Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's Your Answer About Seasons

As the seasons change, so do readers' habits. People can get caught up in holidays, such as Christmas, and focus on little else.


During the cold winter months, outdoor activities are limited, and reading becomes popular.


Once the sun shines, the birds sing, and the flowers bloom, the great outdoors beckons.

My questions today focus on seasons, and how authors can relate to them. As usual, I'll ask a few questions, and offer my answers. Then, it's your turn to respond with your answers in the comment section.

 Here goes:

1. What's one way to work seasons to advantage? 

Write books focusing on a particular season or holiday. Better yet, do a series spanning the seasons. Mona Risk's Holiday Babies Series is a great example. To date, she's written Christmas BabiesValentine Babies, and her latest offering, Mother's Day Babies.

2. What's another way? 

Pay attention to seasonal changes, and how they affect nature, your activities, your moods. Enrich your stories by including these observations.  If writing about an unfamiliar place, do research instead of making assumptions. If you guess wrong, readers will notice.

Now it's your turn. Please offer a way to work seasons to advantage, or expand on mine.

14 comments :

  1. Allowing ourselves to replace intellectual reasoning with sensory perception goes a long way in propelling our stories from the mundane into the magnificent and giving our characters dimension. When we run the gamut from the bone-deep chill of January to the sizzling heat of July, we pull our readers into the lives of the people who populate them.

    Anybody who thinks that writing a book is a piece of cake doesn't have the right recipe—or the right oven temperature. Nice, Morgan, very nice indeed. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. During the holidays, I allowed my self a couple weeks off from writing - which turned into several months off! Turns out, the winter was not inspiring for me. Now that it's nice out, all I want to do is sit in the park and write.

    ReplyDelete
  3. For 30+ years, I lived in a place where we had 2 seasons: Summer and February 3rd. Now I live up in the mountains and I can enjoy changes. Right now, the aspens are popping their catkins, and we saw the first hummingbird. But for my reading and writing--seasons make no difference to me. I read what I like, when I like. I did write one seasonal short story but because of publication times, it wasn't anywhere near the holiday, so it felt "off" writing it. But I will make sure my setting matches locale and time of year when the story takes place, no matter what's going on outside my window.

    Terry
    Terry's Place

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's easy to pick a season or a setting that is gloomy for a horror story or bright and sunny for a love story. Switching it around is more interesting. Make something horrifying in what should be a bright, happy time and something romantic in what should be a gloomy time. A master writer creates a setting that adds to the plot rather than serving as a functional stage set.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Like Terry, I have not written much that is particularly seasonal, with the exception of one short story that is a Christmas story. With my mystery series I am having to carefully keep track of the time passing and what season of the year I want the current story to be in.

    As far as my reading habits, they do not change much from season to season. I love to read. If it is cold outside, I read inside. If it is pretty outside, I can take my book out on the deck.

    ReplyDelete
  6. For our characters to be real, it helps to show them experiencing nature at its best and worst.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Diana,

    You made a great point in your comment. I was just thinking about this while watching House Hunters (ssh—my dirty little secret—it's how my husband and I see what everyday life is like around the world, in only 1/2 hour per week!). This couple wanted to move to Portland, Oregon because they were sick of sunny California weather. That caught my attention! Turns out he is from Canada, and she is from Scotland, and what tugs at their heartstrings is a nice chilly, overcast day. So I can testify that playing to opposites can definitely pique your reader's interest.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I used to watch House Hunters, but somehow it fell off my TV radar. I'll have to check it out again. The only problem is getting jealous when I see gorgeous houses!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Morgan, thank you for mentioning my books. Seasons are an important part of my stories, some are set in frigid winter in Russia, others in sunny Florida or during the spring in Paris.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mona, You work the seasons very effectively!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Seasons come with weather, which, for me, affects emotions and moods. I like summers when I can go outside, but winters are rather depressing, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree that winter can be depressing. When Spring comes, I can really tell the difference!

    Morgan Mandel

    ReplyDelete
  13. I must be inspired by fall, because a lot of my stories are set in the fall. I suppose that may be because I find the brisk air invigorating, so long as it is accompanied by the warmth of an afternoon sun.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fall is a comfortable season, and pretty with the changing leaves!

    Morgan Mandel

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...