Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Setting the Scene's Season

When you start writing (or reading) a new book, do you know what season it is set in right away? If it is a holiday story, the obvious answer is yes. If not, this may not be important to you at first. What if the story is set in a place where temperatures vary only slightly year-round? Will a reader notice which season the characters are in if only subtle hints are added? If a story is set in a place where there are four distinct seasons, weather is a detail that will probably make its way into the story.

I started thinking about this when the topic of seasons came up in my critique group recently. Last week I took a drive on the Natchez Trace to see the colors of the fall leaves. It was raining that day, which made some of the paths slippery. A rainy fall setting might provide a few changes from the spring road trip setting where my Natchez Trace novel is set. Take a look at the photos below. Do you see any differences?

Spring Photos


Fall Photos



8 comments:

Monica McCabe said...

Great topic, Rae Ann! I love the comparison shots for spring and fall. It's the little details (like weather) that can give a story a tangible connection with the reader. Small, but powerful!!

Rae Ann Parker said...

Monica: Thanks for stopping by. Now I just need to remember to include these details in my stories! I stopped by your website and read your latest updates. You have such fun travel stories.

Kit Wilkinson said...

Great pix. Happy Thanksgiving, Rae Ann!

Rae Ann Parker said...

Thanks, Kit! I hope you are enjoying your holiday.

John Atkinson said...

Rae Ann, my thriller Dark Shadows Red Bayou takes place in the Louisiana bayou. The heat and humidity sets the stage. Thanks for this post. John

Rae Ann Parker said...

John: Heat and humidity are a definite must in any book set in Louisiana. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Ryan Hunter - Writer said...

Beautiful photos and a great point. I recently had to revisit my seasons in a novel... changing it from spring to fall because halfway through I realized it was the wrong time of year for some of the events that led up to the opening. Definitely something to take into consideration during plotting.

Rae Ann Parker said...

Ryan: Thank you for stopping by the blog. I am definitely trying to plan ahead more with writing and get more details in the plotting stage. I hope this helps make revision less painful.