The assignment for lesson 3 was to write a 500 word memoir description targeted to a young reader.
Sounds easy, just 500 words. The problem is once I got started I couldn't stop. Getting start was hard alone. Which memory would I choose? The one about sister getting stuck in a tree? The one when I fractured my collarbone? Or the one when my baby sister was born? Would any of these interest anybody?
I finally chose to describe my grandparent's home. Even though we lived in the age of TV and electricity, my grandmother still chose to cook on her wood stove (even in the summer!) they had no TV! only a radio.
I found lots to describe and was told by my instructor that I "effectively hit all of the senses."
That was another tip they gave us which I have seen suggested in other writing books: To highlight a sense in a color.
So for sound I used green, feel-red,smell-blue, sight-hot pink, and so on. It really is helpful to see if you are using all of the senses or if you are using only one or two. It makes you think: What did grandma's house smell like?
Another tip the instructor gave was when describing something from the past that the young reader may not be familiar with. I had described the string hanging from a light bulb, but did not say what the string was for. That got me thinking of other things that are different now. Most phones don't have cords. I don't think any of my kids know what it is like to try to have a private phone conversation when the only phone you have is in the family room. They are not going to leave the room just so I could talk to my boyfriend.