Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.
Once upon a time, when I was six years old, my family took a vacation to Salem, MA. And I never forgot it. Even though I was only six, I retain vivid memories of Salem: Our view out the window of the Hawthorne Hotel, quizzing the tour guide at the House of Seven Gables, and seeing mustard seeds for the first time at the Lighthouse. I experienced an awakening on that trip – my love of old houses and history was born in Salem.
But, alas, the trip also had a dark side. The Salem Witch Museum made an extreme impression on me. Maybe it was the fact that we were ushered into a dark room and told to stand in an illuminated circle in the center. Or it could have been the first display: two red eyes gleaming in the dark accompanied by a loud voice declaring the devil exists. And possibly it was the tableau of Giles Cory being pressed to death.
Yeah, that made a lasting impression.
So what does this have to do with writing? Everything!
We need to make an impression on the reader. If they enjoy your story, then they will add you to their TBR list (to be read!). The best stories are the ones that make us feel something (fear, love, sadness, joy) and those are the books and authors we come back to time and again. Because the reader wants to go on a journey and they want to be immersed in a world. Forget this at your peril!
Several years ago, I returned to Salem with my husband and children. And you bet, I visited the Salem Witch Museum. Youngest son was the only one interested in going. Hubby and older son heard the word museum and decided to shop instead. To my surprise, the museum has not changed its presentation. We stood in the circle, we saw the same displays (I’m guessing they’ve been updated or at least refreshed) and I still felt awful for poor Giles Corey.
In a way, it was a relief that the museum hadn’t changed all that much. It meant that my recollections weren’t my imagination. I felt vindicated. Even better, youngest son, who was ten at the time, thought it was a cool place.
You’re turn to share – what stories or places have made a lasting impression on you? Which stories or writers do you go back to time and again? And why?