First of all, to all those who celebrate Christmas, I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas. For those who don’t, Happy Holidays.
With that out of the way, I want to get to the true meaning of this post. How to use common things about people’s lives and weave them into your story.
A holiday, more specifically Christmas, is a perfect example for one reason:
It’s not just a Christian Holiday.
In my explorations into the world I’ve found that a good bit of Christian holidays, are just adaptations of previous pagan holidays. It’s called the Christian Interpretation. (sorry religious people, but it’s true.)
The Catholic Church did this on purpose as they spread across the world. This made their new and strange religion easier to swallow for the pagans they encountered.
Besides being an interesting tidbit to know, what does this mean for us writers?
It’s fodder for plot devices, that’s what!
Think about it. Want to write a supernatural fiction story around Christmas, but want to jazz it up? Maybe make a character a Druid? Or a Witch? Or something of that nature?
If you want, maybe a beautiful young woman invites her Christian boyfriend over for the holidays and when he gets there he finds out that it’s more Yule(follow link for more info) than yuletide cheer?
Do you see the possibilities here? I’ve never once breached into this myself, only because I never had a story in the works that I felt this would be appropriate for.
It’s not just Christmas either: Easter, Halloween, All Soul’s Day, Dia de Los Muertos, the story goes on an on. We are surrounded by mythology and possible things to add depth to our characters and stories, if only we take the time to look around and understand what we’re looking at!
Considering it’s a holiday, I’ll cut this short but please everyone. Keep this in mind.
Before I sign off though, I’m curious. Have any of you thought of this before? Have you used it as a plot/character device?
Have you written/read any stories that have already used this effectively? Let me know in the comments below.
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Thanks to Valerii Tkachenko for the featured pic.