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What obsessions will end up in your writing?

As writers, we carry within us memories that end up in our writing. These memories that “mark” us could be a scene or the basis for a novel. When I’m looking for something to write about, I’m often compelled to go to a memory or story that has stayed with me.

Author Siri Hustvedt says that, as a child growing up in Minnesota, a suicide of a boy in a barn down the road from her house marked her. The event later showed up in her poem, “Weather Markings.”

If you’re searching for a way into a piece of writing, consider what has marked you. These markings may be something you strive to understand, something thrilling, or an event that haunts you. In an interview in Issue 36 of Glimmer Train Stories, Hustvedt reveals how she began her book, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, with the true story of a suicide in a restaurant.

As you consider what “marks” you, think about the meaning behind it. What larger themes inform your memories? These are the subjects you may be called to write about.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. This really helped me with the initial ideas of a story, so thank you 🙂

    July 8, 2013

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  1. Four questions to help you mine your life for story ideas | onewildword

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