So, it’s the holiday season and as winter pulls the frost up over your window, you might feel inclined to snuggle up with your pen, pad, or laptop (and a snack and a mug of eggnog of course), and start writing! Fiction writers, especially sci-fi and fantasy writers, need a lot of internal motivation to build their amazing worlds and characters. So let’s do it together with Colby’s Christmas Countdown! As you countdown to Christmas Day, here are 25 holiday writing tips to help you along in your fiction journey! You might want to grab a special writing notebook to keep all your exercises in one place, too. By the end, you’ll have months worth of material to launch you into writing your novel series! 🙂

Tip #2: Soul Search for Your Theme

Good writers write about things that they really care about, that have affected them in the past, or that has affected others they love and cherish. Many of these experiences inform the themes and the conflicts in fiction. A great example of this is the connection between J.K. Rowling’s depression when her dear mother passed away and how she represented this depression in her fiction as the Dementors, those creatures that sucked your soul and happiness from your body. This is a fantastic use of Rowling’s real life loss and pain to transform an experience into an emotion or a symbol that most people connect with.

Activity of the (Holi)DAY: Your job is to ask: “What is MY symbol? What are my experiences? What have I gone through- good, bad, terrible, or fantastic- that has made me the person I am today?” Make a list of ten things that you’ve experienced that have changed you. Then take it a step further and ask, “What about the world, its current events, and its issues really move me / affect / anger / inspire me?” Add these things to your list. You will find your story gaining a strong backbone of real life issues and questions that you will want the characters in your story to pursue.

How I Did it: “The Books of Ezekiel” (each one of the books) espouse themes, issues, and personal experiences that have changed me greatly. Social issues such as class struggle, human trafficking, child soldiers and the psychological effects of war, drug addiction, family togetherness (and apartness), survival, and MUCH more have all touched my life or moved me in some way or the other. Issues that I’m interested in, want to rectify, or that I want to learn more about are the ones I love to write about. Your job is to find YOUR muse in this world, to make your fiction the best it can be!

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby