Saturday, April 27, 2019

Does the Season Play a Part in Your Story? By Connie Vines

This month’s Round Robin Topic: 
Does the season ever play a part in your setting? 
How do you think seasons affect setting & plot either physically or metaphorically?

Winter Despair and Hope. References to winter in literature may refer to death, old age, pain, loneliness, despair or an end. Spring Joy and Love. Themes of rebirth and renewal often use symbols from the spring season. Summer Searches and Reflection. Autumn Bounty and Changes.

These are the classic examples of seasonal symbolism.  While I often rely on seasons to affect my plot or play a major part in my novel, I try to be less…well, symbolic.

In my YA Historical novel, Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water, my prologue and chapter openings gave the readers an emotional touch-stone into the life and emotions of my main character.

Prologue, 1880, Apacheria, Season of Ripened Berries.

Isolated bands of colored clay on white limestone remained where sagebrush was stripped from Mother Earth by sudden storms and surface waters. Desolate. Bleak. A land made of barren rocks and twisted paths that reached out into the silence.

A world of hunger and hardship.  This is my world.  I am Tanayia.  I was born thirteen winters ago.  My people and I call ourselves “Nde” means “The People”. The white man calls us Apache.

The seasons were: Swimming Ducks, Gathering Corn, Red Grass. 

However, if my main character had been Anna Thunder, a member of a nomadic tribe (Comanche) the seasons would have reflected her reality.

Settings and Plot 

I find my settings and plots usually reflect the seasons because the seasonal changes are an occurrence in our life.

I have an anthology set in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is a part of the culture and my story has the season woven throughout the story line.

And, of course, my ranching/westerns have the seasons woven throughout the plot.

Brede, Rodeo Romance Book 2

Several hours later, she clung to the soothing tone of Brede’s voice as she cleared away the dishes and filled the sink with soapy water.  She trusted him to keep his promise.  Brede was the only constant in her life.  She only hoped when she discovered where she belonged it would be a world as safe as this one.

After nestling the last piece of silverware into the draining board, she reached for the saucepan and glanced out the rain-streaked window.  Thunder clapped overhead just before a jolt rattled the dishes in the cupboard.  Lightening stabbed the earth just beyond the kitchen window, bathing the room in a sharp flash of surreal brightness.

The flash of light was so unexpected, that it took her a moment to realize the electricity had gone out.
The saucepan slipped from her fingertips and clattered to the floor.

She tried to tell herself that it was only the storm and the lights would come back on in a matter of minutes. Still, terror that was icy cold and merciless grabbed her by the throat and crushed what little courage she possessed when the cloudy, moonless night turned the room to inky black.

She remembered the darkness, the terror, and the unrelenting sound of the rain.
She was alone.

Alone in the darkness.

A mindless whimper left her lips as her mind threw her back into a pit of terror.
I find the seasons a way to influence my plot-lines, and add depth to my settings and characterization.

Remember to visit the other members of Round Robin Blog.

Happy Reading,


   Skye Taylor
> Victoria Chatham
> Diane Bator
> Judith Copek
> Beverley Bateman
> Helena Fairfax
> Rhobin L Courtright
Dr. Bob Rich


  1. Yes, that's a powerful tie between the storm outside and storm coming from her past.

  2. We all seem to use season and it's weather to influence our characters. Enjoyed Brede excerpt.

  3. Your wonderful example shows so well, how seasons can effect our characters as well as show the reader bit of backstory that make our characters think and act the way they do.

  4. Ranching/farming revolves around seasons and I really like it when characters can express a moment in any season that resonates with them.

  5. I enjoyed your symbols for the seasons and how they choose different names for the seasons in your book. Beverley

  6. Well-thought-out post apropos the part seasons can play in our fiction. Some good examples from your writing.


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