Writer's Blog

Memory and the writer

We are sometimes told not to 'dwell on the past' but this is exactly what a writer does, from time to time. A remembered image, sound and, especially, a scent can be the spark that releases the emotions of the past and sets you on the path of a story. If you think of  Proust and the madeleine cake which resulted in the many books of 'Remembrance of Time Past' and you'll get the idea. Eve, one of our group of writers which meets at Toast By The Coast illustrated this point perfectly. She used a sprig from a flowering bush which her protaganist picks and smells to evoke a  time in the past when she sat with her lover hidden from her grandmother by such a bush. The result  though short contained all the elements of a structured short story thast was impressive. Give it a try. 

Wake up and smell the coffee: using your senses in your writing

Writers Tip of the Day. We experience the universe in several ways. Yes, we see it, but we have much more than one sense: smell, hearing, touch and taste. Yet, it is surprising how many writers don’t make use of all these tools to present their lively version of the world. If we want to entice the reader into believing in our stories, we need to use all five senses in our writing. Not only can they create a three-dimensional setting but, with their use, they also have the power to evoke associations and memories. Marcel Proust’s taste of a madeleine transported him (and his readers) on the long journey (seven volumes) into times past. So don’t just tell the reader about a rose, recreate its scent, the feel of its thorny stem. Let your character hear the sound of the sea like a wild beast, hurling itself against the shore, don’t just say it was rough. The sense of taste can be used powerfully to set your readers’ taste buds tingling as you set a fictional feast before them. You are in possession of these senses, all you have to do is employ them. And you’ll bring your writing to life.


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I am based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Tel: 07599 813820

Email: info@jenniferpulling.co.uk


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