Thursday

WRITING HOLIDAY STORIES


Can you believe it? The Holidays are almost here! Don’t run and hide, it won’t do you any good.


They will be here before we know it. I actually love this time of year not only because the weather finally starts to cool down, but I love all the excitement of what the holidays bring. I love the smells, the colors, and the fluttery feeling in my stomach I get knowing that it’s fall and soon I can put on my sweats!
So, now that the holidays are coming up, have you thought of writing a holiday story? I’ve often wondered if there was an advantage to writing a holiday story or a disadvantage? Holiday stories are somewhat rare so if a publisher is particularly looking for one, you might have a great chance of getting it published. However, if they aren’t, then how good are your chances? Plus most publishers ask that when you send in a holiday story, you do so at least 12 months in advance. So that means waiting forever to actually get it published. But that really should be no hindrance since most of us writers have to wait forever to get a story published anyway!

I ran across an interesting article with tips on how to write an effective holiday story so I thought I’d share. I couldn’t find an author's name but it did say it was edited by Lucas Halbert and 7 others.
Here is the article:
When we write stories  with the purpose of sharing them with others, we enter into an agreement where we allow our reader to see a glimpse of our heart, our souls and our memories. If we truly want them to be immersed in the tale, we actively immerse ourselves in those memories so that a glimmer of what we saw, heard and felt comes through.
This is especially true with holiday tales. The best way to convey a holiday scene is to take a trip back in time through the wonderful world of our unconscious. Here are some great ways to delve back into your childhood memories and incorporate them into your holiday tales.
Sit in a darkened room and close your eyes.
Allow yourself to go back in time to the very first Christmas that you can remember. Take a deep breath and relax. What are the scents, sounds and feelings that come up? What is the first picture that pops into your mind? Is it the sound of children racing down the stairs that comes to you first? The feel of your heart pounding when you awoke and found that Christmas was really here? The sweet sugary smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven? The warmth of your parents’ blankets as you bounced on them, anxious to wake them up?

Recreate the scene
1. If a scent triggers your memories, you can either bake the cake or cookie or brew the eggnog. Or you can get one of those scented candles and simply light it.

 2. If the feel of sweaters immediately transports you back to your snow throwing days, slip one on. If you are like me and live in Florida, turn the air way up first. Close your eyes and hear the sound of children shouting as they try to nail each other with snowballs. Picture their fresh flushed faces.

3. If there is a particular holiday character that sparks your memories, rent holiday movies. Some of my favorites are Frosty the Snowman and Miracle on Thirty fourth street. Watch one for a while, until you get the holiday feeling, then turn the sound off. Watch the pictures and let your mind go. 

Put yourself back in that period time

If you are writing about a little girl in a big family, think back to what holiday dinners were like for you. Did everyone talk at once? Does your character like this or does she feel overwhelmed? What is it like to be the smallest one in a room full of adults? Is there a cousin or neighbor that is constantly picking on her? Do the children get bored and decide to explore the forbidden attic? Once you have a scene in mind, write down all of these questions. Don’t worry about answering them until you have run out of questions. Then think back to the picture, sound or feeling that you associate with and answer the questions.


Myself, I've actually only written one holiday story and it was Halloween. I didn’t want to scare the little ones so I picked a pumpkin as my protagonist. I have yet to get it published, but have to admit it was one of the funnest stories for me to write so far! I guess I need to revise it again and start resubmitting.
How about you? What holiday stories have you written?
 
 


5 comments:

  1. I write holiday short stories all the time. I've even been asked to write them. There's definitely a market there.

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  2. I haven't written anything based on festivals though it sounds like fun. (I do have a scene in the next PB based on the setting of an important Chinese festival ...) Thanks for sharing the article!

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  3. Hi, I just found your blog from over at The Bumpy Road. I also write for children. I've written a PB about a lonely little Christmas Tree and I have written a poem about the 4th of July that would make a good PB.

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