In the United States, Thanksgiving dominates November. Most people spend the month thinking about what to cook, who to visit, and when they can get off work or school. But November as writing inspiration isn’t confined to the monster holiday. Because Thanksgiving provides so much inspiration, I will deal with it in a separate post. Below are other events in November that can kindle your inspiration.
National Novel Writing Month. This nonprofit group encourages writers to finish a 50,000 word novel in a month. Personally, November is a terrible time to get a lot of writing accomplished because of Thanksgiving. Why didn’t they pick March? March bores me into depression. Maybe I’ll have to have my own private NaNoWriMo then. But a humorous story about a writer trying desperately to finish her novel while planning an enormous Thanksgiving dinner for her extended family has wonderful possibilities.
Hunting season is in full swing in my state and surrounding ones. With November’s short hours of daylight and wild weather, it offers a lot of potential for a story pitting a lost or injured hunter against the elements. That’s why I picked November as the setting for my short story, “Debt to Pay”. I wanted the weather to be unfavorable but not as deadly as in January or February. Or you can use the weather and hunting as a back drop for a humorous story, like the ones Patrick F. McManus’s wrote.
The first Tuesday in November is always Election Day in America, and this year, being an even numbered one, we are voting in national elections as well as state and local. If you are writing a political thriller or mystery, this day works well as the setting for the climax.
The middle school where I live hosts a program for veterans to come talk to the kids. There’s so much plot and character development in a story where a kid and a veteran, especially an elderly one, learn from each other.
I have never ventured out into the pandemonium of the first official shopping day of the Christmas season. My husband did once to secure a Lego set for my sister, and I’ve always thought highly of him for braving the chaos. The reason for the day and the unusual behavior it inspires — people congregating around ads the day before as they plan their attack, camping on the sidewalk to be the first inside a store, trudging for miles in a mall as they hunt an elusive item — makes it perfect for a comic story.
How would you use November as writing inspiration?