Today, on the way into work, I got thinking about how I memorize the route and can drive it without so much as thinking about it. I thought about what would happen if one day I lost my knowledge of the route—how would I get to work? Well, I then deduced that whenever I remember things there is usually an emotion/experience attached to that memory. For instance, I once saw a really beautiful sunrise over one part of my journey (when I used to work early shifts) and I now always think back to that sunrise when I approach it. A little further along on my trip, I once had a car accident on a stretch of road and I’m now always much more cautious when I approach it.
I suppose we all associate emotions with memories, but certain memories we seem to just “throw away” without a second thought. I wonder if our brains would do that if, for example, we spilled coffee down ourselves that day—we’d remember it then. It’s an interesting facet of the human mind and something useful when writing and making characters believable.
I should have Part Two of my fantasy map tutorial up sometime over the weekend.