The holidays are upon us and I thought I’d discuss how important including them in your worldbuilding can be to the realism of the story. Now, this doesn’t mean your manuscript requires Christmas. Especially not if your fantasy takes place elsewhere or in a realm where Christmas does not exist. However, you can and should mirror the importance of holidays in your text.
Holidays create a sense of culture and community and by adding them to the world you’ve built, it gives credibility and believability to your work. There’s a few brainstorming steps you can take to create the appropriate holidays for your story:
1- Assess the culture and community you have in your world
2- Review our Earthly holidays (across national borders) to get inspiration
3- Write ideas and notes about the type of celebration you wish to include
4- Develop your holidays with traditions and nuances to bring it to life
5- Insert into your story with foreshadowing and hints before its introduction whether on the forefront of the narrative or in the background
If you think about your favorite fantasy stories, they all employ holidays as a way of creating a rich culture for readers to immerse themselves in. You might not have believed before reading this how important holidays can be to worldbuilding, but with a little brainstorming, research and creativity, you can pull together a wonderful celebratory day or several that your readers will fawn over.