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Put on your writer’s cloak: Santa Claus is coming to town

Holidays enchant us with snowmen, gingerbread people, and candy canes. They can also be full of drama: Uncle Ralph and Aunt Sally in a snit at the dining room table or overtired children throwing tantrums in the middle of the mall. And don’t even get me started about the company Christmas party when Roger in Accounting had too much to drink and….well you get the idea.

Anyway, all these scenes are subjects for writers. Opportunities to observe the human condition to see what it can offer our storytelling.

For inspiration about how one writer used Christmas in his story, read A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories. And for insight about how Capote’s story inspires character development, read my blog post What I learned from Truman Capote about character description.

Exercise: As happy as holidays can be, they bring their own stress. Be observant to see how you can mine the emotions of holidays and note the low and high points for your writing.When you’re out doing holiday shopping, sitting at a local cafe, or going to a holiday program, watch and listen. Make it your mission to note conversations and dialogue. Watch how people interact with each other. Note all the emotions. Put it all together and see if you can come up with a poem, story, or scene.

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