Have you ever wondered what your book characters might do for the holidays? Do they celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or something else? What family traditions have been handed down? Do they look forward to them, or do they find them old fashioned? Even if your story never takes place in the wintertime, have you ever wondered…if your characters weren’t in the creative chaos you’ve written into their lives…how they might celebrate the holidays?
This is the third holiday season I have taken a break from my works in progress to do a little seasonal writing. It began two Decembers ago, when out-of-the-blue I wrote a separate scene (never to find a place in my book) where my two main characters went Christmas shopping at the mall. I remained true to their traits and behaviors, though set it for the December before their real story began.
It was so much fun! I wrote another scene the following year. It didn’t matter than these scenes would never make the book, just writing the moments brought new life to the characters. After the holidays, when I returned to my official works in progress, I was refreshed…and so were the characters in my stories.
But this year? I decided to do something entirely brand new! I’ve put my other writing away for a month, and I am writing a completely new short story. New characters, new setting, new everything…but I am centering their arcs, plot, and storyline around Christmas.
I’m not going to lie; the inspiration was not my own. It came from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. They put out a call for submissions for a holiday anthology. It’s a larger task than my usual scene or two, but my critique group thought it might be entertaining if we all try.
So, I’ve jumped into the snowy adventure of writing a paranormal Christmas romance – HA! I know. I don’t write romance (not that there isn’t a little love in my fantasy books). However, just as I’ve enjoyed writing December scenes for the characters in my fantasy novels, surprisingly, I am having a ball writing this new little story. It may be that nothing comes of the experience. I could receive that dreaded rejection email. But as writers, we know that every writing experience gives us an opportunity to grow.
Regardless of this short story’s fate, it is already becoming a fresh breath for me on my annual writing vacation!
Whatever you write, I employ you to take a little writing break from your typical projects. Fill your creative wells. It may only be for a morning or a weekend, and that’s okay. If timing doesn’t work, treat this request as a warm-up exercise before returning to your writing that needs to be done. Surely, I understand and respect goals and deadlines. But if you can find some time this season, steal a little to write something new and refreshing. Give your story characters a holiday break…or write a new holiday story just for yourself. Perhaps you can talk a friend or writing group into the adventure and later share your creations at a virtual get-together.
Simply release yourself to have a little holiday writing fun!
I wish you the freshest new breath in your writing endeavors and the merriest of holidays to you all! Stay healthy and safe in these uncertain times, as well!
Happy writing (because at least you’re writing),
Celaine Charles, December 20, 2020
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Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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