Merry (early) Christmas from the team behind The Course of Events and the bigger team behind SAAFire! I am so lucky to have amazing people behind me and supporting me as a writer. I’m even luckier to have a well-paying job so I can dream about being a full-time writer but afford fun stuff in the meantime (like housing and food).
Celebrating the various fall holidays makes me realize that putting holidays or festivities in stories really helps me believe in the world. It’s even better when they help move the plot along. In The Young Elites, Marie Yu uses a couple different events that serve as key scene settings and informs us about the society she’s created along the way. Patrick Rothfuss incorporates holidays into explaining the lore of The Name of the Wind.
Currently, I don’t have any holidays, festivals, or cultural events in SAAFire. The draft as it is now doesn’t really allow for such an event to contribute to plot or character development but, the more I think about it, the more I believe some scenes set at “normal” periods might be more dramatic if they occurred during a holiday.
What if my heroes faced down their antagonist with the overarching goal of all being alive, together, and home for the next morning? That’s all well and good, but what if that scene took place on Christmas Eve (or an equivalent holiday in the world of SAAFire)? Then it becomes culturally loaded, AKA, it brings an implicit meaning and tension to the scene because we, the readers, attach certain traits to each holiday.
We want to be together on Christmas, we want to be scary on Halloween, we want to be patriotic on Independence Day—and we want holidays in our stories to reflect that. Each holiday can lend culturally loaded meanings to the scene that enrich the readers’ experience.
I think in the rewrite, I’ll figure something out. My environment descriptions are lacking, anyway, so I could use with a bit of an update and see no reason why cultural events should be left out.
That’s it for the writerly discussions! I’m not successful enough yet to do a Christmas giveaway so here’s a cute picture of my dog.
Thank you for reading, have a merry day whether you’re celebrating or not!