Writing Tip — Writing in Time

forwardw-3181875_1280Looking over the calendar, I find April may be more boring than March this year. With its two major holidays, Easter and April Fool’s Day, coming on the first day, there’s not much to look forward to in the rest of the month. But my kids’ spring break occurs in this month, and the weather in April present possibilities.

April Fool’s Day: The holiday presents a great situation for humorous, middle grade fiction. Maybe a competition between kids to see who can fool the most people. Or maybe a family could be engaged in playing practical jokes on each other.

Spring Break: A trip always has a lot of potential for storytelling. Whether it’s a family trip, a mission trip, trip of college kids, or retirees, the process of traveling in the spring can be exploited for both comic and dramatic effect. This year, my kids and I are traveling with my sister and her kids in their van to visit another sister seven hours away. By the time we get back, I may have more inspiration than I can handle

Storms: Where I live, in a temperate climate, April is the first month of the year when we usually experience thunderstorms. Storms are a great plot twist or metaphor. As a metaphor, a storm can mirror dueling emotions, desires, or ambitions inside one character. It can also underline the conflict between two characters or more characters. The storm can be a twist to heighten the tension between characters or force them to survive and reveal their strength and weaknesses.

How would you use April as a setting?


Scripture Saturday — Easter

crossw-66700_1280“It is finished,” said Jesus as he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

“It is finished,” said the Roman soldiers as they removed the body from the cross.

“It is finished,” said Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as they laid the body in the tomb.

“It is finished,” said Pontius Pilate as he returned to the business of governing these stubborn Jews.

“It is finished,” said the chief priests and elders as they congratulated themselves on the success of their scheme.

“It is finished,” said the disciples as they huddled together in Jerusalem, hiding from the authorities.

“It is finished,” said the women as they prepared spices to take to the tomb.

“Is it finished?” asked Mary as she turned her tear-stained face to the starry, Saturday night sky.

And on Sunday morning, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus walked out of the tomb, stretched his arms, gazed at the world he loved so much, and shouted with a laugh, “April Fool’s!”

I must thank Max Mitchell for the idea for this post.

Writing Tip

calendar-162126_1280Writing in Time — April

As with the other months of spring, I am not a huge fan of April.  The better weather and new growth means one thing to me: more work.

Luscious green grass means it will need to be mowed soon, and when you have acres to cut, it’s no small chore.  Soon we will be planting which means weeding can’t be far behind.

When I worked in the children’s department of public libraries, April meant more work because we were gearing up for our summer reading program, an enormous undertaking.  We had to get a lot done in April because in May we were busy with visiting schools to promote our program.  We would take a deep breath in April and not let it out until mid-July.

cherry-trees-1567310_1280So if I use April for a setting, I will use it for comic effect.  My main character is the one person in the story irritated with spring.  A lot can go wrong, in a humorous way, when working outside.

Speaking of humor, the month kicks off with April Fool’s Day.  I am not a big joker, but the holiday does have a lot of possibilities for storytelling — two or three characters spend the day tricking each other.  Or a joke has unexpected consequences.  I could turn the holiday serious – someone is accidentally killed by a April Fool’s Day joke.  Or was it an accident?

April also makes me think of storms, so I often see it in my head as a month of darkness.  In a temperate climate, it’s the first month of the year when you expect dangerous storms.  An April storm would be a great setting for a climax between two  competing characters locked into some kind of duel.  The month’s dark and stormy nature can be used as a metaphor for secrets.  I could write a story about long-held secrets that finally come to light at the height of a storm.

I know I have skipped over Easter, but I thought that holiday should have entry to itself, which I will write about next time.


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