Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas is Inspiring


Christmas is Inspiring

‘Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.’

Could be re-written as:

‘Christmas is coming,
The mind is getting fat,
Please put inspiration in your short works.’

Well, I doubt it would win any awards but it’s the best I could do! The point is that Christmas is an inspirational time of the year. We, as writers, should be ready to act upon inspiration whenever it presents itself to us. Sadly, many of us, myself included, often don’t have the time to act upon this inspiration.

However, I believe once a year we should allow ourselves to write free from the constraints of set word counts, planning, and the whole myriad of distractions which stops us acting on impulse and inspiration. This time is, if you haven’t guessed, Christmas. We all love a nice festive read so shouldn’t we all write one?

Last year I wrote a Christmas story in a day at college with the prompt ‘A Candle in the Dark’. It won the short story contest which was very good, but the main thing was that I wrote a good short story for the festive season in a set time with very few distractions. Granted it wasn’t complex; it was a quest story with a drunken Santa and an evil Jack Frost – but, it was fun to write and hopefully fun to read.

So, where does one look for festive inspiration? Christmas tales are always good to look at. Films, books, TV, comics will often have the same set of characters:  Santa, Frosty, Rudolph, Jack Frost, etc…. This base set of characters is fantastic as you don’t have to spend as long crafting the main cast of your story. Whenever I write with a known set of characters I always put a twist on the characters and add a new character to the group. I would advise you do the same.

This year, I have got my inspiration from another place as well. The good old Christmas Carol. Well, not just the good old ones but the good modern ones too. I’m not going to talk about my story this year as I don’t want anybody who plans on reading it to know what’s going to happen, but I will tell you that a lot of Christmas songs have inspired the plot.

To conclude:  Christmas is festive. Christmas is fun. Christmas is inspiring. Christmas is a good time to write. Christmas is great!

 Hope this helps,
Matt B

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