By Vicki H. Moss, Contributing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine
Almost everyone has a Thanksgiving story and you don’t have to be an American to have one. A Thanksgiving story can be about what you’re thankful for in life or if you’re American—your individual Thanksgiving story where family and friends gather around the table as a November custom celebrated in so many homes across the U.S.A. And that’s the story line I’ll be addressing in this article.
With every Thanksgiving celebration, there’s usually a trip to the store for a turkey unless you raise your own. The turkey is key to the food story, the star character if you will. Then there are the sides. Those oh-so-delicious-sides.
Does Aunt Louise cart in a cake or pie to the get together? Which cousin likes to stir up some veggies? Which relative is a good cook and which relative is a terrible cook, bless her heart? Which friend volunteers to set the table but doesn’t know where the silverware goes? Which relatives always show up late—which delays the meal because they had to lasso the turkey? Which relative always sashays in with deviled eggs—wearing a fur coat (the relative, not the eggs)—because deviled eggs are the cheapest dish to bring? Which aunt doesn’t season any of her veggies and her dishes always taste bland? Which friends have a car break down on the way to dinner and someone has to go scoop them up to haul them in?
There are so many different scenarios and subplots going on when you gather a group of people together for a holiday meal. I’m sure you can come up with many scenarios and subplots on your own. If you take one story at a time and flesh out each character, then throw in lots of conflict when the characters clash—oops, come together, pretty soon you would have a novella or perhaps a novel, depending on how much drama you can drum up.
I think I’ll take my own advice and get to work on that project. It’s never too late to write a holiday story. Happy soon-to-be Thanksgiving ya’ll!