When building a world, we need to sprinkle in aspects of our world as well as new creations from reimagining our world. That includes seasons, and since Fall has finally arrived, it’s the perfect time to discuss why writing fall isn’t only leaves and cold breezes – it’s more than a season.
What do I mean by “it’s more than a season”? Well, let’s just say that it’s not enough to throw some weather changes into your story. Maybe that works on rare occasions, but, come on, you and I both know that there’s more to fall than that (or any other season for that matter).
But, hey, we’ll start with the obvious bits.
Fall Weather and Climate Changes
That’s what everyone thinks of isn’t it? The physical aspects that affect our senses:
- Cool, dry air on sunny days
- Rain and thunderstorms (even tornadoes and hurricanes)
- Golds, reds, oranges, and browns across the treetops and the ground
- Yellow grasses and crops
- Migrating birds
On the other hand, does everyone really think of that?
What about people in southern California? Or Arizona? Or areas even further south? Fall doesn’t mean the same things to them as far as temperature and changing colors.
There are, however, some aspects of Fall that people surrounded by cool breezes have in common with their friends in warmer climates – at least ones that share parts of their culture.
Fall Products & Culture
Big marketing firms have made sure that people across the U.S.A. all associate Fall with specific colors, scents, holidays, and flavors. These should not be a surprise to anyone in the U.S.
- Reds, oranges, browns, and golds (That sounds familiar…)
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom (Spices associated with pumpkin pies, apple pies, cider, mulling spices, and more)
- Corn husks
- Decorative Squashes (Did you know you can eat most of those?)
- Pumpkin Spice
Sound familiar? It should. Srsly, the pumpkin spice trend alone has become so big that it’s become a running gag.
And, yes, even with the pumpkin spice thrown in, I can’t blame it entirely on marketing. Many of those ideas and symbols go back to traditions that have been associated with Fall ever since our culture was mainly agricultural, and it was harvest time.
And that’s actually my point.
The season change has other aspects that affect the culture besides strict weather changes: the growing season, decorations, activities, etc. Yes, they’re related to those weather changes, but that doesn’t mean that the weather is all you need to add to create the feel of the season.
It takes more than that.