How to Add a Dash of Community Flavor to Your Story

817088_25255727Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. All of the decorations, the delightful giggles of children dreaming of presents and school break. Then there is the food. Don’t even get me started on the food.

Everyone celebrates in their own way, with their own traditions. Some celebrate Santa, others only the birth of Christ, some a blend of the two, then there is Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and lots of other winter holidays.

How much community flavor do you have in your story?

We often build our perfect towns for our stories to take place and then forget to give them personality. Tradition and celebrations make each community unique.

Many of our stories don’t take place at Christmas. So, what then?

In Minnesota we have all kids of festivities in our communities. Spam days, Lumberjack Days, Wild Rice Days, etc. We also have all kinds of crazy events like ice fishing contests and jumping into the lake right after it thaws.

What about your story book community? Do you give it a personal flare with traditions, festivities, and crazy events.?

Add a Dash Of Community Flavor:

*Determine the time of year when your novel takes place. This will help you to identify the events that can make more of a community.

*Pick a festivity or holiday to feature in your story. If you are writing suspense, you can still use a festivity to make it harder to keep people safe, catch a criminal, or add mood. There is everything from Corn feeds to box socials.

*Pick a tradition that is unique to the area where your story takes place to feature. This doesn’t have to take center stage, but it really helps to solidify the community’s personality.

*Feature a town personality in at least one character. The town crazy, gossip, know-it-all, mascot, etc. Every town has something. Dig deep. This character has great potential to bring humor or other strong emotions to your stories.

How do you add community flavor to your novel?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “How to Add a Dash of Community Flavor to Your Story

  1. dtopliff says:

    I’m having fun adding that and period songs to my Cruising book.

  2. Since I set my books in the South, I usually use dialogue to set the flavor. And it’s a lot of fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s