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July 27, 2015

Writing About: Summer


Summer is the season of fun, vacations, and weddings, which makes it the perfect season for romance books or stories about family. Here are 10 things that make Summer unique that you can use in your story:

1. Hot Temps

Summer is the season of sun and heat. The temps rise to especially in the Southern states in the United States, and the islands below Florida. Show the effect the hot temperatures have on your characters. Let your character sweat, stand in front of a fan, use ice cubes on their hot skin, down iced tea/water/lemonade, and wear shorts and tank tops.

2. Thunderstorms

In the summer, thunderstorms are popular and frequent. They rumble in in the afternoon and stick around for the rest of the day while dropping heavy downpours of rain and slashing the sky with angry lightning. A well placed thunderstorm could add suspense to a thriller or romance to a romance.

3. Summer Fun

Let your characters have a little fun! When you complicate their lives with whatever action, suspense, and hardships you throw at them, I believe you should also let them have a few moments of normalcy and fun. You can add a light moment into any story.
Summer Fun: camping, bon fires, BBQs, beach trips, and water sports like jet skiing, fishing, boat trips.
4. Holidays

To give your character a reprieve, take advantage of the holidays. Places that experience their summers at different times will have different holidays happening. 
Below are two major American summer holidays:
4th of July – fireworks, picnics, patriotism, family time, sun and sand.
Labor Day – veterans, BBQs.
5. Food and Drinks

Add something special to your story by letting your characters enjoy the food that are in season and drinks that quench thirst.
Food – watermelon, corn on the cob, burgers, lobster, crabs, shell fish, BBQ ribs, cold salad, fruit salad, frozen yogurt, and ice cream.
Drinks - cold coke, lemonade, iced-tea, Kool-aid, and water. 
6. Wedding Season

June is the time for weddings, so writing a romance set during the summer is a smart idea because you’ll be able to write your characters’ wedding.
See: Writing About: A Wedding for more wedding tips.
In the summer, outdoor and beach weddings are big. If your character get married outdoors, give details to the wind, the sun and the heat, the smell of the ocean or flowers, the feel of grass or sand beneath their feet as they walk across the lawn or beach to the altar.

7. Summer Break

If your main character has children, they will be out of school in America. Stay-at-home moms will have to keep their kids entertained. My mom would bring us to the library and do arts-and-crafts with us. Just as with the winter break, this could put a hitch in a budding romance for single parents. And this could be fun for a story with a bit of humor. Working parents would probably utilize babysitters, though.

8. Clothing

Summer is the time for cotton, light-weight clothing, and bright colors such a yellow, orange, and hot pink. Have your characters dress accordingly with sundresses, bikinis, swim trunks/board shorts, shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.

9. Family Vacation

A vacation is perfect for a family-orientated story. They can go anywhere. Make sure yo describe their vacation as you would any other event in your story. What do your characters do and see? Are these glitches such as lost luggage, a flat tire, track, or illnesses? Aside from the bad, detail the good (their fun and laughter) and the moments they’ll likely remember long after summer is over.
See: Writing About: Florida if your fictional family takes a trip to Florida and it’s many amusement parks.
10. Daylight-Saving Time (US)

In the summer, the days are longer and the nights are shorter. Now the sun will be setting around 7:30 Eastern Standard Time. Make sure to use this fact while writing your story. In the summer, it’s usually still bright out at 8:00pm in Florida.


QUESTIONS: What do you love about summer time? What do you hate?
I love the 4th of July and hate how hot it can get here in Florida.



84 comments:

temps said...

Hi,
"the season of fun, vacations, and weddings"
not always !
but often yes

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, don't forget the thunderstorms.
I don't like the humidity of summer.

Stephanie Faris said...

We've had FAR more thunderstorms and rainstorms this year than we've had in a while. This month alone, it feels like it rains more than it doesn't! I feel bad being annoyed by it, since plenty of places could use some of this rain. I wish we could send it that way!

Denise said...

