Last night I was running through airports to catch a flight, all night, or so it felt. At 5:30 am, I had had enough of the dream that seemed to repeat over and over and got up to write this blog post.
This is generally not how dreams work in fiction, is it? Imagine if writers didn’t have this tool to convey important information about the past (or future) to their readers, and had to rely on the jumbled mess of brainwaves that is our dreams.
The same can be said of memories. Just think, if a protagonist’s memory or what the narrator recalls, was as unreliable as that of the writer’s, we’d be in trouble. The present tense is just not exciting enough and characters don’t talk about their pasts to just anyone.
It is true that your readers should be invested in a story before taking them through a journey of the past. So, are you there yet?
Recently I discovered the CDs I used to listen to as a teenager. Remember those? We don’t even have any devices in the house that play CDs anymore, so I’ve had to listen to it in the car.
It is incredibly strange how music can awaken the same “feel”, as a particular time in the past. And if I were to follow the writer’s rule that ensures that we use some of our other senses too (such as smell) and throw in the shampoo I used to use at that age, I’m right back at some awful school camp we were all forced to go to at one point in time.
I think I’d rather be running through airports.