posted on August 25, 2022 by jennifersnow

Writing a Fall-themed Romance

by Jennifer Snow

It’s no secret that I love my holiday romances, but my second favorite season in which to set my love stories is fall. As lovely as lazy hot summer days are, the fall of the year has always felt like a fresh start-the changing weather with the cooler days meaning a new warmer wardrobe, schools reopening and the return to schedules and routines. And there’s definitely something cozy and romantic about the changing of the leaves on the trees and the smell of woodfires burning, the pumpkin spiced lattes returning to favorite coffee shops and the shorter days. I love seeing the Halloween decorations in the stores and the way people decorate their homes with hints of autumn.

So, writing a romance story set in the fall of the year is usually something I try to incorporate with each of my series. The seasonal setting provides such rich content to use as a backdrop for integral scenes and of course the cover images are always so breathtaking. Therefore, I thought I’d share some ways I incorporate the time of year into my romance plots:

The sights: Most of my small-town romances are set in parts of the country that receive all four distinct seasons and one of the reasons for that is so the same small town can look different in each book, depending on the time of year. The same Main Street comes to life with fall colors and décor in store front windows. The same parks and trails now enjoy the changing colors of the leaves on the trees and the way they fall to the ground and cover the earth provides a beautiful landscape for long, handheld walks. The empty schools and sports fields are once again buzzing with activity and lakes and beaches are quieter, the site for bonfires and cookouts instead of beach chairs and umbrellas. As the scenery of the small-town changes, so does the life of it’s people and the areas they visit can be repurposed.

The smells: Fall has to be the season with the most distinctive scents that can evoke memories or sentiments. Between the smoke from wood-burning fireplaces, pumpkin spiced everything, maple muffins baking or cinnamon candles burning, there are so many different scents that authors can describe in their stories to bring that sense to life for their readers. In each of my scenes, I try to incorporate one of the many smells of fall to help ground the reader in the story and help set the mood. Even pumpkin pie burning in the oven can evoke an emotion and mood!

The festivities: Fall Harvest is one of my favorite times of year for local activities. The corn mazes re-open and the pumpkin patch is ripe with a fresh selection for baking pies and carving. I even enjoy the lead up to Halloween with Haunted houses and spooky trails. Setting character dates in these setting is always fun because there is so much that can happen. As well, these activities often help bring communities together and it’s a great way to include secondary characters in the story-introduce new ones or bring back old ones readers would love to see again.

The fashion: With the cooler days comes warmer clothing and I love the fall wardrobe best of all-for myself and my heroines. Fashionable boots and soft, furry sweaters are so romantic and cozy. Warm scarfs and mittens and hats complete the ensemble on the especially chilly evenings and can enhance the characters’ outfits. The loaning of a scarf or mittens can also be a great plot device…which I may have used a time or two.

The Perception: I have to add this because as I was writing this post, my husband voiced his opinion of fall, which is the complete opposite of mine! He feels the fall of the year can be bleak with the colder weather, shorter days, summer fun fading…therefore, it did spark another interesting element to setting your story during the fall of the year. How your character feels about the season can also play a huge role in your story. If they find the season depressing, that could add a layer of depth to your story, especially if the hero and heroine have opposing views…which is obviously the case in my house lol😉

Therefore, setting a romance during the fall of the year can add another layer to the story that helps drive the plot forward and create a beautiful (or not) backdrop to the journey to happily ever after.

GIVEAWAY! One reader who comments will win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!

Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author writing contemporary romance fiction for Grand Central Publishing and Harlequin. Her stories range in heat level from sweet to sexy and are set everywhere from big cities to small towns. Her books are light and humorous, but also full of heart, featuring families and communities readers love to visit over and over again. Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, she now resides in Alberta with her husband and son and three mischievous cats. She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Alberta Writers Guild. She currently publishes psychological thrillers under her pen name J.M. Winchester and writes screenplays and TV shows in her 'spare' time.

12 thoughts on “Writing a Fall-themed Romance”

  1. Karen Hackett says:

    The fall-theme romance books uplifts the soul and senses with happy memories.

  2. Colleen C says:

    Oh I love the Fall… the colors, the scents, the tastes, the cooler weather, Halloween… 😀

  3. I love fall with the change in weather leaves and clothes.

  4. Debra Hicks says:

    I love the Fall. The changing colors of the leaves energizes me. Crispness in the air makes me want to spend the day outside. Even the smells in the air are inviting!

  5. Susan K says:

    I love fall because it’s sweater weather!

  6. Dawn S says:

    Great post! You captured things I never thought about in relation to seasons when writing. Enjoy a fantastic day!

  7. JanD says:

    I enjoy fall specially for the smells and festivals. I soak it all in because I don’t like winter.

  8. Latesha B. says:

    Fall/autumn is my favorite season because of the cooler weather, apple cider, changing leaves and the excuse to wear sweaters without apology.

  9. Katherine Holom says:

    Interesting post! I live in the Midwest and like Fall – sweaters, bonfires, cinnamon, leaves changing color. I do wish it lasted longer here in Wisconsin. I love when books have great atmosphere.

  10. Jennifer W says:

    I love fall and winter books. I love summer ones too, but the fall and winter ones are for sure my type. Just like the season. Im just not a fan of hot weather. I’d rather be snuggled up in my PJ with a blanket. Thanks for the chance!

  11. Karisa W says:

    The coziness of fall is defintley the perfect setting for romance. You nailed it.

    Also, as much as I love spring, you are right; the fashion in the fall is the best.

  12. Amber says:

    Autumn could be yearound as far as I’m concerned – cool, cozy = perfect!

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