Memoir writers collect their memories and hold them close, peeling back layers of joy and pain and finding the most powerful ways to convey situations and emotions in order to present a cohesive, honest narrative. The toolbox of a memoirist cradles memory on its top shelves; memories are the crucial and unavoidable necessities of the genre itself.
Fiction writers may not be aware of the drawer of their own toolboxes in which they’ve nestled their memories. Obviously our pasts and our memories color the landscape of our writing, no matter which genre we undertake, but fiction writers may be missing out on an important tool by neglecting memory for imagination.
Revisiting an emotional memory can provide all creative writers with material; examining mood, conversations, and consequences can help bring authenticity to fictional characters and plots. Remember, though, your history is not your main character’s history; be sure to weave together your own recollections with the past you’ve developed for your main characters in order to stay true to the story at hand.
Do you revisit particular memories when writing fiction? How has that practice enhanced your writing?