Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in the Fictional World

by Sandy Tritt
I visited the blog of a dear friend yesterday, and the blog included the question, What gifts would you give your characters for Christmas? Well, that got my rusty old brain churning. Even though we don't share with our readers everything we know about our characters, our personal knowledge of them will come through in our writing. Many years ago, I attended a workshop that included a list of questions about your character to help you think of your character in different ways. Here are some examples:
1. If your character were a dog, which breed would he or she be?
2. If your character were an animal, which animal would he or she be?
3. If your character were a piece of furniture, which piece would he or she be?
4. Which public figure would your character most like to meet? Why?
5. What music does your character listen to?

And so forth. Our Inspiration for Writers' Character Trait Chart gives prompts for various traits or preferences your character may possess. Please feel free to download it.

So, even though you may not have a holiday scene in your novel, give some thought to how your characters would celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. Would they attend religious services? What about community services, such as special music or theatre presentations? Would they host or attend holiday parties? What kind? How would they decorate? And what, above all else, would be the gift they would most cherish?

We at Inspiration for Writers, Inc., hope you have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

(c) copyright 2010 Inspiration for Writers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. This is a great post, Sandy. And you're very right. Even though there may not be a holiday scene in the story, the exercise of thinking about what a character would do during that holiday can be very insightful. This type of exercise adds depth of character to any writing. Happy holidays.

  2. When our critique group met regularly one Christmas we were to bring a gift for one of our characters to be given by another character, Those who had been critting the book were to guess who the giver and receiver were. It was a lot of fun.