Writing in the Holiday Season: Part Three – Creative Opportunities

shh_writer_at_work_christmas_tree_ornaments-ra6a590948e074b96978e06709a07601f_x7s2s_8byvr_512Despite the mayhem of the Christmas season, the final weeks of the year still present considerable opportunities for writers. You might even find the missing piece of the puzzle that allows you to create your masterpiece or at least get some really great ideas.

Consider an overheard conversation and where it might lead. How about “there’s no way I’m inviting him to our house for Christmas ever again”, or “after that incident last New Year’s Eve, her family will never be the same.” Any of these could be overheard in the aisle of the toy store, in the food court at the mall, at a store checkout or at the airport as you wait to board your flight to visit relatives. Or maybe you receive an unexpected Christmas card and immediately recognize the name above the return address as belonging to someone you thought you’d never hear from again. You could even find a mysterious note in a gift sent to you by mistake, complete with tantalizingly vague details about someone who appears to be in serious danger. All of these are great story starters, but can also help you develop your own idea or take a story on a completely different path altogether.

Consider airports while you’re waiting for an hour or more for your flight to depart. You’re surrounded by many different kinds of people as they eat snacks, drink coffee, read books, newspapers or magazines, listen to music or perhaps chat to the person beside them. The same applies to the crowds in the malls during the busy shopping season or if you undertake a regular journey to work on a bus or a train each morning with hundreds of other people.

You don’t know these individuals at all, but to the writer these situations provide a wealth of material. You can speculate about the lives, jobs, families even the hopes and dreams of your fellow travelers and shoppers. You could even imagine a ‘what if everything went wrong’ story and concoct a tale from a hypothetical catalogue of disasters. In these ordinary everyday situations, the possibilities for extraordinary inspiration are almost endless.


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