Tag Archives: Dickens

Naming Minor Characters: Fun and Games with Names

One of the fun things about writing fiction is that you, the author, can really play with names for your characters. Hero or villain or somewhere in between? You’re in charge when it comes to naming.

And if you’re writing historical fiction, you have even more scope. Continue reading

How Smell Evokes Memory and Emotion

  1. How Smell Evokes Memory and Emotion
  2. Repel the Night Tigers, Despatch from London
  3. Creating Atmosphere 2 : Using Light and Shade
  4. Hearing the Soundtrack of your Novel
  5. Nourishment for the Soul (but no escaping literature)

smell evokes memory with oranges and fire

When I was a child, Christmas was the smell of oranges and cigars and the Christmas tree, resinous and strange.  Put any two of them together and it still bounces me right back into the past, bringing with it firelight, the bustle of friendly company, a sense of holding my breath in excitement. Smell is the first route by which I recall emotion.

Why smell evokes memory : the science bit

There is a reason for this, I find. Olfactory neurones in the upper part of the nose generate an impulse which signals the limbic system, that part of the brain which controls not only memory but also emotion, mood and behaviour.  Supposedly, this is one of the most primitive parts of the brain.

Smell — the fallen angel of senses?

Apparently, Helen Keller called smell “the fallen angel of the human senses” because we don’t use it any more to tell us there’s a tiger in the area. And I agree that we live in an intensely visual age, with more communication illustrated than ever before.

smell evokes memory when couples kissBut we do still smell food that has gone off.

And, even more important to the romantic novelist, smell is an important part of sexual attraction. Continue reading

How to Become a Wizard

Day 7   And a day of rest for the industrious Joanna . . .

An author, in Shakespeare’s words, gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name. But that still leaves a pretty misty prospect. The habitation has no postcode.

Names often have more substance, admittedly. You only have to think of Sir Toby Belch or the Cheeryble Brothers to realise that. But they’re still in the middle of an open circuit. It needs something else to close it.

readers make the magic happen

fountain power in Battersea Park

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