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Deck the Pages: Unwrapping the Secret Of Decorating Christmas Trees and Writing Fiction Stories

Updated: Dec 17, 2023


Did you know that decorating a Christmas tree and writing a story requires the same skill sets? 


In the great words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me splain…”

Making a selection takes time

Just like picking out the perfect tree that will fit your living room, you have to select the right genre for your story. 

It requires a lot of upfront investment

Not only do you have to buy the tree. But then you have to drive it home and drag it into your house before you can even start to decorate. The same is true with a story. You have to sacrifice a lot of time and energy pulling words out of your mind before you can really do anything with them.

You need a vision

You can’t just put your tree up anywhere. You have to consider what the end product will look like so that when people see it they’ll get the desired effect. You’ll also need to account for the entry point. This may require you to move items around so nothing’s blocking the viewpoint. The same thing goes with narrative. You’ll need to identify where your readers are entering the story and what perspective they are viewing it from. That way you can create a clear path for them to reach the ending.

It’s A Bit Of A Balancing Act

Achieving balance is key. The tree will have to stand on its own. This means you’ll have to make sure it’s not too heavy and it’s secured by a good foundation. Books are the same. Theme is the foundational element. After that, you’ll need to balance plot, character, and action in order for your story to stand on its own.

There’s a standard

While every tree is unique, there are a few basic elements that everyone expects; lights, ribbons, ornaments, and presents. Readers of all genres are the same. They expect specific tropes and plot points.

Character is a must

Every tree must have its own personality. Similarly, every good book has characters that are unforgettable.

You work in layers

When decorating, you build in layers. First the lights, then the garland, and lastly the ornaments. In the same way, stories layer theme, plot, character and so much more.

Details Matter

From the placement of each ornament and the arrangement of lights. Similarly, authors pay attention to every word in every sentence and every sentence in every paragraph and every paragraph in every chapter.

You’ll Have To Make Revisions

Often you’ll have to adjust the star or trim a few branches. Sometimes you’ll need to completely rearrange the lights. With stories, you may have to rewrite entire scenes and chapters. In the end, this is what makes the project shine.

Imperfections Are Expected

Neither stories nor trees are perfect. Embracing imperfections adds character and uniqueness to the final creation. The ability to cultivate a story around them is what gives an author his voice.

It’s A Worthwhile Achievement

There’s a huge sense of accomplishment once you’ve finished decorating. You can finally relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Stories can sometimes take years to complete. But once it’s done, it feels like you’ve let go of a huge weight off your shoulders..  

You Can Share It With Others

After everything is set, you can invite friends and family over and show it off. As an author, once your story is published, you can send it to friends and family as a gift. You can also use your book as a way to introduce yourself and meet new people. One of the coolest things when you meet someone is to find out that they write in the same genre that you read. It can create instant friendships.

You Can Do It As Many Times As you Want

Not only do you get an opportunity to decorate a tree every year. But you can even decorate multiple trees for each area of your house. Aside from your main tree, you can have one at the entrance or one in a separate room. You can make extra trees really big, or really small. If your main tree was traditional, maybe you make another that’s super nerdy. It’s completely up to you. The same holds true with stories. You can have a main book and then other stories that complement it. You could have a reader magnet for new readers. Or a special edition for existing ones. You could create short stories for subscribers. You could also have bonus chapters and materials that you give away. The sky’s the limit.

You Get Better Over Time

As the years progress, not only will you accumulate more decorations, but you’ll also learn new techniques to make your tree “pop.” Sometimes new technology can give you options that you didn’t have in the past. Writing is the same. As the years go on, you’ll have a better grasp of your story and your voice. Plus, you’ll develop more skills that you can deploy during specific scenarios. Often new writing technology comes out that makes the process much easier and streamlined.

It’s The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Even when Christmas is over and the tree is put away, you still get to keep all of the photos you took. Those memories will last a lifetime and can be shared with children and grandchildren over the years. The same holds true for your stories. Long after you’re gone, your family and friends can still enjoy them and keep a little piece of you in their memories. Writing a book is one of the best legacies a person can have. 


And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. That’s what I came up with. Which was your favorite? Did I miss one? Let me know!


-Josh


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