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10 Holiday Fiction Writing Prompts

Updated on December 9, 2015

Those days off around the holidays should translate into some time to write, right?

Find some time to escape from your relatives and write - perhaps with a healthy dose of some holiday nostalgia included.

We all have some fond memories associated with the holidays, like scents, temperatures, sights, sounds, feelings, tastes and people. We also have some not-so-fond memories, like bittersweet farewells, lost romances, shallow arguments and perhaps even tragedies.

Writing is therapeutic, though, no matter what your relationship to this time of year - so get writing! Here are 10 prompts to get you started. Let me know which ones you like and use!

1. Your character is staring out a fogged-up train window. Where is she going, why is she going there, and what sort of mood is she in? Write a scene or a whole short story.

2. Your character is picking out an outfit for a holiday party, and stumbles across a shirt or dress that has particularly vivid memories associated with it. What happened, and how does she feel about it now?

3. One poorly-aimed snowball ends up having major consequences for your character. Who does that snowball hit, and what happens next?

4. A bunch of friends end up flaking out on your character's New Year's Eve party. How does your character react? Does she go out to a bar, or maybe ends up reconnecting with another old friend?

5. Your character's holiday plans go awry when a loved one falls ill. Is it serious, or minor? What does your character and her loved one take away from it?

6. While standing on a train platform in the bitter wind, your character looks across the way and sees someone familiar standing there. Her hair is blowing across her face, though, and your character isn't sure it is who he thinks it is. Write what happens next.

7. Your character is a city girl, but she's suddenly forced to spend the holidays with family in the country. Or - vice-versa! Write about the unfamiliar scenery in the snow as well as the effects it has on your character and her goings-on.

8. Write a scene set 100 years in the future where the characters are exchanging holiday gifts. What has changed about the holiday traditions in question - or the gifts themselves?

9. Your character's car gets stuck in the snow, but luckily, she's not far from a neighborhood bar that's still open despite the blizzard. Write what happens next.

10. Your character gets stuck doing community service ahead of the holidays - and it has to be completed by Christmas Eve, or else she may get jail time or fines! But this is a great opportunity for some character development, right? Write what your character ends up doing and what she learns from it.


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