Add detail- Click here for 5 things to consider!

Memory Triggers and Details

This month I have been thinking about memory triggers, and how the details all come rushing back. Could it be:


- a smell, that takes you back to your Grandmothers Kitchen?


- a song, that takes you back to an experience-like a skydive or a road trip?


- a photo- that takes you back to a moment in your childhood.


- a taste- that takes you back to a time spent in another country or a different season.


These memory triggers let the details rise. You can describe the light, the weather, the time of day, who you were with, where you were and how you were feeling ….instantly.


How can you incorporate this detail into your writing? How do you add the detail to your writing to maximise the experience of the reader and make it memorable?


When you start a project you need to work out how much detail is required. It doesn’t matter if you are an architect preparing plans, a manager running a meeting or giving instructions, an artist preparing a new work, or even a teacher in the classroom…and writing a book is no different.


How much detail do you add in the text? How much detail do you add to the images? Where is the sweet spot so the reader can get the full experience from your book? How much of the experience is gained from the readers own perception, thoughts, imagination and even memories?


Questions to ask before you add detail


1. Value/Context- What does it add to the book? How does it bring it to life? Has it already been included elsewhere? Is it relevant?


2. Layout and flow - Does the detail add clutter? Does it affect the flow of the story?


3. Who is the desired audience - Will further detail aid clarity? Will it affect what the reader has in their imagination?


4. Senses - Does it add to the experience of the book? Whether physical like a textural detail in a children’s book, or descriptive so the reader can picture themselves in the scene, smelling, tasting, touching etc.


5. Research - Are the details well researched… are they accurate?


While it may seem there are more questions here than answers, every piece of writing is different. It is written in a different time, a different place, by a different person with their own unique outlook and perceptions. Challenge the details, and only let the important ones rise!


Natural Detail:

The Swan- The seedpod of the Swan Plant (milkweed) main food source for the Monarch Caterpillar. This tiny detail was used as a backdrop to the page numbers in the children’s book: Blaze- Guardian of the Monarchs.

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Comment below and let me know your memory triggers and the details, emotions and feelings that are evoked! To read about my recent memory trigger see Instagram-here.

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