Ceremonies and Milestones: Celebrating Your Characters

My High School Graduation
(A long time ago)
Depending on where you live, the summer break may have started or you're a few days from the final day. We have a little over a week left here.

This means my schedule looks a bit crazy. There's work, writing, awards days, field day, and for my oldest granddaughter, Fifth Grade Day, a celebration she's anticipated for several years. As the "seniors" in her school, the fifth graders, celebrate the end of grade school with bounce houses, water games, and tons of fun. It marks the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence. New responsibilities hover on the horizon for these kids.

What coming-of-age celebrations do you celebrate? Have you considered using these events in your writing? All societies mark milestones with special days and events. I love writing speculative fiction because my imagination gets to create everything about the event:

  • When it occurs
  • Where it occurs
  • Who gets to celebrate it
  • What the celebration is
  • Why it's celebrated
  • How it's celebrated

In the epic fantasy trilogy I'm writing, there's a special recognition ceremony marking the coming-of-age of the new queen. It occurs in the kingdom of her closest ally as they recognize her rights to the throne. Steeped in the cultural history between these two kingdoms, it resonates with tradition, fanfare, and a few surprises. I won't spoil it here, but I loved creating this event. In another part of the story, I created the ceremony for the departure of one's soul after death. Again, I enjoyed writing this scene. Every time I re-read it, I'm amazed at my own creativity.

Ceremonies make your story real. They share in the most emotional times of your characters. Even in mainstream fiction, you can create special ceremonies based on the circumstances and groups of people involved with your characters.

Have you created a ceremony celebrating a milestone event for your characters? Let's have some fun. Tell me a bit about it in the comments below.


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