Autumn Settings

I live in the northeast, where autumn, at its best, gives us a brilliant show. Leaves in magificent shades of red and orange and gold fill the trees. After a crisp morning, the days warm up to pleasant walking weather, and the nights have cooled down enough to make sleeping easier.

Those are the fall days I love. I throw on my favorite sweater and the fallen leaves rustle as I walk and stir up that earthy scent. I realize that out of all the stories I've written, only two have taken place in autumn. The Passion-Minded Professor takes place during the college's first semester. And Nothing to Fear was a Halloween story. I'm afraid both of these stories took place in autumn by default. Not because I love autumn.

See, autumn in the northeast can be wonderful, but autumn at its worst is downright miserable. The cold rains that strip the beautiful leaves from the trees. The increasingly darker nights. The endless raking. And the knowledge that winter is right around the corner.

Still, that's no reason to set the majority of my stories during the summer. Just because when the weather is warm my hero can admire the heroine in her tiny bikini and sex outdoors is much more enjoyable. What about curling up by a cozy fire? Rolling around in a pile of crisp colorful leaves? Okay, so it doesn't sound quite the same as a roll in the hay, but believe me, it would be a lot more comfortable. And that would only be possible in the autumn, in a place where tons of leaves fall from the trees to blanket the ground in brilliant color.

So now that I think about it, I didn't set those two stories in autumn by default, but because that setting was the proper one for those stories. The story dictates the setting, the location and time of year. Neither one of those stories could have been shoehorned into any other season. None of our stories should be.

So I guess that means I need to come up with a story where a roll in a pile of leaves is essential. :) Then I'd have to set it in the autumn.

How about you? Authors, do you think about the seasons when you set up your stories? And readers, do you notice the season when you're reading?



Alison Stone said...

Nice post! Funny, all of my books (all unpubbed so far) have been set in the fall. Since I write romantic suspense, I like writing about the leaves skittering across the driveway, the heroine pulling her jacket tight around her as a wind whips up and a chill goes down her spine...I guess I always think fall equals scary. :)

~Alison Stone

Sondrae Bennett said...

I haven't given it too much thought. My books tend to fall where they belong. I actually haven't written any in fall and it's my favorite season. Maybe I should create one that "fits" there, lol.

Natasha Moore said...

Hey Alison! I guess each season has its own atmosphere too. Fall would lend itself better to suspense.

Natasha Moore said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sondrae. Sometimes I'm afraid I don't give enough thought to the setting and the impact it can have on my stories. Note to self to pay more attention to setting.

Miranda Baker said...

I set my first novel in the summer because the hero needed to be somewhere by the Fourth of July to roast a pig. The sequel will have to be set in the fall, naturally! Thanks for reminding me that setting is a powerful tool - a force of nature, in fact!

Natasha Moore said...

Hey Miranda! What's cool is to remember that even though we may have to choose a season because of one plot point, we can continue to use it in other ways we may not have even considered at the time.

Carly Carson said...

I had to laugh at Miranda's comment. I also set my first story in the summer because the heat and the Fourth of July were factors (though I love the pig). I wrote a free read for Halloween that of course had to happen in the fall, because I wanted to feature a demon. Otherwise, I don't think too much about the seasons.

Natasha Moore said...

Hi Carly. Something about a 4th of July get together that holds excitement and lots of opportunity for a couple to be together.