I love my flowers in the summer, especially right now with nearly everything in bloom. I hate the idiots who continue to set off fireworks!

Unknown said...

summer is my absolute FAVORITE season. (fun fact: that's the reason I chose it for my last name which is a pen name!) so I love it. I love writing about it. So far all my MSs take place in summer (though I must admit i'm anxious to write a new season by now lol)

Chrys Fey said...

Well, mostly. Summer is the main season for family vacations because kids are off school and parents can take time off work. And June is the post popular month for weddings. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't like the humidity either.

Chrys Fey said...

This summer has proven to be a very rainy season here in Florida too. Last year it was really rainy in August and September but this year it started last month.

Chrys Fey said...

Oh yes, flowers are beautiful in the summer. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I love that, Beth! :D

sherry fundin said...

I love the heat and my favorite thing is "not so many clothes". I don't like lightning. I would say I love all the color, but that means watering. LOL But I still love it. Great post Chrys.
sherry @ fundinmental

cleemckenzie said...

Interesting. This made me think that I might write different kinds of stories this time of year--lighter, more romantic and laid back. I'll have to read some of my summer writing to find out.

Lisa Thomson said...

Great tips, Chrys. I will use some of these for one of my short stories. It's one I need to add more interest to and takes place in the summer heat. What I don't like about summer are the days are almost too long. I know that sounds weird but sun up at 5am and not down until 10 pm. Incessant heat can be bothersome. Mosquitoes! Yuck. But the things I love about summer far outweigh those. Fresh berries, peaches, corn on the cob, flip flops, swimming in the ocean...ahhhhh. Thanks for the inspiration today!

Chrys Fey said...

I can't stand the heat but I do like all the color. I don't mind watering. :)

Chrys Fey said...

During this time of year I enjoy the lighter, romantic stories. In the fall and winter, I enjoy the darker stories.

Chrys Fey said...

I know. The days are too long. I don't like it when it's 8 pm and still light out. When my shows come on, I want it to be dark outside. :P

I always get bitten up by mosquitoes. They just love me. But I hate them! lol

Anonymous said...

Thunderstorms aren't popular in Michigan. We barely get any and it's not fair.

Jeffrey Scott said...

I do love Summer because the nights are longer, the sun is out and it's warmer out. I don't like the cold or evenings when the sun sets at 4:00. But even with the sun, I tend to stay out of it if I can help it. I'm very white and when I spend any time in the sun, I burn to a crisp.

Love the ideas for keeping things like the seasons in mind when writing. Thanks for the additional information.

Sarah Foster said...

Great tips! I don't like the heat but as long as I can get to some air conditioning it's not so bad.

Carrie-Anne said...

I absolutely hate the heat of summer, and miss going to the beach every year. I eventually got bored of always going to Cape Cod, and stayed home the last time my family went when I was 22, but now I'd love to revisit it as an adult, and do things on my own schedule. My dream is to someday have my own little farm on several acres of land, but an even better scenario would be to have that farm very close to the seashore.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

It's storming here right now. Sigh.

Summer in FL isn't the same as it is up north or in other parts of the country. I've learned to live with that and instead focus on walking on the beach wearing shorts and flip flops in November. :)

nashvillecats2 said...

Wonderful post , I love the summer except the thunder storms. The lightening upsets my epilepsy. Enjoyed the read.
Yvonne.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love writing about thunderstorms and heavy rainstorms, just as much as I like writing while listening to them with the window open. Summer rain is amazing :-)

Liz A. said...

Thunderstorms... Now, that depends on where you are. Rain in the summer in southern California is so rare as to be remarkable.

betty said...

Summer is a fun season to write about :) Lots of great things about it :) I love the fruit of summer, watermelon, peaches, nectarines, etc :)

betty

Chrys Fey said...

I would send you some if I could. :P

Chrys Fey said...

I like it better when it's cold but I don't like it when it gets dark so early.

Chrys Fey said...

Air condition is nice!

Chrys Fey said...

