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Summer vs. School Year Setting

July 6, 2010

I recently completed an upper mid-grade novel that took place during the MC’s first year of high school. Now I’m doing some brainstorming for my next manuscript, and trying to decide if my MC will be on summer break or if this story will take place during the school year. There are pros and cons either way. A summertime story eliminates the need for extraneous details…perhaps allowing me to get right to the heart of the story and focus intently on the MC. On the other hand, it also eliminates some possible subplots and opportunities to move the story along. Hmmm. As I get the story fleshed out, I know it will become clear when and where it needs to take place, but I’d love to hear from you if you’ve written stories taking place during the summer and during the school year. Did the summer story allow you more freedom? Do you have a preference for one over the other?


From → On Writing

  1. Unless you’re connected to a high school in some way (teach at a , volunteer at a, have kids who are in a), summer is a LOT easier to write because you don’t have all these schedules (pesky as timetables in Brit cozys!), classes, and homework to deal with.

    Especially homeword. Ugh.

  2. Oh, I agree with Anne. Also, as a former teacher, I LOVE writing teachers, and classroom scenes, and assignments… but I completely forget about my story. =)

    However, school definitely adds drama. You see your frenemy every day, the boy you have a crush on, teachers can get you in trouble… I guess it depends on the story.

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books (they’re a series of four) only take place during the summer. It’s kind of bizarre, and I always find myself wondering what they do during the school year. But it does work for the story that’s being told.

    My current wip starts on the last week of school, so something climactic can happen, then summer begins.

    Good luck with figuring it out!

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