Thursday, October 3, 2013

Worldbuilding: Holidays for Fictional Worlds

It's October and it's time to break out the boxes of various holiday decorations and feverishly make new ones if I plan to participate in any of the several holiday craft fairs in my city. This thought brought me to wondering if I should create holidays for my fictional world. If you have read some of my previous posts, there is a festival of Wynterfest which is mainly celebrated up in the frozen country of Wynterlande.

The topic today is: Should a writer and world builder bother with creating holidays for their fictional world?

I did a little research this morning and the first place I went to was Middle Ages Holidays. Since Tiaera is basically a "parallel earth" with added magic and planetary differences, I tend to write about Earth's Middle Ages. Something one must consider is religion. Since Tiaera has no Christianity as a religion, I can't use any of the christian practices of the Middle Ages and as I see at that website, most of the holidays were church related. Tiaera is set in the Middle Ages, but it was created by a goddess I made up named Astria. Since she is not historical, I am free to make up any holidays and festivals as I see fit. Oh, this is going to be fun! LOL! But before I can begin this I need to get some ideas and figure out what to do.  A writer shouldn't create holidays just because they want to. Holidays should never interfere with your book or story.

If you are building a fictional world similar to earth, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you going to keep writing about your fictional world long after the book you're writing is done? It so, then time will pass... months, years, etc... and holidays may work to set the scene of your next story on that world.

2. What period or era are you writing about? Historical? Futuristic? Modern age?

3. Does your world have seasons and is it worth noting this in your writing?

4. Does your world have gods? If it is parallel to earth, are there religions and gods like our own?

5. What kind of holidays should you create? Religious? Meaningful and significant? Seasonal?

6. How are your inhabitants going to recognize such holidays? Festivals? Traditions?

The more I think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, the more I have to consider what I will want to use for future blog stories like my current one: Add a Spark for Valor.
As I (and sometimes Jack) continue with the chapters (posts) for this story, it will be fun to work on holidays as the background settings that can add to the plot much like we did in Realmwalkers.

I hope this post makes you think about your fictional world. Do some research and determine if your book or stories would benefit from such events. Soap Operas on TV used the holidays. Internet and video games use them. Books too. Let me know what you think about this. Are you going to add some holidays? If so, feel free to comment and tell me about them. I bet there are some great ideas out there!