|From Lynda Barry's What It Is|
Ms. Barry writes that often, when people write their life stories or write about their emotions in journals, there are plenty of words, words, words: but few images to bring the writing to LIFE! The images in our minds—our memories—are what give our words a sense of liveliness and color. Those images are where the details lie. That's where you'll find the scents, textures, warmth, coolness, sunlight or shade of the moment you're remembering. That's where you'll find the details to make your writing come alive for your readers.
All it takes is a simple prompt to bring up memories. It can be a prompt to write about your first car, your first date or about a loved-one who cared for you as child. As you hone in on a particular memory, an image becomes clear in your mind.
While you're "in" the memory, you are also inside the image. Take advantage of this special moment. Look around while you're there and notice the details.
- What's in front of you?
- What's to your left?
- What's to your right?
- What's behind you?
- What's above your head?
- What's below your feet?
Once you do this exercise, you'll want to do it again and again. You'll be pleasantly surprised at all the details you'll capture in your writing.