How do you write your descriptions? How to you remember the little details that are oft forgotten and fall by the wayside of our memories? How do you bring a moment to life exactly as it was as you were going through it? Above all, how do you get your memories to lie like truth? How do you create moments that make us remember things that were yet were not to lead us to our make believe worlds as though we were in them with the clarity of a memory?
For sure, even before the writer taps into the power of memory she has to be an observer. She has to live outside of herself, forget herself so to speak as the center of the world and give up control of that which is chaotic and directionless.
The moment a would-be author tries to exert an order on her surroundings, organize the world, filter impressions as they seep in through the senses or wish things were different, she ceases to be a disinterested observer. Perhaps this level of non-involvement is a fantasy in itself, but anyone who is judgmental, self-absorbed or too sure of how things should be misses out on a myriad details necessary to remember a moment. Ironic that preferential memory is great for perspective creation within a work but is limiting for the author herself.
Those details that the writer collects indiscriminately like sea shells from a boundless beach make the writer a better archivist of memory than most. Yet, at this stage, the writer is simply a recorder, a collector, even a guard of the great library of moments who roams about the corridors of a great collection in wonder without quite understanding why they are there or what their significance is or why they have made an impression.
The details do make an impression on an author. Yet, he who is a writer has to stop weighing details as they colour the collage of his memory as big ones or small ones, important ones or insignificant trivialities, as drivers of the moment or as background noise. He the author cannot be afraid of being passive, of being insipid, of being the wallflower, of being colourless as he observes so that his imagination can have all the more colour when he chooses to create his world.
The time to be the driver, the doer comes soon enough when those details are put together. That is when the writer-as-creator wields absolute power as she decides where and how to put the details with what levels of significance.
Yet, the writer cannot build if she holds on to her power. She has to build with benevolence shielding her omnipotence from the reader who wanders into her territory. She knows that a single perspective does not make for a comfortable world. The reader has to live in it too. So she fleshes out her memory of the moment with the little details as best as she can, making the make-believe as real as possible and leaves the significance to the reader.
This is because worlds, once created, have no significance. They just exist.