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Monday, October 31, 2016

Writing About: Halloween


Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it and the fact it occurs during my favorite season (autumn) makes it all the more special and fun.

Halloween stories are a blast to read and write. Even a chapter or two is fun in a novel. I admit to being drawn to stories about this spooky, exciting night. I’m cackling like a witch just writing this post. So here are several things to consider for your Halloween story.

1. Decorations

Halloween is a holiday that lets us transform the inside and outside of our houses with plastic skeletons, spider webs, scarecrows, foam tombstones, fake blood and orange lights. The character in your book could decorate their house of visit someone who has a decorated house. For a children’s or YA book, the parents can surprise their kids with a haunted house when they come home from school.

2. Goodies

Who doesn’t dropkick their diet when Halloween comes? It’s impossible to buy candy for trick-or-treaters and not steal a piece or two…or ten. Then there’s the other yummy goodies like caramel apples, popcorn balls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice coffee…pumpkin anything. Which I personally love.

Image from Pixabay

3. Pumpkin Carving


A trip to the pumpkin patch and a fun carving scene is a must for a family-oriented Halloween story. Describe slicing into the pumpkin’s thick flesh, scooping out the stringy guts, the smell of the fresh pumpkin and picking out the seeds for baking.

4. Scary Movies

It’s not Halloween without scary movies. For a romance story, imagine your couple cuddling on the couch with a bowl of popcorn while they have a marathon of Michael Myer’s movies. This would be a cute date night.

5. Fun

Halloween is full of fun activities. If you write a story centered on this holiday consider adding one or more of these: hayrides, corn mazes, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, fall festivals and costume parties. The last two are perfect for adult stories. Imagine your character going to a fall festival with friends and meeting someone. And at a costume party it could be a mystery. Who’s behind the mask?

Image from Pixabay

6. Costumes

Kids are all about the costumes, so if there are kids in your story, a couple of discussions for what the kids want to wear and a scene showing the mom putting it together are nice to include.

7. Trick-or-Treating

If your MC has kids, trick-or-treating should be a scene. Show the kids in their costumes. This is always fun to describe. Then write about the candy-seeking shenanigans: going door-to-door to beg for candy, plastic pumpkins full of candy and aching feet after walking around the block.


So now that I laid out the highlights of Halloween, go write a scene! Not for a book but for a fun prompt. Go ahead!



QUESTIONS: What do you like/dislike about Halloween? Do you dress up? I do because I’m a big kid at heart.


49 comments:

  1. Good points to remember.
    I don't do much for Halloween anymore. We don't even get trick-or-treaters. I guess the kids go elsewhere for candy.

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    1. I don't get trick-or treaters where I am either. Last year, when I first moved to this neighborhood, I thought I'd have a lot. I had three.

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  2. As an adult I enjoyed the dressing up for Halloween. As a kid in the Virgin Islands, Halloween wasn't really a thing. I don't remember trick or treating. It wasn't until I was a teen and babysitting and living in a small neighborhood that trick or treating happened. Then it was me taking all the kids I babysat out in a group. As for scary movies... not my cup of tea. :)

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    1. I still enjoy dressing up with whatever I have. :) When I was younger, I liked scary movies but not any more.

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  3. Much is to be said for Halloween, the ghouls and ghosts, the children and their trick or treats, yes, it certainly is a wonderful time of the year.
    Yvonne.

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  4. Hi Chrys - I'm not into Halloween ... it's not a British thing - well wasn't!! Now the kids just need an excuse for more sweets ... and in London on the tube it's fun seeing the young dressed up for the zombie, ghoulish, ghostly thing ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Seeing the costumes on the tube would be fun.

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  5. Fantastic post! Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year too. I love seeing everyone in costume. We went to the downtown trick or treat on Friday, and there were some awesome costumes! I love the family themed costumes. Like the Addams family and superheroes. Hehehe!

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  6. I enjoy handing out candy, but we never decorate for the holiday and there are very few kids who are in our neighborhood here.

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    1. I wish there were more kids here. I like to hand out candy, too, but I don't even buy candy anymore. :(

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  7. We don't do much for Halloween, but we did watch The Babadook over the weekend - so incredibly good and creepy! :)

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  8. I absolutely love Halloween and everything about it. It's so fun to write a chapter or scene about Halloween. This is the second year I've been virtually collecting vintage Halloween cards and pictures, and it's so fun to see how much creepier the costumes and cards were 50+ years ago. If I ever move to another country, I'll keep celebrating Halloween, even if it's not a big thing in Canada, Israel, or elsewhere.

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    1. Years ago, the costumes were a lot creepier. Nowadays, the creepy costumes are just gory or too fake. I could never stop celebrating Halloween. :)

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  9. I don't do much anymore. More fun when kids are involved, none of those here haha

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    1. I was able to have a little fun with my nephews yesterday. Other than that, no kids here either.

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  10. Halloween is difficult for me. We didn't do much when I was a kid. I was on my own when it came to a costume. It was hard to be a little kid and put together something to wear. But I love my little silver ghost necklace.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I was the youngest of five kids. I got hand-me-downs. Then when I was older, my parents didn't want to buy costumes, so I had to put together my costumes, too. Once, I was a Victorian in a big blue and black gown I got at a thrift store, a cat, and a dude with an eyeliner beard.

