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Thread: Advice on plausibility for my setting

  1. #26
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neandermagnon View Post
    Yeah I think you're exactly right about that.

    Traditions evolve. For example we have Guy Fawkes this weekend and I was thinking that if it weren't for the distance, I'd go to Lewes and watch them burn giant effigies. So while most places in the UK, Guy Fawkes festivities have kind of evolved away from burning effigies and focused much more on fireworks and some places don't have a bonfire at all, in Lewes, it's gone completely in the other direction. They have fireworks too, but it's their giant effigies that are centre stage. And it's catching on... I read in the papers that a giant effigy of Harvey Weinstein is due to be burned in a town in Kent.
    My dad recalled 'Bonfire Night' being done when he was a kid on Vancouver Island in the '30s, but it died out - it became all about the fire/arson and the significance of Guy Fawkes just sort of vanished. I imagine WWII put an end to it.
    I imagine if it had been kept up, there would be two groups, those who use any excuse to see stuff burn, and those who would nit-pick every detail: "No random figures! No modern figures! No political satire! It's Guy Fawkes himself, or it's not going on our fire!" "Only organic wood! No kerosene, no Ikea cast-offs!"

  2. #27
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    My dad recalled 'Bonfire Night' being done when he was a kid on Vancouver Island in the '30s, but it died out - it became all about the fire/arson and the significance of Guy Fawkes just sort of vanished. I imagine WWII put an end to it.
    I imagine if it had been kept up, there would be two groups, those who use any excuse to see stuff burn, and those who would nit-pick every detail: "No random figures! No modern figures! No political satire! It's Guy Fawkes himself, or it's not going on our fire!" "Only organic wood! No kerosene, no Ikea cast-offs!"
    That's really interesting.

    I'm imagining what it might be like if someone in the future tries to immortalise 2017 Guy Fawkes.... "Jack, you are to be the Safety Inspector. We have to fill in the "form" and submit it to you, then you must visit our bonfire site and declare that it's sound and allow us to go ahead. Jane and Jenny, you must print and distribute the "flyers" to call people forth to the festivities, and it must include a warning to keep pets and small children away..." Then Jill says, "but on the flyers we must compete with our rival displays. We must say "we have three firework displays and fairground rides for the teenagers" and they then respond "but Lo, we have better fireworks and live music and two licenced bars..." and then the people of the town of Lewes trump us all with "we have a giant effigy of Trump to burn"
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 11-07-2017 at 10:52 AM.
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  3. #28
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    After some more thoughts on this, I've decided to keep the "year's round" cycle, but replace the Twelfth Night party (since I still needed a big occasion for the shape-shifting creature to disrupt) with a village winter festival designed as a fund-raiser (repairs for the local church - I thought of that one since it would fit plans I'd had for a later book if it got to be a series). I still want the book set in January, so want something that would fit a winter setting, and would like suggestions on what sort of activities would most likely fit such an event, alongside such things as whether it would be held indoors (where it was warm) or outdoors (maybe involving skating or similar outdoor winter games).

  4. #29
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    A january event in the UK would almost certainly be indoors. its fairly cold and almost 100% chance it will be wet. Villages generally hold these type events in a church hall or community centre etc.

    As a rule it doesnt get cold enough here for skating safely outdoors, and we have a very risk avoidant culture, Outside of people who are keen skaters at indoor rinks, very very few people would have their own skates and the fortitude to use them on a frozen lake etc.

    I like the 12 story idea personally, reminds me of a book i had when i was a tot which had a wee proportion or a very short complete story for every night of the year.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus_Burned View Post
    A january event in the UK would almost certainly be indoors. its fairly cold and almost 100% chance it will be wet. Villages generally hold these type events in a church hall or community centre etc.

    As a rule it doesnt get cold enough here for skating safely outdoors, and we have a very risk avoidant culture, Outside of people who are keen skaters at indoor rinks, very very few people would have their own skates and the fortitude to use them on a frozen lake etc.

    I like the 12 story idea personally, reminds me of a book i had when i was a tot which had a wee proportion or a very short complete story for every night of the year.
    Thanks. Taking place indoors it is, then.

  6. #31
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    I've established the following for the January festival: it's a church fund-raiser, and it's indoors (village hall or church hall). I know its role in the story: the shape-shifting trickster that the MC has unwittingly freed earlier in the book crashes the event and disrupts it the way that only a magical shape-shifting trickster can do, and this prompts the MC to set out to recapture it, her big goal in the story.

    What I'd like to know is: what sort of events would be likely to take place at this fund-raiser/fete? Would there be indoor games? Food (presumably of the "everybody brings something" variety)? I'd like to be able to picture the "real-world" side of this fete.
    Last edited by t0dd; 11-22-2017 at 06:46 AM.

