Seasonal inspiration: summer

Who wouldn’t like summer, right? Warm days, outdoor joy, meat on the grill… Following the winter and the spring, today I’ll talk about taking inspiration from the summer.

Despite all the abovementioned (and very favored) aspects of summer, I sometimes find it far from the potential of spring when it comes to inspiration. The colors and scents of spring are gone and the warmth of summer sun is just not as diverse and inspiring. More than the nature itself, it’s what are those days used for that can inspire.

Mountains in the summer
Summer is the perfect time to travel and explore

Your joy in your story

And it’s that aspect I think can be used the most. When it comes to the five senses (K.M. Allan did a good job describing how to use them), spring was dominant for scents, sounds, and sights. Summer shifts that towards touch and taste. And you can use your experiences for more detail in your writing.

As for taste, summer will bring forth the first sweet treats: the berries growing in the forest (or their garden-grown cultivars). If there’s something I look forward to when hiking in the early summer, it’s tasting the wild strawberries and blueberries. And you can let your characters share that joy. The first vegetables planted in the spring will be also ready for harvest – and their taste will be much better if homegrown.

Wild strawberries (7/2019)

When it comes to touch, there’s maybe even more potential. The warmth of summer sun is something you can feel (especially during a very warm day), as is the cool feeling of water, whether it’s a river, a natural lake, or a swimming pool. If you are the adventurous type and fancy venturing high into the hills the hard way, then the sensation of touching (possibly warm) rock as you climb is another example.

Lakes in the hills
Lakes in the hills (8/2015)

A sunny day will also make the sceneries look brighter, magnifying the optimistic atmosphere the warm summer days bring.

Another thing worth considering for a traveler are different habits in different places. Those might touch several aspects – clothing habits, eating manners, rules in natural reservations, and more. Not paying attention to them might get an unprepared visitor in trouble.

Summertime dangers

Of course, more extreme ways of spending time bring stronger emotions but also more danger – yet this is not the danger I want to mention.

Summer is also the time when the weather can be very harsh – and an unexpected storm will be attack on all your senses, more so if it catches you unaware far from any shelter. While the dark clouds and the rumbling thunder might be the most dominant things one notices, storms bring a typical scent with them as well. And if a lighting strike hits a mountain you find yourself climbing, you’ll sure feel its vibrations in your hands. Not to mention the possibility of having your clothes soaked all the way through.

And, if you want your character to experience some realistic hardships, summer gives many opportunities for injuries of all kinds – from scratches and insect bites through sunburns all the way to broken bones. Summer is the best time to get your characters injured without combat.

Summertime labor

As the summer passes, the time of harvest comes. As with the spring and planting the produce, this is a time when farmers will be busy. And, when it’s over, it might be a reason for celebration. As usual, the way it’s approached is something that can show more about the setting.

Seasonal inspiration mini-series:

To wrap it up: summer gives the best chances for getting some inspiration from the free-time activities and what comes from them, good or bad. It tends to be the most optimistic time, which is something you can show as well. Traveling can be a way to meet new people and even make new friends but, as I mentioned, might bear some risks if the weather is underestimated – or if one is careless. Compared to spring and it’s assault on one’s senses, summer seems to be more about emotions.

As usual, I’ll welcome any comments you this topic. Feel free to share how summer inspired your writing.

3 thoughts on “Seasonal inspiration: summer

  1. Pingback: Seasonal inspiration: autumn | Tomas, the wandering dreamer

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