Growing up, Thanksgiving meant my family, my grandma, and three or four families of aunts, uncles, and cousins cramming into a house and eating on fancy tablecloths and fancy dishes and fancy silverware. There were always the adult tables and the kids table. And let me tell you, the kids table was the place to be on Thanksgiving. Though I shunned the title of “kid” by the time I was twelve, I always took it back when Thanksgiving rolled around. I was among the youngest of the cousins, and I would join my brother and several cousins for olive fingers and games and general misbehavior that would have been frowned upon at the adult tables. We stuck to the kids table through our teen years. Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t have been the same without it.
Traditions like these can really bring a story to life. One of my favorite parts of writing Demon’s Heart was figuring out traditions for various life events and how they differed from region to region. It adds depth to both specific characters and the world itself. So here’s my challenge for the week:
What’s a long-standing tradition in your character’s life? Write a descriptive scene with your character’s thoughts and feelings as the tradition is happening—or during a time when the tradition has failed.