Writing in the Holiday Season: Part One – Generating Ideas

shh_writer_at_work_christmas_tree_ornaments-ra6a590948e074b96978e06709a07601f_x7s2s_8byvr_512During the holiday season, some people have a week, or even two, off work. While the Christmas and New Year period is invariably a very busy time, filled with family, friends, visiting, food and drink or even long distance travel in some cases, that doesn’t mean you can’t be working at your chosen craft during the festive season. Actual writing may not always be possible, especially if you have kids at home for a couple of weeks. Opportunities might also be in short supply if you have a seemingly endless amount of family gatherings or you may even be one of those people who really love to shop. And yet even if you can’t work on your novel, the end of a calendar year can still provide endless sources of inspiration.

Ideas for characters, for example, are most often derived from people around us such as family, friends, work colleagues and so on. While you may not wish to use those individuals directly in a story, they may still inspire you to create a unique character.  You might decide to combine some people together, using different elements of the personalities, quirks, mannerisms or expressions of distant relatives you only see in December or at weddings, parties and other events.

You might also get ideas from people you see while out shopping for Christmas. And of course, there are family activities, community events, hilarious antics from pets or memorable incidents with children, any of which may give you ideas for stories that don’t need to have a seasonal theme.

Your holiday season might not feature the catalogue of disasters depicted in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but may still provide you with a wealth of material. The festive season is primarily for family, but just in case, always have a notepad nearby. You never know when inspiration will strike.

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