When I was at my parents’ house over Christmas, my best friend from elementary school was in town as well, so of course we started reminiscing over Whitey’s ice cream. (You’ve never had Whitey’s? What?! Travel to the Quad Cities. Immediately.) Anyway, all of his stories, I had no memories of, and he had no idea what I was talking about with mine. Apparently I yelled at him for not turning the water off while brushing his teeth; I had no idea. (My sister, six years younger than us, mostly remembered being tormented. Which probably happened.)

But it got me thinking: what memories do each of my characters have? In the middle grade WIP, the three main characters have known each other since kindergarten and there’s lots of history there, but which incident sticks in each mind could be used to say a lot about each one. Is it a stronger memory when they were embarrassed, or when it happened to a friend? Which do they remember most: successes or failures? Are most of the memories things they’d like to change or when things went perfectly?

So that’s one more thing for the revision checklist 🙂 How do you use memories to build character?

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