Books, in and of themselves, are magical doorways. Opening a book is as simple as opening a door in the real world, but often much more rewarding! Doorways within books are something special. A character who passes through a magical doorway into a world of adventure mirrors the adventure of the reader themselves. They charm and intrigue us as readers. They tempt us into imagining that it’s possible to open an ordinary door one day and find ourselves in a real-life adventure.
Begin by quietly meditating and wander back to a home you once lived in. Quietly draw the front door or any other entrance you regularly used to go within.
Sketch a floor plan and do a room sketch placing some furniture, as you remember it, in it (example room sketcher)
Enter! Go from room to room!
What this place looks like?
What sounds we can hear there?
What it smells like?
What it feels like?
Is there anyone there? What are they doing? Do they have a message for you?
It has become popular for people wanting to enhance their memory to learn how to create memory palaces. Sites like Insanity Mind Upgrade Your Brain explain that basically, a memory palace is a mental structure that can help you memorize anything in an easy and sticky way. By applying this technique, you can quickly memorize what you need and remember it at the time you need. offer step by step instructions.
My mind, functioning as it does, immediately turns over this idea and I begin thinking about how a writer, seeking to improve their memory and fill their pages with richer details, might apply this technique.
Did you know, for example, that the technique was employed by the fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the novel series Hannibal written by an American author Thomas Harris? In several passages of the novel, Lecter was described as mentally walking through an elaborate Memory Palace to remember facts. That’s the basics of the Memory Palace technique.
I can come up with some more ideas of my own about how I might use this technique. In a recent class where we worked with Memoir Maps, we found we were literally pulling out extracts from our memory palace books. Postcard Memory Palace is an interesting application.
Check out history and science! What do you think? How will you stock your memory palace? How could you apply this method to art or writing? I am interested to hear how others might adapt this!