Thoughts on Summer by Deborah Lytton

Summer is a gift for a middle grade writer. The season creates so many opportunities to take characters on adventures.

Here are six ideas about summer to consider when outlining your next book:

1. Vacations to visit grandparents or sleep away camps allow for a fish out of water set up as well as less supervision for characters to engage in adventures.

2. Beach and lake settings can give a writer interesting water activities to detail, as well as bringing in very visual and inviting locations.

3. New friends can be made in the summer time, and this gives a writer an effective way to introduce the main character.

4. With no homework, there is more time to explore and more freedom from strict routines and scenes have time to unfold.

5.  The 4th of July is a wonderful holiday to explore in writing as it lends itself to picnics, family gatherings and fun activities.

6.  There is the impending return to school which sets a natural boundary to the story and gives the writer a place to go, either to write through the return to school and add suspense to the third act or to draw the story to a close before the first day of school.

What thoughts do you have about writing a story set in the summertime?


  1. I love the relaxed energy of summer...being able to let the mind wander in an unstructured way with the school schedule on hold. Ideas brew from the lazy, meditative state. Maybe some trouble too.

  2. I never thought of this before! Such good points. Yes - a time of transition but a time that dilates...slows down...allows us to look around and become a bit more aware. Plus there is so much natural growth and abundance, perhaps it inspires our characters a bit.

  3. #4 makes setting a book in the summer soooo enticing.

  4. Thanks for the comments! And for reading:)


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