To Every Story There Is a Season

Grapes at sunsetOnce you find yourself with a certain number of plants under your care, you start finding that your housework schedule is largely dictated by the seasons. Spring, summer, and fall each come with their own set of deadlines you’ve got to meet if you want to have a thriving garden.

Vegetables aren’t the only things that benefit when you take your cues from the seasons. When you’re crafting a story, you need to pay attention to the time of year when your story takes place. If you do this correctly, the seasons can be anything from a pleasant and realistic backdrop to a powerful element of your setting.

Many writers choose to have the season reflect the theme of a story. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel about a grieving widow opening her heart to love, then you might begin the story in the cold and damp of early spring. While you shouldn’t be ham-handed with the symbolism, it’s easy to use this setting to highlight the theme of romance bringing life back into your heroine’s heart.

Other writers like to use the season as part of the conflict driving the story. Someone driving through a blizzard to escape a bad situation or see to a loved one, for example, is facing a conflict that is largely driven by a seasonal event. Each time of year has its own variety of calamities associated with it. Picking one that adds to your story’s theme makes the season doubly important to the story.

Every element of your setting should be thought out carefully, and the season when your story takes place is no exception. By setting your story in different seasons, you get access to different kinds of symbolism as well as different kinds of interesting conflicts.