From snowy heights to palmy beaches, and the chemo chair to Santa’s lap, the holidays provide great fodder for flash story writing. You can get a lot of mileage out of the oddest family members, the best presents, the unforgettable faux pas, and the magnanimous surprises if you pay attention.
Take notice of the rare moments, coveted rituals, and deadly one liners – anything absurd or sublime – to see if you can make a good story out of it. At minimum, make a record of the basic facts, such as your whereabouts, who you spent time with and why, the sequence of events, what you ate, and highlights and low lights to work with later. Better yet, keep track of keywords that capture the most distinctive details and remind you of story angles. If possible, ask others to contribute their reactions, which can complement your perspective and make a story more robust and complex.
The most memorable moment of any holiday for me is cornering a friend or family member and asking them about holidays past, which, if we have time, always leads to other topics, stories no one has heard, and details we thought we had forgotten. I also keep my eye out for the kids because their antics and interactions are uncensored, fun, and so revealing.
What can you do this holiday season to capture a great story?