How to Write a Brilliant Festive Story (Without the Cringe-Factor)by GeorgiaT, Tuesday December 2, 2014
Inject your writing with some holiday cheer!
There's a reason why you barely need to leave your house to make the most of the Christmas season. No, not because its quality family bonding time, or for the delicious food (though those are pretty great too) -but because there's just so many spellbinding Christmas stories, both onscreen and in the pages of the your favourite books to keep you occupied!
But if you do get bored after the 100th version of 'A Christmas Carol' airs on telly, why not have a go at writing your own? The season has so many different connotations for so many people that the possibilities are endless! However, being such a heartwarming season, composing a Christmas tale does run the risk of being a little cringey. So, as an early present, we've put together our top tips for making your seasonal story memorable, whilst leaving the cheese on the festive cheeseboard.
1. Make the most iconic Christmas motifs your own
Intricate snow-flakes, roaring fires, the tantalising jingling of bells -these motifs are used time and again for a reason, and will instantly get your readers feeling Christmassy. But if you're going to use them, make sure you do so in a way that's right for your story. For example, you could use pathetic fallacy and have a snowy exterior reflect the frostiness of an awkward family Christmas dinner.
2. When it comes to setting, remember that the world is your oyster
It seems natural to set your Christmas story in a magical winter wonderland, but there's no reason why you should stick to the cliches of snowy cobbled streets and cosy cottages -Christmas is celebrated in a huge variety of places! What would Christmas be like for a soldier in the trenches in WW1, for example? Or in a futuristic society? Think outside the gift box!
3. Don’t settle for fluff
There's no reason why your story has to be a family-orientated drama or gushing romance -you can always make room for a little bit of darkness in your story. Not convinced? Remember that 'Die Hard' (yes, the action film starring Bruce Willis fighting a bunch of terrorists) is widely considered one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time.
4. But don’t be afraid to be a little bit heartwarming
What makes festive stories so well-loved are their core mesages of friendship, generosity and selflessness, so at least a nod towards these ideas is essential. Note: this doesn't mean you have to include a classic sappy ending (see 'The Snow Man', above).
5. Finally, read lots of Christmas stories
- 'A Christmas Carol' -Charles Dickens
- 'The Little Match Girl' -Hans Christian Anderson
- 'The Polar Express' -Chris Van Allsberg
What's your favourite Christmas story? Got any top tips for bringing festive cheer to your stories? Share them in the comments!