How To Remember Novels And Movies
Reading novels is a great pastime for vacations. Our various commitments can make it hard to grab more than half an hour or so at a time, and then perhaps not more than two or three times per week. So it’s easy to forget the beginning of the book before you are half-way through. Plot connections can pass you by. You may fail to understand motivation that has been set up many pages back. You may completely miss the point of one or more sub-plots, even if the main plot is well within your grasp.
“No, I can follow even complex plots pretty well,” you may protest. But how long do you keep all but the most rudimentary details in your head afterwards? A month or two? Six months? If for so little time, that’s a pity because you are missing out on the retrospective enjoyment to be gained from your reading. Using memory discipline will make your reading ( You can learn speed reading )something you can appreciate in retrospect as well as in the present.
Few people would want to go to the trouble of learning a novel by the Journey Method, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t develop a Mind Map to help you get your bearings. The most useful technique, though, is to invest the book with imaginative energy. Picture the scenes and encounters as vividly as you can. Try to empathize with characters’ predicaments. To help you imagine a particular figure in terms of their appearance, personality or life circumstances, summon up someone you know who fits, or almost fits, the bill. Use places you know to help you visualize the settings, if this helps. Or if the location is exotic, borrow from what you have seen in magazines or on the television.
Where many readers go astray is in imagining that a novel is to be experienced only for as long as you’re reading it. In fact, your recall will be better if you let the characters and their situations live for a while in your head after you have put the book down. Imagine what it feels like to be a character in this book.
Exercise: Remembering a Complete Movie
Movies are like novels: it’s easy to forget even the good ones after a few months and when particular films come up in conversation you may kick yourself for not being able to remember what you liked, or disliked, about them. Of course, some movies – particularly ones involving crime detection – deliberately tease with false plot trails. Flashbacks can also be confusing. After seeing a movie like this, it’s fun to go out with friends and try to reconstruct the twists of the plot from beginning to end. You might even do this competitively, each person scoring points for the details they can recall. The main characters’ names should be easy enough if you have really concentrated (you’d be surprised how many people come out of a movie without having absorbed this basic data), but see if you can recall minor characters as well, and place names, and the way people’s homes were furnished. In fact, the scope for memory testing is limitless.
Sources And Citations:
Dominic O’Brian The Eight Times World Memory Champion