      Aw. I'm glad you like your ghost necklace!

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  11. Halloween at my old home was wonderful. First, dressing up for free candy and pretending to be scary -- then, when grown, I would hand out candy dressed as something unexpectedly scary. Finally, at my store, I handed out candy with my ailing mother who oohed and ahhed at the little children scampering down the Mall, getting free comics and Pokemon cards from me. With her death, the fun sort of left Halloween for me.

    I still do Halloween on my blog however. Today, Mark Twain helps me with his tale of Three Spirit Night in a haunted plantation in Hawaii. :-)

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    1. You gave away free comics and Pokemon cards? My nephews would love to see you for those! I'm sorry that you lost the fun when your mother passed.

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  12. I agree, Halloween is my favorite holiday too.

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  13. We've filled our Trick or Treat basket a couple of times already. I've stopped counting how many Reeses Peanut Butter candies I've consumed. Please, kids, come and take this stuff away!

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  14. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in decades. I kind of miss it, but since I don't have anywhere to go, there's no point.

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    1. I'd do it for me. Even if I stayed inside. ;)

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  15. In Being Human, I had a short scene set during Halloween. I thought it'd be hilarious to make Tommy confront humans dressed up and being the clueless vampire he is, he had no idea what was going on. =D

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  16. Well I'm learning quite a bit about Halloween and writing today. Yay! Thanks Chrys and Happy Halloween.

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  17. Love Halloween and all the costumes but I had great Halloweens when I was a kid so the memories are all wonderful. I think when people don't have nice memories or didn't grow up with it, they won't get into it. My mom was great and made our outfits and never believed in masks so she did our faces up with makeup. I was a witch when I was a kid and wore an old dress of my mom's with a Bavarian sweater so I looked like I came from the Black Forest. She made my crooked nose from bandaids and took a few of her hairs from her head for warts on my nose. She created my witches hat which I still have and a bat necklace, which I also still have. My brother and I went trick o treating at a small little town perfect for a movie.

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    1. My mom went all out, too. That's how I developed an appreciation for Halloween. :)

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  18. My favorite thing is decorating and handing out the treats.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  19. I love Halloween but I can't watch scary movies. I would if I had time during the day, but I don't. If I watch them at night, I have nightmares and am groggily the entire next day. Quite a dilemna, eh? LOL. I love the candy, too!

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    1. I used to watch scary movies but not any more. Like you, I'd rather watch them during the day.

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  20. After enough pumpkin beer, carving pumpkins becomes a huge challenge. Not that I can do that while sober, either... that's why I stick to just painting mine. Also, I don't think I'll ever get too old for dressing up.

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    1. Painting pumpkins is so much easier. I'm not very good at carving them.

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  21. I'll admit, I don't do Halloween, but I have to admit, it does seem to be increasing in popularity of late. Especially when it comes to decorating. The past few years, I've noticed people decorating their yards more and more, almost more-so than Christmas.
    However, I will say one thing. I do like the day after Halloween when all the candy is 1/2 price. Unfortunately, I started to diet in October, so I have opted to not buy candy. And for some reason, I can never find popcorn balls any more. I used to find them every Autumn, now I never see them. Also, I have made fresh pumpkin seeds after making a fresh pumpkin pie.
    My favourite Trick-or-Treat scene from a movie would have to be E.T. The perfect time of year for an alien to go out with everyone walking around. I always thought it was hilarious how ET sees someone dressed as Yoda and he starts following him. Years later, in one of the Star Wars films, you can see the creatures that look like ET in the distance. Just a bit of trivia. I'm such a nerd, I scare myself. LOL

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    1. Halloween isn't for everyone. And that's fine. As long as the people who love it can still have fun with it. :)

      ET is classic...but he still freaks me out. LOL

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  22. My favorite thing is passing out the candy and looking appropriately scared by the tiny ghosts and goblins ;-) Since the number of trick-or-treaters has dwindled to one, I really miss the good ole days. Whatever will I do with all these M&Ms?
    Last year I began a Halloween story that was to be a joint affair between to of us. The other writer had little interest and now the world may never know what happened to the widow Sage after she stepped outside in her blue velvet slippers beneath a baleful moon - or will they? Ha! I feel like I've just been egged - so thank you :-)

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    1. I wish there were more trick-or-treaters, too. I don't even bother to buy candy anymore. :(

      That's unfortunate, but I hope you write more about Sage.

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  23. I'm sure even adults enjoy Halloween. Dare I say it, maybe adults enjoy more than kids do. :)

    How was your Halloween this year?

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    1. I know I do. :D

      My Halloween was simple this year, but I had fun dressing up as Hermione.

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  24. Halloween is so much fun, and yes, for adults as well as kids. Another thing we used to do was have scavenger hunts. We'd have a list of things to ask people for, silly things usually, and go door-to-door gathering up as much as we could. I miss the "good old days."

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    1. I wish trick-or-treating was still like that.

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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