On Writing Festive Fiction

by Hannah Brown, jaBlog! Blogger


No matter what religion you believe in, or even if you don’t believe in one at all, festive fiction is a roaring trade, and it’s a fantastic category of fiction for a young writer who just wants to write about the magic of the holiday season.

You might have seen some festive fiction around: I’m soon-to-be-reading My True Love Gave To Me, a collection of festive fiction by leading YA authors, edited by Stephanie Perkins (author of Anna and the French Kiss). There’s plenty of adult books as well which revolve around the holidays. There’s no doubt about it, this time of the year seems to entrance us all.

If you want to write festive fiction, just remember that it takes as much work as any other category of fiction, even if you’re only writing a short story. You still have to expertly develop the characters and plot, just as much as you would in a short story of any other type. This should probably go without saying, seeing as you must have heard it so many times, but sometimes people forget about it. Don’t let your writing standards slip and remember that even a small editing, just to check for typos and syntax, can make a whole lot of difference, even if it’s just a festive story to post online.

And remember that festive fiction tends to be happy and jolly. When gearing up for the start of the new year and a lot of stress is in the air, people don’t want to read about Christmas crime or a festive malfunction (unless it has a happy ending). A festive story should have a happy ending or even a bittersweet ending. This is when you can provoke your readers to cry, but perhaps smile at the same time.

Be inventive in your festive fiction. This time of year is known for miracles and love, so be as sappy and as far-fetched as you like. Have your characters kiss under the mistletoe, let them be happy for once (I’m looking at you, dystopia lovers). And who knows? Maybe your readers will love it just as much as you do.

Fanfiction is a great inspiration for writing festive fiction if you don’t want to write your own original work. Have you ever wanted to see Tony Stark (of Iron Man) open presents in a paper hat? With a lot of people writing about their favourite characters, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to get your stories read online!

If you’re stuck for presents, this is also a fantastic idea: you could write a piece of festive fiction based on your family or friends and give it to them at the present-swap or do a reading for your whole family or friendship group. Sure, it might not be like getting them a set of bath salts or a new book, but, especially if you’re struggling to afford something to get them, it is a great, from-the-heart gift. Other fiction you wrote earlier in the year would also be a strong bet if you don’t have anything else or have no time to write, but festive fiction adds that extra special touch, given the time of year.

Festive fiction doesn’t have to end when the celebrations are over, either. If you look to seasonal reads, they’re also as loved as the festive ones are. How about writing a New Year short story? You could even queue it for when the clocks change, if you’re putting it up on a blog.

Perhaps you might scoff at festive fiction, but if it’s something you’ve never thought about before, why not give it a go? Lots of people read short, festive stories over this period (and, if you’re on Wattpad, there are so many on there it should probably have its own category). I hope this has given you something to think about in your writing endeavours as you set goals for the new year.


Hannah Brown

About Hannah Brown

Currently studying at sixth form college, Hannah likes to write pretty much anything. She has written a novella, is currently writing about 5 novels, and writes scripts and short stories on the side. Aside from writing, she enjoys hanging out with her friends, adventuring in the outdoors, and reading.

One comment on “On Writing Festive Fiction

  1. Sierra

    Great article, Hannah! I actually tried writing a story as a gift for a friend for the first time this Christmas, and he was completely thrilled with it. Also, that bit of advice to let dystopian characters be happy for once made me grin. Nice work!

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