I hate the heat of summer too but miss the beach. I haven't even gone to the beach once this year. A farm would be really lovely. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Shorts and flipflops in November. Yup, that sounds like FL. :P

Chrys Fey said...

Thunderstorms are frightening.

Chrys Fey said...

I do enjoy a good summer rain, but don't like thunder. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's true.

Chrys Fey said...

Summer fruit sure is yummy! :D

Janie Junebug said...

I love your comments: show, don't tell. I don't like summer here in Florida. The heat and humidity seem especially persistent this year. But October will roll around, and most of the winter will be beautiful. No more shoveling snow for me.

Love,
Janie

Sandra Cox said...

My summer love....ice cream:)

Pat Hatt said...

The heat can really suck, but it beats snow. That is my like, no snow.

sage said...

I like the summer when I am on the water (but unless the water is frozen, I tend to be a four season kind of water guy, but I get into the water in the summer). The further north you go, the days are much longer... When I lived in West Michigan, it would be light enough to do yardwork at 10 PM. And then there are fireflies, which I haven't seen many down south in a long time but in the midwest you'd often see. Humidity can be a downer.

Christine Rains said...

The only thing I love about summer is what Sandra said: ice cream! But I do eat that all year around. :) The heat makes me feel ill, so summer is my least favorite season.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I love walking around without four or five layers of clothes on, like I do the majority of the year in Chicago. I also like stories with descriptions of food; that's always been my favorite part.

Cynthia said...

Growing up in SF, I survived many cold, foggy summers. I'm going to work that into my YA novel, currently set in the city. I'm glad to live somewhere now where it's actually warm during the summer months!

Cherdo said...

Today it was 92 degrees at my house and I'd like to add that our summer story is about sweating like crazy while we're trying to catch up a few minor repairs. Stifling! Bring on the extra showers.

Great post, Chrys!

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
Enjoyed your suggestions. Some of them rattle my brain and woke up memories. I do remember liking to read romance books with a wedding twist in them, especially in the summer months.
As an ExPat American living in Europe, it usually doesn't get as hot here as it does in the South. I was born in Georgia, USA where it gets really hot too, but this year was unusual and I have had the privilege of enjoying a hot summer.
Shalom,
Patricia

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Now you make me want to write a story about summer.
The heat and mosquitoes are my least favorite things about summer. Weddings I love. We once had a wedding in our back yard. The bride wore a white western dress and boots. (Yep, we're in Texas.) The groom had his cowboy hat and boots. Even the justice of the peace that married them wore boots and a hat. The guests sat on bales of hay. After the ceremony, we had a dance in the barn. Then the bride and groom were carried away in a horse-drawn buggy. Summer is for fun and romance.

TBM said...

I love the longer days in summer. When I was in Oslo in June a few years ago, it was light out until midnight. The days just seemed endless and magical. Winter would be rough, though.

Birgit said...

i wish I knew these tips when I was a little girl and every year had to write about my summer vacation. I grew up in the country and my parents were not the young type-my dad was 61 when I was 10 and my mom 46. We had to entertain ourselves. i do recall the heat, wild flowers, dust, brown grass, the Cicadas and crickets and having to mow the lawn. Now I hate, despise the heat-this week all over 32C without the humidity which is a killer. Hate fireworks,, sweating where I don't want to sweat. people who say they love it:) I love waterslides when I can get there, amusement parks, flowers, lushness of the green in the forest, cooling drinks, BBQ's, nice sun dress, ice cream (chocolate, of course)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't like summer in Florida either! October and November are my favorite months in Florida for their chilly weather.

Chrys Fey said...

Yum! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

No snow is something all people up North would agree is the best part of summer.

Chrys Fey said...

"a four season kind of water guy..." I like that!

Light outside at 10PM. Oh no! That's bedtime. lol

I miss fireflies. I used to see them all the time when I was a child but not anymore. I wonder where they have all gone to?

Chrys Fey said...

I eat ice cream year round too. It's never too cold for ice cream! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I love food descriptions too. I always try to add that to my stories whenever I can. :)

Chrys Fey said...

