Upkeep 1

Well I don’t want to get too bogged down with writing just yet, it’s still relatively early and I have plenty of ideas. I wanted to start off by saying that it snowed, and I spent an hour clearing the driveway and sidewalk. This isn’t as bad as it has been in previous snows this year, and I was quite happy about that. I didn’t know how deep the snow was until I got out there, but all the same, I stuck a Yuengling in the snowbank next to my front porch (I know I’m writing snow a lot, bear with me) and got stuck in. I always thought that Yuengling tasted best fresh out of the bottle after clearing snow from my driveway. It was cooled to just about freezing temperature by the snow, and something about feeling like I earned it had always made that beer taste so much better than grabbing a cold one out of the fridge. My brother started this tradition of chilling a beer in the snow and drinking it after clearing the driveway, so I decided to carry on that particular torch. This got me thinking about tradition, however, I had to put that thought on hold, though, because I had class. Now it came back to my mind and I decided to follow this thread to some form of a logical conclusion. Now I won’t make the mistake of assuming to be a brilliant anthropologist and state my opinion as fact, but instead, I will base this off of my observations. Traditions are established for a reason, for better or worse. In my example, the beer in the snow was started as a reward for completing a fairly difficult task. It has since evolved into a nice reminder of some very entertaining shenanigans that I have gotten into with my brother. Likewise, I think involving a tradition in a story should have a well established backstory. For example, in a standalone story, I believe a tradition should be established over several chapters, and in a series, I believe it could take an entire book to establish a meaningful tradition. This is all from the perspective of the story anyway. I suppose this is going to devolve into a complaint now. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer fixing things to complaining about them, but I am unable to fix every instance of this, so let’s get on with it then. I think it is lazy when writers, be them authors, playwriters, or screenwriters establish traditions in the middle of the story without any sort of precedent. Having a tradition in place at the beginning of a story, however, I find acceptable. In fact, I think it can be a very strong plot device. Starting a story with a tradition, especially one that does not make sense, can help in forming a compelling plot around either gaining a better understanding of the tradition, or removing it.

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