Nostalgia is easily one of the most powerful tools with the widest range of emotion you can use in your writing. You can break a reader down in reminiscent tears or bring that smirk to the corner of their lips. And behind that tiny smirk can hold so many beautiful memories.
Today I saw the Lego Movie. Out of all the movies out there, this was the one that coaxed that rebel tear out from my eyes. This cheesy, stop animation movie opened the floodgates of childhood memories. I looked back at the crazy robot fights I had with my friend with our made-up rules. Half the battle was being able to agree on which rules to allow. Then there were the cities and towers we constructed with the mismatched bricks we could find. It was our own little world we its own set of laws. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted (until dinnertime of course).
The Lego company made a brilliant move with this film. The whole franchise relies on nostalgic references whether it’s Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Batman. This is what makes literary allusions so great too. With a simple reference to another preexisting work, the reader can get so much and you as the writer didn’t even need to delve that deeply into the matter. However, it also relies on the reader’s knowledge. For example, my cousin who lived most her life in Vietnam was in the theater too. She literally slept through the movie about 15 minutes in. The play on nostalgia had absolutely no effect on her because there were no memories from which nostalgia could stem from. She had marbles, not Legos. So with these sort of things, extra attention to the target audience must be kept in mind.
What is something in your life that holds a lot more meaning behind it than it normally should?