Using August Heat as a Setting

The August heat is making itself real in my neck of the woods, so today’s picture prompt is about using August heat as a setting. As soon as I saw this picture, the words below leaped into my mind.

The sun rose over the still-quiet city, a haze already gathering above the maples and oaks in Nelson Park. I crunched along the crushed gravel path. A few birds tossed out some notes, either early risers warming up their vocal chords or night ones wrapping up their nocturnal activities. Turning right, I followed the path that led to the building with the mayor’s office. A jogger trotted past. I smiled, but of course, he didn’t smile back. You don’t in this city.

I wiped at the sweat on my lip and pulled my damp shirt from my back. The humidity climbed with the sun. It sidled up to you and sank in, just like Mayor Nelson’s words when he wanted to win you over to do something for him.

He thought he finally had me, had finally hooked me and could play me however he wanted. But he didn’t have me. He couldn’t get me.

Picking up my pace, I grinned at the next grim-faced jogger.

But I was going to get him.

For more setting prompts, click here.

How Can August Inspire Your Writing?

This month’s theme is setting. Today’s prompt is a setting anyone, anywhere, can use because all of us are experiencing August. How can August inspire your writing?

I’ve worked so much on my novel in the past year that I neglected my poetry skills. I decided to write a poem about August in the Buckeye State, inspired by the monthly poems John Updike wrote in A Child’s Calendar, one of my favorite books of poetry. When I think of August, heat, humidity, dusty or hazy afternoons, and the threat of school looming ever closer comes to mind.


Summer was worn out its welcome.

The beach is no longer refreshing, just sandy.

The sunshine is no longer warm, just scorching.

Even fireflies have grown bored and disappeared.

But …

At night, a chill steals through the humidity,

Bringing whispers of haunted eves, cosy hearths, and a night of utter wonder.

For more ideas on how August can inspire your writing, click here.

What does August look like where you live?

Writing Tip — Writing in Time: August as Writing Inspiration

willoww-2568232_1280Although this is one of my favorite months, as my family and I try to cram in some last few moments of summer fun, August as writing inspiration doesn’t provide me with. many ideas.

Where I live, no major holidays or events occur in August. School will start for my kids — not that we’re talking about it or even thinking about it — but I think school should start in September, so that’s when I’ll write about it as inspiration.

August, more than December, feels like the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. It’s the last, full month of summer. Summer vacations and pursuit end as school and all its associated activities gear up.

The month can be a symbol for a character coming to the end of some major life event — a relationship, a job, some kind of goal that’s he has met or failed to meet. The character can be looking forward to or dreading this change in his life . The golden evenings in August are the perfect setting to end a story on a bittersweet note. It also works as a setting for character who is reflecting on past events.

Is August more exciting where you live? How would you use August as writing inspiration?


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