You might be surprised to know that I write romance novels but hate Valentine's Day. This might seem odd. I write about love, but I don't like the day dedicated to love. In novels, the romance and love you write is a permanent love, one that lasts forever, not just one day. However, you don't have to like Valentine's Day to write about it. Here are some tips to include Valentine's Day in your writing, regardless of the type of author you are.
Have Something Happen – In The 1776 Musket, a bombing takes place on Valentine's Day. Although it seems like I did it because I don't like the day, that wasn't my motivation. I needed a date that involved a lot of people who go out on dates. My novel was set in winter, so Valentine's Day made sense. Now, I see that my unconscious mind might have been a influential piece in this case. For you, if you are a science-fiction author or a fantasy author, you could have a spaceship land on Earth on Valentine's Day or a wizard needs the day of love for an experiment or spell. You could have the goddess of love interfere with couples on Valentine's Day. If you write romance, a special date might happen on Valentine's Day. If you write mystery, a murder could take place.
Tell a Story – If you write nonfiction, you might have a special story that involved Valentine's Day that would make your point. Use the holiday to tell that story to your readers and fan base. Even if the event happened before or after Valentine's Day, you still might be able to use the holiday to drive your point home. The reader doesn't know the exact date of your story. Make it believable and drive your point home.
Compare – Use Valentine's Day behaviors to compare to events in your blogs or nonfiction books. You also might be able to use Valentine's Day to compare to other things in fiction. It would depend on the plot and how you are using Valentine's Day to compare. For example, I have read best-selling authors who have compared their fictional couples' Valentine's Days from previous love interests to their current one. If you are writing a book for inspiration, you could compare Valentine's Day to other special days of the year to give the right point that would inspire others.
Use It Differently – Everyone thinks of hearts, candy, flowers and cards as symbols of Valentine's Day, but how much more of an impact would you create if you used a different symbol in your writing? For example, I wrote on Christian Marketing Experts blog that Jesus is the true symbol of love on Valentine's Day. If you write blogs for home improvement, you could discuss how changing paint color to one you love would be a good Valentine's Day gift for your spouse. If you write about dentistry, you could discuss how candy from Valentine's Day would harm your teeth. If you write about health and nutrition, you could talk about Valentine's Day and staying true to your diet.
You probably want to know why I hate Valentine's Day so much. When I was in high school, we would sell heart lollipops with messages. Unlike elementary school that forces parents to buy cards for everyone in the class, high school allows you to pick and choose who got the lollipops. I never received any because I met my boyfriends after Valentine's Day and they went to other schools. Then, I went to college. Everyone on my floor in my dorm had boyfriends who gave them big flowers and other gifts. It was hard watching them receive something and not getting one. To me, Valentine's Day is set aside to make those without a significant other feel bad about himself or herself. Even after I met my future husband, I asked him not to give me anything on Valentine's Day. To this day, he will give me a card that we get free in the mail. I am fine with that. He shows he loves me on other days of the year as it should be.