Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Marking the Seasons
Even when I lived "down the hill" seasons and their marking of time, was important to me. It wasn't until I saw this month's theme of "Marking the Seasons" did it really dawn on me how much I use the changing of the seasons in my novels. Using the sights, sounds and aromas of a particular time of year is a great way to tap into your reader's memories relieving you of the responsibility of overly describing every detail in a scene. A crispness in the air and a leaf floating down and catching in your heroine's long hair tells your reader it's fall. Barren trees, the crunch of ice under her leather boots, her nose and cheeks burning from the cold, tell your readers it's winter.
I also use the seasons to move the story along with action happening around the holidays in many of my books. While a number of books and movies will center around a single holiday such as what happened at Christmas or on New Year's Eve, I prefer writing longer tales that span a year or even two, which means I can use the holidays as part of my stories. For example, if one character grew up as an only child while the other had seven brothers, their experience of Christmas is bound to be different. This difference can lead to conflict between my characters or provide a place where the characters grow by being exposed to a new experience.
Have you used the seasons or holidays in your books as a way of moving the story along? What was your favorite seasonal scene?