Is there anything new in the writer’s tool kit?

Just read this thoughtful post which got me thinking about how to use autobiographical material. Maybe what you don’t know about your memories might be as interesting as what you think you do know!

Cath Humphris

Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories – and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.

Alice Munro

For the creative writer, the question, when thinking about using memory, is how far we are willing to deviate from truth.  Then again, what is truth?

One of my most shared personal anecdotes is a story that happened during my eighth summer. Out on the lawn, while playing rounders, there was an accident.

One of us ran forwards as another was raising their bat for a swing. I can see that moment in detail, I remember the blinding impact and the feel of blood dripping down my temple. I cried all the way to A & E, and those three stitches hurt.

facesYet years later, when I mentioned this to my brother, he frowned.  ‘No,’ he said.  ‘It was you who hit me.’  We both lifted our fringes to reveal a scar…

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9 thoughts on “Is there anything new in the writer’s tool kit?

  1. Fake news! Fake truth! Fake memories!
    We are definitely in the post-truth era!
    But seriously, I use my memories all the time in my writing. I’m doing it right now in the latest Sci-fi book I’m writing.

        1. Not sure yet, Cath. Probably both. I have lists of childhood memories I’d like to do something with. Started a poem a while back but didn’t get far. Your post has encouraged me to revisit it.

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