Thursday, June 22, 2017

Writing the Summer Nights Away

June’s theme for YAtopia is Summer Nights, and so I thought I’d write this late at night with the window open and the lovely/muggy summer air blowing through the apartment and see how it affects the post!

In both the US and UK, June is the official start of summer. It also houses the longest day of the year (20th in the US, 21st in the UK). What better way to while away your long summer nights than to write?

For me, the evening brings with it an excitement that the daytime just doesn’t have. Mornings are synonymous with new beginnings and bright possibility, whereas evenings are mysterious; foreboding even, and the summer heat can give the air a charged, buzzing feeling that can carry onto the page when you write.

Matching the time and mood of the day to the theme and temperament of your writing can go a long way. In the most simplistic sense, if you’re writing about a cold nippy evening while on your balcony with numbing fingertips, a red tipped nose and the soft wool of a scarf tickling your neck, you have a host of sensations to call upon that you know your characters are also experiencing. For example, I’ve just edited a scene in which my character is at a renaissance summer garden party which I wrote a while ago, and sitting outside in this lazy heat, blowing air over my face to cool myself down and glugging water, I was able to intensify the feeling of summer in that scene in a way I wasn’t before. My characters moved slower, the lethargy that swarmed in the air around me seeped into my scene, and made it all the better.

Of course, we usually don’t have the luxury of being able to match the scene you’re writing to the right time of day or temperature, but next time you’re enjoying a summer evening, perhaps partaking in a glass or two of wine, try to concentrate on all the sensations around you. You might find that the way the breeze blows your hair from your face or the pure joy you have at soaking up the long stretch of the waning sun finds its way into your next chapter!

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