Here, where I live, the Holidays are finally drawing to a close. My Internet access has been chaotic, and I fear it will be even more chaotic as the beginning of January approaches. For a week and a half in January, I’ll be on vacation, thanks to the generosity of the friend who invited me. If I can find Internet access, I’ll update this blog. Otherwise, expect grand entries around January 9th.
In the meantime, the holiday season has left me wondering about the holidays within the cultures we build for our worlds. Our world has tons of holidays and festivals that varies with ethnicity. What about our created worlds?
What customs and traditions do the various factions in your created worlds have?
What are the holidays they may celebrate?
How do they celebrate the holidays?
As I think about these questions, I look through my world-building notes and notice that I’ve etched in a few ideas concerning holidays, but I haven’t gone into much detail. Even if that detail never enters any of my books, I am curious. So what I do during times like these is I sit down and answer these questions generally. Then I pick a few characters and write scenes that dig into the answers to these questions. I let the characters show me what the festivals and/or holidays are really like for them. I try to give as much detail as possible in these scenes. Often I’ll do another scene a few days later, after putting this aside to think, and see if I can explore it in more depth or else explore a new festival or holiday.
It’s great fun, and it helps flesh out my world. So the challenge I offer to my readers is to answer these questions about world-building and try a writing exercise focused on holidays, festivals, or parties in your created worlds, or else in the world of your novels. Good luck and have a very happy holiday season!