By Eilis Flynn
We had joy, we had fun … sorry. It’s a riddle, really: It’s all around us and with us, but we don’t see it. We complain about it but we don’t expect it to conform to our complaints. It just is. Yes, that’s right, it’s the weather, and in particular the seasons. (Before you complain, we don’t SEE the seasons, we see the manifestation of the seasons. Anyway, let me go on.) It influences what we do every day, what we wear, but most of all, it’s something we have to keep in mind for our stories. To keep in mind how the weather is acting makes the atmosphere of your stories distinctive.
So seasons and the weather are important to what you write. And who better to remind you about how important than kids? Here’s a simple reminder about how the seasons affect our daily lives, ranging from our clothing to our food, our activities and how surroundings. And in the same way how the seasons affect our characters.
Then there’s the question of how the weather varies. Let’s face it, winter in Anchorage, Alaska, has nothing in common with winter in Miami, Florida! Here’s a Q&A about the seasons and the weather from USA TODAY, how weather and the four seasons are created and how the solstice and the equinox come into play.
And if all this is making you curious about “seeing” how the seasons change, yes, there’s even a few experiments you can perform so you can see how it all works.
And from Wikipedia we can learn all sorts of details about the seasons around the world. It’s not just spring, summer, winter, and autumn – in some places there’s also monsoon season, the dry season, wildfire season, and unfortunately, even hurricane season. Cultural differences play a large part, of course:
See? The seasons play a big part in what we write and what we do. But of course, nothing’s permanent: If you don’t like the weather you wrote about … well, wait five minutes.
Copyright 2006 Eilis Flynn