Recently, it’s been pointed out to me that I have skipped some of the most important parts while writing my children’s book.
I have been writing a junior fiction novel for about three years now. The story is an account of a young girl's journey with alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a condition that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles so that the hair falls out and in some cases doesn’t re-grow.
The parts I skipped were where the girl first discovers that there is a problem with her hair and is diagnosed with alopecia.
I have had alopecia my whole life, so I know the process. Why did I leave this part out?
Two very experienced writers have suggested that I describe this process to help readers connect with my main character emotionally and get a better understanding of what alopecia is.
This sounds very logical to me.
Unfortunately, the whole process of discovering that your hair is going to fall out--and there is nothing that can be done about it--is not pleasant. It’s heart breaking.
For me this means that I have to rewind my memories to times I have purposefully tried to forget. I have to relive those emotions to be able to how to write them in a way that will touch my readers.
My question now is: How does one unlock painful memories and emotions in order to write about things honestly?
How do you tap into those emotions so that you can reach out to your readers and connect on that deeper level?
How do you sift through those emotional deep waters to know what is important for the story and what is not?