Short post today: don’t underestimate the power of the holidays in your fiction.
The holiday season provides a context in which certain characters (e.g., relatives) logically appear and certain themes come naturally to characters’ minds. You can set a story during the holidays to add extra leverage and give you more elbow-room as an author. The holidays give very different characters an excuse to be together and take certain actions. Figuring out how to make these narrative moves without a logical context can be one of the biggest challenges in fiction.
To test the truth of this, imagine a scene you’ve struggled with in the past—then imagine the scene occurring at some point during the holiday season. The scene should automatically jump into sharper relief and seem to offer you more narrative options.