  7. #32
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    It's likely they'd have stalls selling things, including home made cakes and similar. They may invite local people who sell arty/crafty type things online or in small shops to pay to have a stall. These tend to be people who operate as very small businesses and they will sometimes do the rounds at different fetes and things. Whether or not they include small businesses or just local groups (like the girl guides, boy scouts, women's institute etc) depends on whoever's running it. Stalls may include things that are games, like a tombola or more kid-orientated games like guess the number of sweets in a jar or guess the name of a large cuddly toy (prizes donated). They tend to be around 50p a go. My rugby club did a spot the ball (picture of kids playing rugby, ball removed from picture (photoshop) grid over the picture, choose the co-ordinates of where the ball is) which is usually football (i.e. soccer) not rugby.

    They are likely to have a raffle, with prizes donated by local people/businesses. They'll draw the tickets at the end, in a fairly informal fashion with one of the organisers announcing the winning tickets. They may pick random people to draw the tickets.

    Something that's becoming more popular is a mini auction for things donated by local businesses, that tend to be events/services rather than physical goods (e.g. a meal at a local restaurant, a round of golf at a golf club, free trip to local spa, free haircut/style at local hairdressers, etc) - one of my kids' school runs this as a "bidding wall" with all the different things written on paper pinned to the wall, and the people running it write the highest bid on the paper (laminated so they can write on/wipe off). There's a time limit, and at that time, the highest bid is the one that wins and people come and buy the things they bid for.

    A different kind of event is a jumble sale. This is where everyone donates stuff from their home that they don't want, the organisers sort it into different categories (children's clothes, women's clothes, men's clothes, toys, kitchen items, electrical, brick-a-brack (i.e. everything that can't be categorised)) and people buy stuff that they want. Stuff is sold really cheap, like 5p-1 for most things, though any items that do have a value will get sold at higher prices. If they expect to get lots of higher value items they may charge extra to get in early, e.g. 2 entry from 1-2pm then 20p entry from 2-4pm. There will usually also be a stall selling tea, coffee and home made cakes, and the occasional tombola, raffle, etc, i.e. stuff you'd get at a normal fete but the emphasis is on selling everyone's junk.

    Note that I'm remembering this from the 1980s and there are strict rules now on selling second hand electrical items (they have to have a safety certificate) so a modern jumble sale may not be selling anything electrical. Also note that the prices above are 80s prices, but you'd still get things being sold for just a few pence at jumble sale. Might be 5 for early entry if there are things of value to be bought, and 50p entry thereafter.

    BTW some fetes will have a low entry fee (usually around a quid or so, kids may be free) as part of the fundraising. Even if there's no entry fee you'll likely be invited to buy raffle tickets on entry.

    The school hall is another potential location for such an event. School and church halls would usually have a kitchen which has direct access to the hall (usually through a large hatch) so they can sell tea, coffee, cakes (generally home made) and the like during the event. Because you can't deprive Brits of tea. You just can't.

    I've lived in a lot of places but have never lived anywhere that has a village hall. Not saying they don't exist in some villages. (And to be fair, most places I've lived have been towns or cities.) In my experience, the church hall serves that purpose and is commonly rented out to all kinds of groups who want to use it, most of whom have no particular connection to Christianity. Things like the scouts, guides, slimming clubs, women's institute, people who want to have their kids' birthday party in a hall rather than at home, etc. They're regularly rented out for the kinds of events you're talking about.

    Also consider what they're fundraising for. It is commonly for a local issue, e.g. repairing the church roof or a new minibus for the school (those are so common they're becoming a cliche). It doesn't have to be for a local issue though, could be a charity event for any charity, or they could be collecting food, clothes etc for food banks and homeless families. (Probably not anyone in the village - homelessness tends to be more of a town/city problem.) People bring along food and other goods to be donated and the food bank will print lists of what they want (cupboard foods and other items families need like toothpaste, nappies (diapers), hats and scarves for children, etc).
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 11-22-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    my blog - cave people and stuff - an imaginative look at palaeolithic life: http://cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com/

  8. #33
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    Could you create something specific to your village? There's a lot of info available on local traditions in the UK -- the Furry Dance, the 'Obby 'Oss, Jack-in-the-Green (all associated with May) and a load of others.
    I like this idea.

    Lots of places have traditions and annual events that are specific to that place. The town I live in has an annual air show where they have displays of Red Arrows and various vintage/historical aircraft on the beach, and in the town square (which is a circle for some unfathomable reason) they have stalls selling aircraft related things and often an actual plane on display (just a small one, cause you won't fit a Boeing 757 in our circular town square).

    Attendance at the air show is of course optional, but it's impossible to escape it altogether or not notice that it's going on with all the traffic disruption (don't even try to drive in/out of town when the airshow's on) and various aircraft flying overhead. And aircraft practising their display moves in the weeks leading up to the airshow.

    It's a very new "tradition" however it's one of the things the town's known for (after the beaches) and if someone was writing a story set here in late August and there's no mention of the air show it would stretch plausibility. Like not one single incident of WW2 aircraft flying overhead or kids getting excited about the Red Arrows or "sorry I'm late, traffic horrendous... bloody airshow!"...?

    Now everyone can figure out where I live...

    Events that big are usually more a town thing but villages often have their own little traditions, and these can become big events. Cheese rolling springs to mind here...
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  9. #34
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    Thanks for the information. I hope it'll be enough to help me write that scene.

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