If I could steal one thing from the magical world of Harry Potter, I would steal Albus Dumbledore’s pensieve, the magical cauldron that brings memories alive.
We can view these memories from a non-participant, third-person point of view. It fascinates me unlike anything.
More than anyone else, I think writers can use it effectively. Writers are scavengers. We dig memories.
Often, we dive into our memories to bring alive a scene in our story. There would be something in our vast experiences that can become a benchmark to build a scene or character.
When that bully in Grade six who pushed you into the mud, did he know that he will provide fodder for that memorable scene where your heroine first encounters the villain years later?
When your drunk friend puked in your living room, did she imagine the scene would become the much-needed humor relief in a tragic story you wrote?
It is in fiction that many of our life experiences get featured. Under the shroud of fiction, we can pass of anything as our creation. If any of the incidences/ persons seem familiar, it is mere coincidence dear reader.
I think that is the reason why the below declaration is mandatory for most novels/short stories.
“This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.”
See how the author and publisher is lying through their teeth?
As Anne Lammott says, people have the responsibility to act nicely towards authors. If they didn’t behave, they live to watch the consequence.
It is as simple as that.
Since memories can sometimes be very vague, we even gloss over the worst ones.
Memories acquire the halo of goodness with the passage of time. According to the importance we give to it, it becomes modified accordingly.
Two persons may have memories about the same event in different hues. One might have hated it, the other might have loved it.
Accordingly, their memories paint these events differently. If they are writers, the scene might serve for entirely different purposes for them.
Do you use your experiences in your writing?