Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Keeping Tradition

I was watching the tv show Mike and Molly, yes I like the show. This week there was a baseball game where Molly had a tradition that she used to go to games with her father before he passed away. So, she had a tradition of going to the game and at the game she had some traditions like eating a hot dog. Her boyfriend Mike and his friend had a tradition of going to the opening game together. Which at least gives me a topic I can use for the K letter.

Keeping Tradition

Traditions can bring out many different elements in a short amount of space on a novel page. They can be large traditions that show something about the world the author builds. They can display information such as class, religion, and others. But they also can be helpful in showing something about a character, especially small traditions.

A small tradition can make a character come to life to a reader, makes them relatable even. A tradition wrought from a tragic past can help a hardened character has a soft spot, so that they don't seem out of character but can provide more depth.

Traditions can come from every day life or from long standing myths and beliefs. They can exist in the real world or be a new creations. This is where world-building can help when doing a fantasy world because knowing the traditions of the people can bring a life feeling to the story if they are traditions that an intrigue or inspire a reader.

So, to keep from rambling even more, I turn to you: the reader.

What tradition do you have that comes to mind?
Does your character have a special little tradition they try to maintain?
What would be a cool tradition?


Cheree said...

Fantastic post. I have no traditions at the moment, but I can remember always having the Christmas tradition of dinner with the family while my Grandparents were still alive. I love traditions.

Gail M Baugniet said...

I never gave this a thought but it's a great idea: A tradition wrought from a tragic past can help a hardened character has a soft spot, so that they don't seem out of character but can provide more depth.

My character doesn't have a tradition (at least not yet) but she does eat pie very often!

Jules said...

Wonderful "K" topic! Traditions are important for generational bonding to me.

Mine? Every Memorial day I take my grandmother to decorate the family graves. Morbid to some but to us it has been a fun tradition full of memory lane moments :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Dawn Embers said...

Cheree - Thanks. I love traditions involving family, which is the main reason I like holidays like Christmas. Still remember the ones I had with my great grandmother.

Gail M Baugniet - Glad you liked it. Oh, habits would have been a good topic for H, maybe I'll find a way to throw it in with a different letter. mmm pie

Jules - Why, thank you. Sounds like a good tradition. Considering many cultures had celebrations involving the dead, it sounds like a good one and not so morbid. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Never thought about this angle for my fiction/ characters. This post changed that. Thankyou!

Keylocke said...

I have a ton of family and personal traditions. I have found it is very hard to plan a tradition. Often, they have to occur organically.

In my current WIP, there is a tradition that helps illustrate a loss of a family member. By showing the father and daughter participate in the tradition, without the mother, helps us feel the loss.

Excellent post!

L'Aussie said...

I think traditions add veracity to a story. Good post, Dawn.


Dawn Embers said...

damyantiwrites - :-) ooo Influencing people. That makes me feel cool.

Keylocke - planning does feel like it ruins things some times. Sounds like a good showing of tradition in your WIP.

Denise - <3 Thanks.

Angeline said...

I have loads of traditions; like eating apple pie on New Year's Day for good luck. I have never missed a year yet!
Fantastic post, I will have to think hard about this for the re-edit of my novel.

Dawn Embers said...

Angeline - Interesting. We don't have apple pie much cause my mom doesn't like apples. But that would be an interesting tradition.