Ready For A Vacay?
Why do we love stories, novels and movies with a holiday theme? One reason is because we all relate to the idea of a vacation. Another reason is that these stories bring together characters and, as writers, offer us great opportunity to bring in emotion, conflict, tension, and even humour.
Looking for a scenario for a holiday story? Here are six for you to consider:
- Holiday Disaster. This one is all about the holiday that goes wrong. The dream vacation that unravels into a nightmare. In The Cold Light of Day is a good example. Henry “Superman” Cavill’s holiday with his family is shattered when his father is murdered and his mother and sister are kidnapped in Spain. Natural disasters can work here too. For example, in The Impossible with Ewan McGregor, a tsunami separates a family while they’re on holiday in Thailand.
- Holiday Love. Here we have the romantic holiday, with lovers finding themselves on a tropical island or a winter wonderland. There’s something very nostalgic and warm about Christmas or New Year as a backdrop in a romance novel or movie. To get you in the mood, watch Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap homes and lives, and rediscover love, in the movie The Holiday.
- Holiday Gang. This scenario usually centres on a group of friends who go travelling or on holiday together. It can be skewed towards a female, male or even teenage audience. British comedy The Inbetweeners is a good example of the madcap possibilities in this scenario. Most often, these stories bring in loads of humour and adventure — but there’s no reason you couldn’t make it dramatic or pitch it at an older audience.
- Home For The Holidays. Here we have a family reunion for the holidays – with all the dysfunctional dynamics that make these stories so exciting to read. Often they’re warm, loud, crazy, with messy emotions and some uncomfortable ‘home truths’. Perfect examples of this type of movie are Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr., or The Family Stone with Sarah Jessica Parker.
- Holiday Awakening. Ah, we all love this holiday movie. It’s really about the ‘coming of age’ of a character during one pivotal holiday. Think Dirty Dancing, where Jennifer Grey’s character Baby comes into her own as a woman in the arms of an edgy dancer called Johnny – it’s great fun and makes the most of the setting and the holiday theme.
- The ‘Staycay’. In this last scenario, we have the ‘opposite’ of the holiday story. It revolves around a character who is left behind by friends and family – or even decides against going on holiday – but ends up having a good time anyway. In the classic comedy, Home Alone with Macaulay Caulking Home Alone, a little boy is accidentally left behind when his family goes to France—but he ends up having the adventure of a life time!
Wishing all of you great holidays — with lots of writing, reading, and relaxing.
See you all again in 2018!
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