Two Hundred and Forty-Two years ago our Forefathers first read the Declaration of Independence to the people of what was then this brand-new country. Today everyone is busy going to parades, picnics, fairs, family gatherings. But while you’re taking part in all that fun, try to remember that such things happen in your stories too.
I know I’ve said this before, because I have read stories that have no holidays in them at all. Of course, in some the events of the story are confined to a few short weeks, they can be forgiven. But when a story covers a longer period, why aren’t there at least family special days, like a birthday or anniversary. If the character doesn’t have much family, couldn’t their friends have such days?
And of course, there are also national holidays to consider. After all, if the events you have happening occur on like the first Monday in September here in America, your character isn’t going to find a single bank that is open, possibly not even a store.
If the story you are working on happens over the summer months, why don’t you have Independence Day events in your story? Even if your character isn’t in America, if he or she is American, wouldn’t they at least celebrate on a small scale? And all sorts of things can happen during or around the events associated with this holiday.
I’m currently working on just such a story, still need to work on the scenes which happen on the fourth of July, but I do have them, because they happen. Somewhere in this story I also have to have the birthday of the hero’s stepsister because I’ve already established at the beginning of the story that her birthday was coming, as in over the summer.
Of course, my problem is, because of many different issues, its been decades since I’ve been to any events that occur between the parade and the fireworks, so I’m trying to figure out what this fictious town would have planned that would be fun for teens and younger to enjoy for most of the day. What kind of booths or games they’d have planned, where they would they be at? That sort of thing.
Then again, this is a fictitious town, so I guess I could do just about anything.
And then there is writing sci-fi or fantasy, things that happen in worlds not our own. I have a sci-fi in the works too, and I have to decide what I’m going to do about things like birthdays and anniversaries. Do they celebrate them? If so how? And what kinds of other things do they celebrate? Do they have national holidays? Do they have religious holidays? And again, if so, what are they? Do they even have celebrations of any kind? And if they don’t? Why not?
There are so many questions that can be asked, but what are the answers?
The answers always depend on the story, and what you are trying to convey about the characters, the place, etc. But I think I might enjoy coming up some holidays, celebrations, and traditions for this make-believe world of mine. I also think having such things as a part of the fabric of the world I am building will make that world more believable.
Don’t you think so?
Have a happy and safe Fourth, Happy writing everyone. And happy birthday, tomorrow, Konnie!