.
There are many hidden stories in these areas.
Every age has a memory or more that may have a story.
Whether we were five, ten, fifteen or older. What about the stories of us as
babies our parents talked about? I have
a few of those. Then there are the memories of grammar school, high school,
college, young adult, newlywed, birth of our children, raising our children,
losing our parents or a loved one and growing old. There are hundreds of
stories. Every person we have encountered in our lives has left an influence
that may have the beginnings of a story.
You can see now; writers have a vast well to draw forth the
makings of stories. There are characters, plots, scenes, dialogues galore down
in this well. All writers must do is pull these up and place them on the screen
of their computer. Regardless of your age, you have enough material to write many
books, I have heard we have at least material for 20 to 30 books or tons of
short stories. I would imagine you are now asking yourself, “Why haven’t I
written this many books?” The answer could be you never thought of it that
way…but your memory knows these stories are there and can direct you to those
treasures in your well.
Hemmingway’s mother insisted he learn to play the cello, which was a source of
conflict, as it would be for most children. However, he later admitted the
music lessons were useful to his writing structure as evident in For Whom the Bell Tolls. A memory
brought forth and used.
Every time a thought surfaces from our
memory of years gone by, we could write it down. Perhaps once we write that
memory down, others will start pouring out. Each memory that comes to the
surface may be your next best seller.
Take that memory, write down what you remember about it as
well as who were the people involved and what kind of conversations do you
remember surrounding this memory. Do you remember your emotions or other people’s
emotions with this memory? In other words, everything you can pull forth from
the recesses of your mind, write down. These memories are trying to connect
with you, so let them flow.
It is wise to keep a journal writing these memories in there. Eventually you can either write a book about some of these memories or use them on stories you are in the process of writing. The important thing is to get them on paper. Then you can determine if you will use them.
Massaging every piece is helpful because it brings about
more memories. You are priming the pump so to speak.
Some of the things I have written down are stories about my
grandparents. Hopefully when my sister and I have enough, we can create a book
for our children and grandchildren and other generations that will come so they
too can meet and know these two wonderful people and their values.
Most of all, have fun bringing to life these old memories.
Susan Reichert, author of Between Me and You, God’s Prayer Power and Storms in Life. She has written numerous magazine articles and stories in anthology books. She is a speaker at writing conferences, seminars, and libraries.
She is the founder of Southern Author Services, and Editor of Suite T. Also, the founder of
Collierville Christian Writers Group (CCWriters Group), and founder and co-publisher of Southern Writers Magazine. A national magazine for authors and readers (which is retired now). At the time she was the Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine.
Reichert has a passion for writing about God in devotionals, prayers, and inspirational works.
She and her husband live in Tennessee. They have four grown daughters with families of their own.
Member of the: DAR; First Families of Mississippi.