Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

We're just over halfway into January. How did that happen? Snow and ice and all things cold have settled over my little part of the world.

(Image via

Snow and ice creates different reactions in different people. 

A) Snow means fun and sledging. Snow means throwing snowballs and running inside to drink hot chocolate to warm up. 
B) Snow is a huge pain in the butt. It's freezing. It makes traveling take forever. The traffic is a nightmare. 

These two different reactions give a little example of how weather can affect the mood of people. And it can have the same effect in a novel. 

We know it isn't advisable to begin a story with weather, but (like I said before) weather plays an important role within writing. Weather can be part the setting and add conflict. Weather can be symbolic for the mood of a character or foreshadowing events. But writing weather needs be done carefully or it can become cliche (think of all those movies where the heroine is crying in the rain). 

Think about layering in some weather the next time you're writing, or revising, a scene. Your characters don't have to talk about how horrible the rain is, but think about how the rain affects their mood? Or their plans? Or adds conflict to the scene? It could add a whole new layer to your story. 

Now I'm off to play in the snow. Happy Wednesday.

Want more weather writing links? Here are a few helpful ones:

The Emotional Thesaurus  by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi


  1. My WIP takes place in winter with snow...first time I've done that. It was interesting writing how different characters responded to that kind of weather. My MC LOVES it. Her best friend, not so much. :) And looking outside right now, I'm currently with the best friend. Brrr. ;)

  2. Count me firmly in the snow lover camp... I can't get enough of the stuff! I think that winter is sort of a season made for introverts, since it's a great excuse for us to curl up indoors with a great movie and a mug of tea. <3

    This is so applicable to my WIP, too: it takes place in Massachusetts in October, and as I'm sure my fellow New Englanders know, it tends to ping-pong between 'chilly but incredibly gorgeous' and 'freezing cold drizzling rain' the entire month. My book is gothic horror, so naturally it's mostly the latter going on. :)

  3. Awesome! My MG WIP begins with some mischievous kids on a roof top and the lightning storm plays a crucial role in the plot at this point. I love your point about how the weather affects people differently. Some people aren't fazed by the storm, but others are trembling either from fear or cold.

  4. Good point about using weather as another sensory opportunity. Summer gets a mention in Crow's Rest, right off the bat (3rd sentence). Was trying to use it as another way to place you in the setting.

    "July air streamed through the car window, coating my tongue with heat and iron-rich dust."


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