SF is notorious for fog. I added that into my book set there.

Chrys Fey said...

I hate it when it gets into even the 80's. I can't step outside for a second without breaking into a sweat.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my post, Pat! Wedding stories are the best in the spring and summer months. :) Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting!

Chrys Fey said...

I do like the longer days. But light out until 10pm or midnight? Oh no, that's too long! lol

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! Wildflowers in the summer. They were a big part of my childhood too. I loved to pick them and give them to my mom. :) "sweating where I don't want to sweat" I hear yay, sista! :P

Chrys Fey said...

I have to agree with you, Beverly, about the heat and mosquitoes being my least favorite things about summer. I once went to a wedding where the bride worse a white dress and cowboy boots. It was cute! That sounds like a fun wedding, very summer festive. :)

Mary Kirkland said...

Great tips. I'm not a fan of summer times. I'd much rather go out and do things when the weather is cooler.

diedre Knight said...

Love the night lightning pic! For me it’s the summer monsoons; when excitement builds almost as fast as the clouds that gather and huddle above the mountains before barreling to the valley with that first explosive thunderclap, and the enthralling concert begins! Until, of course, the almighty conductor goes wild with his wand and rips somebody’s cooler of the roof! We call them 'Micro-bursts". I feel lucky today as it's only in the low 100's and I wink from the sting of a drop of sweat! Time to go inside, I guess.:-)

Sandra Cox said...

Helpful ideas, Chrys. I especially liked your suggestion of thunderstorms for adding some sizzle to the story.

Anonymous said...

Great post, but I'll have to say the thunderstorm thing depends on where you are. Here in Texas, once it started getting really hot about a month ago, all the storms dried up. We've been without rain for a while now and it's pretty miserable.
When I lived in North Carolina, the summer was mild but just a touch more muggy than it is here. I'd take that summer any day over one here. Once we can, we're moving somewhere up north to not have to deal with this heat anymore!

Yolanda Renée said...

I knew I was dong something wrong, I love winter romance and weddings. LOL But I agree there are lots of settings and happenings to write about in summer!

Yanting Gueh said...

I like the idea of summer (beach, strawberries, ice cream and all) but really, in Singapore, it's scorching almost all year round and all that stickiness just isn't attractive.

Liz Blocker said...

YAY summer! I love all ten things on your list :) They're perfect!

Crystal Collier said...

Nice list. I love spending more time with family in the summer. My littles and I get to read all the books we've been hording together.

Loni Townsend said...

Hehe, Summer is my favorite season, though in my writing, the world I created has no seasons. Everything is between spring and summer, with mild weather (unless something upsets the elements and a war breaks out). When the land is controlled by elementals, normal rules seem to not apply. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't incorporate the summer enough in my stories. Looking at my novels, I usually tend to pick the other three seasons. I do love summer in real life though. It's vacation time for me.

Chrys Fey said...

So would I!

Chrys Fey said...

You have a great way with words, Diedre!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Sandra!

Chrys Fey said...

That's very true. Some places get storms in the summer and some don't.

Chrys Fey said...

Winter romances are fun, though! My favorite time for romance. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Yuck! I sympathize with you on that.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Liz! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Family time is the best in the summer. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Between spring and summer? That sounds pretty perfect.

Chrys Fey said...

I have picked autumn and winter as the settings for most of my stories. Sometime I'll have to do a real summertime story.

Sherry Ellis said...

Those are all good tips about writing for summer. My favorite part of summer? Sleeping in and not having to get up to get my kids ready for school at the crack of dawn!

diedre Knight said...

Aw, shucks! Thank you, hon :-)

Chrys Fey said...

Sleeping in for parents and kids during the summer is the best!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! It's very true. :)

Rhonda Albom said...

Great tips. One of the women in my critique group is writing a book set in America. I will be forwarding this to her, as I don't remember reading about a thunderstorm in the WIP. Great tips. Thanks.

Chrys Fey said...

That's awesome! Thank you! :) And I truly hope this post helps her with her WIP.