I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year.
– E.M. Forster
How do the characters in your novel and short stories spend Christmas? Or do they even celebrate Christmas or any of the other cultural traditions for this time of year? (I’m using “Christmas” generically here.) Maybe you don’t actually set your stories at Christmastime, but it doesn’t hurt to imagine how your fictional characters do Christmas – even write it down – because Christmas can bring out the best and the worst of everyone in real life. And so it should in fiction.
None of my short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point are set at Christmas time, so I’m not sure what that says about me. However, if the fraternal twins, Dana Bowman and Bast Overture (“Gone Missing,” “Saving Grace,” “Digging Up the Dirt,” and “Road Raging”) were to celebrate Christmas, they probably would go to Christmas Mass for the first time in years (and you’ll have to buy the book and read the stories to see why). Great Aunt Doris would make one of her crash-unexpected visits and that would put a damper in the celebrations for Dana, Bast but maybe not Dana’s son David. The Great One, as she is called, is at loggerheads with Dana and Bast but gets along with David. I envision her coming with them to Christmas Mass and surprising Dana with her singing voice when singing the hymns, albeit singing in her gravelly voice. She’ll interfere with Bast and his Christmas cooking and the present unwrapping might turn into a free-for-all. It might end up with no one speaking or all learning something from the shared experience. And my forte being mystery fiction, there would be a murder, a robbery (maybe someone stealing the Christmas church collection) or some crime that the twins, with David’s help, and Great Aunt Doris’ meddling, would solve.
So you can see how imagining your fictional characters’ Christmas can help develop your characters. And maybe just create another story or chapter in your novel.
At this time, I want to wish you all a good holiday season (Christmas or whatever you celebrate). Take some time for family and friends, and for yourself and your writing.
Meantime, click on the book graphic above to link to my book (print or Kindle) at amazon.com
Sharon A. Crawford