Writing a Christmas story is something that I think most writers at least consider at one time or another. It’s a challenge of a sort though. Do you write it in a genre format? If so how do you balance the genre and the Christmas elements? How do you write something that gives you the Christmas feeling of wonder and peace and yet isn’t smaltzy? Then again I kind of like smaltzy.
I’ve struggled with this one myself–written a couple of pieces that I liked and some that will never see the light of day. I have to say when you are writing something as full of emotion as Christmas inevitably is, I think the challenge is a hard one. It’s made even harder by the fact that no two people are going to agree on where the emotional line is–even Dickens in his day was accused of milking it a bit.
I remember reading something where one writer advised that she knew she would hit the right emotional chord if what she was writing touched her. So if she was scared when she was writing, she knew the reader would be scared. If she cried, she knew the reader would get a lump in his/her throat. It’s difficult to write that way–at least for me. I tend not to want to be on the ragged edge–and it’s even harder when it comes to trying to write things that make me laugh or want to celebrate. In that case, it’s not because of emotional avoidance but it is just that hard to let go sometimes.
I’d love to do something where we all wrote a Christmas story–and then posted the links to our websites for other folks to enjoy. Just a little something to get us in the mood for Christmas. If you’re up to it–post your link in the comment section below. I just put my own story up at my website.