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Glean Writing Ideas at Holiday Celebrations

gingerbread-99482_640Have you ever used family gatherings or office parties as sources for writing ideas? If not, maybe it’s time you consider it. After all, you’ll be attending a lot of such functions during the holidays. Fiction and non-fiction writers alike can glean a wealth of writing material even while partying. You just have to be on the lookout.

Maybe your group looks a bit like this photo? Go to that next party with your camera (phone will do if so equipped). Take pictures, selfies with others even. When it’s all over, study your pictures for ideas to augment your writing. Also, make notes on who attended and what happened during the event.

Character traits and physical features

Choose one of your relatives or friends to be the model for your next hero, grandma—or villain. Many writers use a photo to represent their characters and keep them posted in the writing space while creating the story.

Embarrassing or funny situations

Did something happen that caused people to get angry, blush, or laugh? This could be material for a how-to or how-not-to article. Any such incident could also be fodder for your fiction WIP.


Was there something special about the location where your party was held? Could it be the subject of a travel article? Perhaps this could be the scene for an event in your WIP.

The idea for this post occurred to me because of my family’s love (?) for the movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Now there’s a family with plenty of material to write about. Quirky character traits, maybe even personality disorders. Of course, your family and friends are not as outrageous as the Christmas Vacation bunch. But, I’m sure they are interesting enough to provide ideas that you can use in your writing.

Readers, have you used real-life events in your fiction writing? To research a subject so that you could write an article? Comment on this post and let us know about it.

More about writing during the holidays

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