Monday, September 19, 2011

Time for a Change of Season?

Hi, all! Jennifer here, talking about the change of seasons in my writing—or lack thereof.

I’m fortunate to live in an area that truly experiences all four seasons. Even though it’s technically still summer for at least another few days, fall is quickly approaching.

September is already feeling like…well, September. (I actually had to put the heat on last night. What’s up with that?)

I do LOVE the fall, though, with its cool air and leaves changing color. However, I noticed that I never seem to set my stories in the fall… or the winter…or even the spring for that matter. All four books (this includes the one I’m finishing up now) have all been centered on summertime.
Why?

Well, 1) I’m obviously in a rut. It’s hard to admit that, but there I just did. Rut. Rut. Rut.

And 2) it’s more fun to dress my hero and heroine in summer clothes. Look, my hero’s muscles can be seen and described in much more vivid detail if he’s wearing a t-shirt or bathing suit. Just saying…

3) My couple can spend more time doing fun things in the outdoors. Like go to the beach or boardwalk, or even go swimming. (Hey, it’s an easy way to bring my characters into a scene)

And 4) because summer happens to be my favorite season. YES!!! I ADMIT IT. I figure I must have a subconscious desire to want to keep it summer all year long—even if it’s just on paper. I can’t help it. Plus my settings are all in beach towns. What would be the point of having my characters on the beach when it snows, right?

So there’s my brilliant rationalization for keeping my writing in perpetual summer mode. So sue me.
Actually, no, don’t do that. In my next book I promise to live on the edge and put my characters in winter. Oooh-ahhh.

What about you? As a reader do you pay attention to or care what season the book takes place in? As a writer, are you in a seasonal rut too?

15 comments:

Jessica R. Patch said...

I pay attention to the seasons, but I don't particularly care which one they're in as long as I like the story.

I think right now instead of a rut I'm in a season of being overwhelmed. Which isn't bad, it's just different. :)

Winter if fun, you can have our hero slip on the ice and fall, knock his ego down a peg or two. Oh wait that was my husband trying to impress me while dating! lol

Carolyn Brown said...

Just last week I was talking to another author about this same thing. I like to set my books in the season in which they'll be published but sometimes that's just not possible. It's not easy to write a winter book in the middle of July but if you turn down the air conditioning, cook a pot of soup and pretend...LOL!

Jayne Ormerod... said...

Yes, season's matter!

As a reader, in the winter time I love to curl up under a blanket and read about minimally dressed sweaty bodies. In summer time I loke to take a virtual ski trip to cool off.

As a writer, I think seasons appeal to the sense of touch and by carefully (but not overly) describing the season it helps bring the reader deeper into the story.

Linda G. said...

Yup. As a reader, I vary between reading seasonal stuff and reading out-of-season stuff (for a change of pace). As a writer, I try to mix it up, too. I'm big on weather variety.

Em-Musing said...

Oh, absolutely! In my current novel, it's spring, and is symbolic of her (even though she's mid-50's) life just blossoming.

Carolyn V said...

My latest book happens in the fall/winter. How funny is that?

Great interview Jennifer! =)

Myne Whitman said...

I rarely keep note of the weather or season unless it really affects the characters, like they're stuck in snow, hurricane, that sort of thing, lol...

Holly Ruggiero said...

I do pay attention to the seasons in a story. It helps me picture what happening.

I just did a quick analysis my latest books and the all start in different seasons. They all purposely start in those season too.

Rula Sinara said...

You know, I guess I do notice the season on book covers first. Funny you mention this. My favorite is fall...and my current book takes place in the fall. LOL. Go figure ;).

Linda Kage said...

In the last book I finished, it was winter because symolically it was the coldest time in my heroine's life. I know, that's deep huh??

Usually, I'm one of those naughty people that doesn't talk about the weather because I write a lot of indoor scenes. Hmm, maybe I should get my characters out in the sun more often.

Zelda Benjamin said...

As a reader, unless the story is seasonal I don't care about the season. Since I write about chocolate I'm careful not to have my characters drinking hot chocolate in the summer heat even thought I have been know to indulge in the steamy treat regardless of the weather. A nice thick layer of whipped cream can cool it off.

Debora Dennis said...

So brave of you to admit to being in the "summer rut" with your books! I love to set my books during the winter because I love those love scenes in front of a blazing fire :)

Lydia Kang said...

I do pay attention to the seasons, but only after a bit of thought. I think I always assume it's late spring every time I think up a story--I end up changing it depending on the plot.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Linda: Ooh that is deep. :-)

Thanks for all your comments, everyone!

Karen Lange said...

I am aware of the seasons in a book, but if the story is engaging, I don't care which one it is. I can see it getting boring if the story is lousy, though. I am sure, however, that yours are not! I can't see myself stressing over it, just aiming to write a fabulous story. :)