Let's talk about seasons! No, I'm not talking about July=summer or those kinds of seasons. What I'm referring to is what I like to call "book seasons". I feel that every book has a main 'season' or feel to it, or sometimes even the themes can relate to a season. Each season means different things, and there can be a vast array of different types of books within a season.
A quick look at what I mean:
Spring: The main feeling throughout the book will be hopeful, new beginnings, light, fresh, tender, inspiring, and uplifting. Some books that I think fall under this category are: Anne of Green Gables Series, Heidi, A Peep Behind the Scenes, and Eight Cousins.
Summer: The main feel of the book is bright, optimistic, young (at least at heart), realistically cheerful, and full of love and life. Books in this season are: The Miss Billy Trilogy, The Hidden Hand, Little Women, Pollyanna, Three People, and The Campfire Boys Series.
Autumn: This season feels a nostalgic, coming-of-age, or old age, melancholy, sweet, but a little sad. Some books that fit here are: Old Fashioned Girl, Johnny Tremain, Calico Captive, The Haunted Room, Alone in London, Ester Reid, Friedrich, and The Lamplighter.
Winter: Winter feels cold, still, quiet, and lonely-- but with a grandeur. It is elegant, clear, and darker than autumn. Books that fall in this season are: The Singing Tree, Black Beauty, A Little Princess, The Bronze Bow, Cobwebs and Cables, The Foreigner, The Scarlet Letter, and Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Now, just because a book is listed under the summer or spring does not mean that it is free from sadness, darker spots, mystery, or intrigue. The same goes for Autumns and Winters. They will not be completely melancholy or sad. There will still possibly be hilarious parts, happy parts, cheerful parts etc. It is just the overall tone of the book.
For example: The Hidden Hand is a darker book, covering criminals in the mountains of Virginia, long forgotten mistakes, insane asylums, the military, street orphans etc. However, throughout the whole book is a feeling of optimism, young hearts, and a love of life, placing it in the Summer category.
On the other side, The Singing Tree has youth, continuing hope, and funny moments, but there is a strain of silence throughout it, the darkness and coldness of war, and the loneliness without their father, but still all with a clear courage. This places it in Winter.
Some are quite obvious which they belong in. Of course Anne of Green Gables would never fit in Autumn, and Friedrich would be very difficult to try to put into the Summer category. Others are more complex. Johnny Tremain is a young boy, but his story is more coming-of-age and poignant compared to say Pollyanna. A Little Princess finds the main character Sara always full of hope and she too is young--but the elegance, the stillness, the coldness and the loneliness outweighs that.
Why do I like discovering what season my books are? For the primary purpose that it helps keep the tone consistent. If I know what sort of season it's going to be in when I plan it, I'll be that much more probably to stay in that season while writing it and not make the book wonky and disruptive with different tones.
Now for fun I'm going to show you some of my books and WIPs with their summaries and seasons! :) (These are all at different places on the writing/publishing process).
Jonas and Olivia is a spring. While there are darker moments in it, the farther you get into the book the more hope there is, and there are so many fresh beginnings in the book.
Two-Faced Man my NaNoWriMo novel of 2015, is an Autumn. It centers around the difficulties of being an American Japanese in WWII, and how my main character Leo must adapt and grow to the changes forced on him.
The Needlemaker is a Victorian/Industrial Revolution mystery with lots of twisty plots and secrets. This book falls under the Winter category, because it is a blend of elegance and coldness and the courage of a man to do right even when all hope seems lost.
Melinda* (Title not yet decided) is also a Winter. This Revolutionary War novel is filled with a deceptive quiet even though the War is smothering them more and more. It is a little bit darker over all, though truth and bravery shines through it all.
New Landing* (Title might change) is actually a start of a Summer-toned series. It follows the life of a girl in the late 1800's into the 1900's as she grows up and follows God's path for her life. It's got plenty of horribly sad moments-- Things happen, the town changes, and eventually WWI explodes into their life-- but through it all there is the love of life and the optimism.
Kind Heart is a novel set in modern times featuring an eclectic evangelist family whose daughter happens to be adopted. It is a sun-soaked, free spirited book as the main character struggles with finding and following the Lord's will for her life as she grows older and suddenly has to deal with new relationships with her birth family. And so it's definitely in the Summer category as well.
Those are just a few I pulled out to share with you all. I'm super happy that I have a novel planned already in each season... it makes it more fun. Some people tend to write across all four seasons, some like to stick to one or two. Either way that works for you is what you should do! But I hope you'll give the "book Season" label a try. Why don't you take a minute to figure out what your WIP fits in? You might can already guess it, or you might be surprised! Either way it'd be a good thing to try out to check and see if your tone is consistent.
I'd love to know what season your WIP is so please leave me a comment! :) Also, what season do you tend to enjoy reading? Writing? I like reading Autumn books. They just really resonate with me. But I also love so many books in the other categories too! I think I enjoy writing Winter or Summer best, though-- apparently I tend to go extreme either way. lol. Do leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts! :)
Y'all have a lovely day!