The Writers Circle: Traditions

One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

It is St. Patrick’s Day today, of course, and there are many traditions around how this day gets celebrated.  Thinking of your own stories, how do you incorporate traditions into your writing? I’m talking about traditions from the real world or traditions, holidays, rituals, or other things you might invent for the worlds in your stories. What is the favorite tradition or holiday you’ve invented in your stories?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

4 thoughts on “The Writers Circle: Traditions

  1. I admit, I don’t often enough. I’d like to say it’s because I want the books to be timeless, but I think, more, I just don’t think about it. I should, to add that emotional touch so important to characters. And something I struggle with!

  2. More than 20 years ago I had the idea to base a story on Passover. I wanted to follow a family every four or eight years and see how everyone grew up. I imagined all kinds of familial and personal conflicts and epiphanies but finally realized the story was rigid and predictable.
    However, I have incorporated the holiday of Passover in one of my books. It makes less of a ceremonial presence and provides instead a background for the story of several generations of people over two continents. As a metaphor for freedom and change, it colors the newer story without overwhelming it. I kept out the sentimental slobber by focusing not on the well known rituals of the holiday but on the capricious or hostile behavior of the characters in attendance.

  3. I created a coffee-based holiday called “International Coffee Extravaganza Day” which was sort of a cross between Halloween and Christmas. I’ve written some stories or poems themed for Valentine’s Day, too.

    I tend to avoid “religious” holidays unless I am inventing the religion within the story, that way I can steer clear of anything that might offend a real-world religion, intentionally or not. It’s not that I fear speaking my mind about religious traditions, it’s that I generally am not wanting that to be the focus.

  4. I’m never sure how to incorporate the major holidays in what I write because I’m personally one who isn’t all that gun-ho for them. Events like birthdays and anniversaries I can do in my stories with minimal effort.

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