December 6, 2012

no. 3: writin' around the christmas tree

Blogger's Note: It's day three of the 12 Days of Writing, and today I am pleased to have the very clever and talented Nancy Scrofano (read my review of True Love Way here) stop by to share a tip. I love the activity she created, and I am going to have to try it for myself.

No. 3: Writin' Around the Christmas Tree

By Nancy Scrofano
Author of True Love Way

As everyone knows, the holiday season is busy, and it can be a struggle to find the motivation and the time to write. But as a writer, I feel it is my duty to give you the most important piece of advice: keep writing. Even when you don’t feel like it (especially when you don’t feel like it), keep going. 

If you’re in an end-of-the-year writing slump, I have a fun writing exercise for you to try. It’s called Writin’ Around the Christmas Tree. The following places are the locations of Christmas trees. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a story around the Christmas tree. I’ve chosen the possible settings, now the rest is up to you! It can be however long you want it to be. Just go where the ideas take you. 

The best part is that you don’t have to share it with anyone or worry about getting it “perfect” (though there is no such thing) because this is just for you. Of course, you can share it with family and friends or on your blog (if you have one) if you like, but there’s no pressure. If you do decide to share it and need an outlet, I’d be happy to post it on my blog, The Chick Lit Bee.

So, take a break from working, shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, etc., and write a story around the Christmas tree.
  1. Rockefeller Center, New York City 
  2. Trafalgar Square, London
  3. Daley Plaza, Chicago
  4. Martin Place, Sydney
  5. LOVE Park, Philadelphia
  6. Galeries Lafayette, Paris
  7. Galleria, Dallas
  8. Monument Circle, Indianapolis
  9. Coeur d' Alene Resort, Idaho
  10. The Grove, Los Angeles
Perhaps the heroine is taking a break from her corporate job in NYC and goes skating in Rockefeller Center to try to get a bit of the spirit of the season. At the rink, she meets a handsome widower and his young daughter... 

Or maybe a woman drops one of her gloves while admiring the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. She goes to pick it up at the exact same time as a dashing stranger. Their hands touch, their eyes meet, sparks fly… 

While walking around Christmas Village at LOVE Park, the heroine and her best friend stop at one of the booths to try the strudel. They overhear two attractive guys in line saying that they’re in Philadelphia for the first time on a business trip. The girls introduce themselves and invite the guys to hang out with them. It’s only natural for love to be in the air at this location… 

A guy takes his girlfriend to The Grove with the intention of proposing to her, but after a series of funny/awkward mishaps, he’s about to give up. It isn’t going as planned, but then, standing in front of the Christmas tree, he decides to go for it. What will she say? 

After a breakup, the leading lady agrees to go on a holiday dinner lake cruise outside the Coeur d' Alene Resort with her parents. On board this love boat, she  meets a man who is in a similar third wheel situation. They commiserate together at first, but then develop an undeniable connection. When the ship docks, is their relationship about to set sail?

Those are just a few ideas. Every writer needs a cheerleader, so I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Go ahead and write a story centered around one of these popular Christmas trees. You never know what could come of it unless you try. Have fun! Happy holidays!

Check out Nancy's book in print or e-book.

About the Author
Nancy Scrofano is the author of True Love Way. She is a freelance writer, and she is the founder and managing editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction. Nancy is at work on her next novel.

For More Information About Nancy

Comment on this post by 12 p.m. CDT Sun., Dec. 9 for one entry in this week's prize package. Each pack includes at least three print books and other swag. You can comment on each 12 Days of Writing post to increase your chances of winning.

BONUS ENTRY: "Like" Change the Word on Facebook and/or leave a note on the wall. If you already like CTW, go ahead and post a message for your extra entry.

The winner will be announced here on the blog, on FB and on Twitter Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. CDT. You'll have 24 hours to get in touch with me or another winner will be drawn.

Check back the rest of this week for more chances to win the week one 12 Days of Writing Giveaway.

***Contest limited to U.S. and Canada residents, only***

Receive Change the Word's latest updates in your Inbox. Subscribe by entering your information under "Follow by email" in the sidebar. Follow me on Twitter @lmchap or "Like" Change the Word on Facebook.


  1. Fun, fun, fun! I have to give this a go, but I may choose a local setting I'm more familiar with for my tale. "Glendale Glitters" is the site of dozens of lit trees in downtown Glendale, AZ. It is magical wandering among the lights each year, and perhaps a young man wrestling with the loss of a wife, job, and his self-confidence could encounter a fairy tale of his own as one of the lights descends on him. Thanks for sparking a story idea.

  2. Funny. Love the idea of the boat cruise. I think downtown Omaha with the lights would be a great setting for a story in Nebraska.

  3. Very cute writing ideas, Nancy!

  4. Nancy is the best at coming up with writing prompts!

  5. Great idea. I'm thinking serial...