What Writers Can Learn from Christmas

presentsWe all want the perfect family and the perfect day, but the stories come from the problems and troubles. We want it to be easy; we want it to be simple; we want it to be pure joy. But life is more complicated than that, and your stories should be, too!

Here are some more tips for writers that holiday celebrations drive home:

1) Unwrapping half the fun? Worrying about being able to smile and thank Aunt Matilda for the horrible present keep you up at night? Anticipation is more involving than payoff. See my blog on withholding.

2) Shared childhood? Hardly! Each person remembers different moments, different aspects of what happened and who did what and what pieces of the world around mattered. Hence the interrelation of point of view, plot, character and setting. Who tells the story will determine what gets recounted, what gets noticed and remembered.

3) When everything is happening all at once, it’s exciting, but it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on, let alone appreciate it. Sequences and causality support the creation of meaning.

No matter what kind of holiday (or childhood) you had, you can use it to strengthen yourself as a writer. The interior narrator, like the interior soundtrack, can get you through a lot until you’re back to the wide expanse of your own blank page.

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