Writing Your Memoir: How to Build Dramatic Tension
This picture prompt is a great opportunity to use the techniques of fiction writing to practice incorporating dramatic tension into your memoir. The outer dramatic tension in this picture prompt is a lost child. Has she been abandoned, run away, or is she lost? Had something caught her eye and following it, did she wander away from the adult or from a sister or brother?
Has she been hiding out for days? Who, if anyone, is trying to find her? Did she do something for which she fears being punished? Is she running from someone who wishes her harm?
These are possible outer dramatic tensions. The inner dramatic tension holds as much page-turning potential. What is she thinking? Feeling? Is she terrified of never being found? Does she feel abandoned? Does she wonder why people just walk by her without stopping to ask if she needs help? Is she shivering with fear? What is she thinking and feeling?
Did you ever get lost when you were growing up? Did someone try to steal you? Were you invisible in your family and did it feel like being lost? Did you ever get lost playing hid and seek? Did you find your child or a sibling missing, even if only for a short time?
What else does this picture prompt bring up for you that deepens your memoir? What does being lost or abandoned bring up for you?