But what about our characters? How many books have you read where the hero or heroine had a birthday? I can't really think of any, to be honest. Many of us use character charts for character building and we give our character a birth date. But what is the purpose of a birthday?
For one thing, you know your character's age. Obviously, this is an important fact. I had a story idea once where I wanted my 20-something character have hippie parents. Well, hippies were from the 1960's. If my character's parents got married in the late 60's and had my character as late as 1970, it put my character in her 40's. You gotta know your character's birthday to have her at the right age and coordinate well with minor characters.
We can use birthdays to show more about our character. Say your heroine got dumped by her fiance on her birthday. Birthdays could always be a reminder of love lost. What if your hero won a million dollars on his 20th birthday. Birthdays could be a time spent in casinos, gambling away that million, trying to win even more. (Of course, in writing for CBA, this would be backstory.) There are a lot of ways to add depth to your character through birthdays.
What about incorporating birthdays into our own books? You could have a heroine who has always experienced a surprise party on her birthday, yet in your book she does not. She opens doors expecting to find a room full of friends screaming "Surprise", only to be disappointed in the silence that greets her. Think of the fun you could have with the internal journey of your character in learning that life is not "all about her" and people still love her regardless of how many parties she has.
You could have your orphaned heroine, who never celebrated birthdays in a big way, be overwhelmed when the hero throws her a huge party loaded with presents. The hero could go to great lengths with outrageous and extravagant party plans...all to show his love.
Birthdays can be used in so many ways. For good. For ill. What about the villain? He/she has birthdays. What kinds of things could you do with a villain's birthday? Give me some creative ideas. Or share about your favorite birthday.