IWSG: Have You Put Family Traditions into Your Stories?

Before the end of 2019, I entered a competition, where I managed to write my first Christmas short story, but I have also written a short story that included a more family tradition. The story is an account of a fictional event that happened at a seaside location.

When I was younger, my family and I would regularly spend our holidays at the same caravan park on the south coast of New South Wales. First, we camped and then had a caravan down there and would go down at least three or four times a year. Most often, our visits would be during the Christmas school holiday period, a usual Aussie summer.

We would spend our days on the beach, in the water, bushwalking, fishing or exploring rock pools. Lazy days!

On one part of the beach was a lagoon, which was an ideal spot for younger children. Hanging on the branch of a large gum tree in a corner of the lagoon, was a Tarzan rope, where older kids would swing over the lagoon and fall off into the water. My family and I never did that, nor did we know anyone who did, but I always watched the older kids as they took up the challenge. All these years later, this scenario became the idea behind my short story ‘The Lagoon’. It is included in my short story collection, which I published late 2019.

My ‘tradition’ is more a location than anything else, but nevertheless, one that evokes fond memories to this day.

Other than obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs into your stories?

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Main image courtesy Pixabay

15 thoughts on “IWSG: Have You Put Family Traditions into Your Stories?

  1. Interesting question. I can’t say I’ve put any family traditions into my stories, but I’ve put our hobbies in: swimming, painting, running, hanging out with the dog, stuff like that.

    1. Debbie Johansson 04/03/2020 — 10:00 pm

      I hadn’t thought of writing about family traditions before! I guess it’s another example of ‘write what you know’. Thanks for sharing, Priscilla.

  2. I would’ve loved the idea of swinging from the rope, but I probably would’ve been too scared to try. 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 04/03/2020 — 10:02 pm

      I felt the same way, Madeline, but I was happy to watch. 😉

  3. Settings can be a character of their own when they have a history and draw memories from the writer. Nicely captured here today. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Debbie Johansson 04/03/2020 — 10:06 pm

      As a writer of Gothic Fiction, the setting is very important, so I have to make sure I get them right. Thanks for the compliment, Anna! 🙂

  4. Natalie Aguirre 04/03/2020 — 7:43 pm

    Your holiday traditions sound found but are really different than mine. Glad you could incorporate some in your writing.

    1. Debbie Johansson 04/03/2020 — 10:08 pm

      Thanks for the interesting question Natalie and for co-hosting this month. 🙂

  5. I would’ve flipped off that rope in a heartbeat. We had one like it at my grandparents’ cabin on the North Fork River.

    1. Debbie Johansson 05/03/2020 — 4:54 am

      That sounds like fun. You’re gamer that I am! 😉

  6. I live next to a lagoon, but there are no branches to cannonball off into the water (plus it’s a bird sanctuary!) Your memories of those holidays are quite evocative, and I have always been struck by how different the Christmas traditions are in the Southern Hemisphere versus the Northern.

    1. Debbie Johansson 06/03/2020 — 2:57 am

      I like the idea of living next to a bird sanctuary. It sounds lovely! Thanks for stopping by Donna, it’s good to meet you. 🙂

  7. I love that you got to add that piece of your experiences into one of your stories. I can’t really recall putting an experience of mine in one of my works, but characters have little bits and pieces of me in them.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. Debbie Johansson 30/03/2020 — 10:08 pm

      Hi Jonny. I sometimes have bits and pieces of me in my characters too, which can be a great help with our stories. It’s good to hear from you. Take care!

      1. Hi Debbie! 🙂 Hope all is going well for you.

        Yeah, it’s funny how the smallest piece of ourselves can create a completely unique, interesting character.

        You too!

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