Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing Seasons

I have lived in the South for most of my life. I love the beach with sand squishing in between my toes and the sound of waves pounding in my ears. I love the heat even as sweat trickles down my back. I love the sun, though I fight the laugh lines it causes with tons of moisturizer. In fact, I love every glorious minute of summer. But after five months of days with temperatures hitting the 90's, even a sun-worshiper like me tires of the continually same weather.

I love the change of seasons. I'm thrilled with the nippy arrival of fall. I Snoopy Dance on the first morning when the temperature dips and I have to break out a jacket. God's autumn palette of golds, oranges, yellows, reds, and browns inspire me; and I want my characters to enjoy fall too. Instead of heading for the beach, they're raking piles of crunchy leaves, then diving in, accompanied by peals of laughter. Conversations occur as my characters carve pumpkins and turkeys or drink mulled cider and eat caramel apples. They're cheering in bleachers for the local football team and decorating for a fall festival. They're participating in activities my family and I are doing.

What if you're writing a Christmas scene in July? What evokes seasonal images, scents, sounds, and tastes out of season? I know one writer who uses scented candles to strike a certain mood. An auditory author creates a soundtrack for every book. Because I'm visual, I look at seasonal photos. Another writer decorates her home office as the season she's writing in, not the season she's living in, because it helps her create the setting for her books. What's your trick to write spot-on details that anchor the time and location where your stories are set?

~Roxanne Sherwood

Don't forget!
It's only a few days left until National Novel Writing Month.
Get ready. Get set. On November 1st, Go! Begin writing that 50,000 word book of your dreams. Don't stop writing until November 30th.

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