Tips on Tuesday: Weather . . . or not . . .

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

I’ve been thinking about the weather a lot lately. Who hasn’t? Across the U.S. alone we’ve had heat leading to fires, which led to floods; blizzards, leading to loss of power for thousands and thousands, meaning no heat.

This past weekend alone, Stephenville, TX, dropped from 80 degrees one day to 20 degrees the next. Ice and snow have shut down thousands of flights across the country for weeks, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

I began to wonder how many times my writing in a story has touched on weather. Oh, I might need a cold, windy, spooky night from time to time to help set the scene. But the “ordinary” day‑to‑day weather I seldom think to mention. And what about the effects of “unusual” weather on your story?

We read about a tsunami, or avalanche, or summer‑heat fire. How could these affect your characters? Those are the biggies.

What about the ordinary? In Utah, we often have bad air when temperatures are warmer in the mountains than in the valleys. We have bright, sunny summer days. Occasional horrific winds coming out of the canyons. Cold, crisp, snowy days which lead to some of the world’s best snow sports.

How do your main characters feel about the weather? Even in a fantasy, you could have interesting interactions with people (or fairies, or sprites, or giants, or dragons, or . . . ) and the weather. What difference does a heavy rain make to a dragon? Maybe it puts his “fire” out? Or he likes the occasional shower—even when it’s a deluge?

Sci‑fi could have, literally, “un‑earthly” weather. How would that affect living beings? Or the robotic monsters, or . . .

Mid‑romance novel, the weather makes a drastic change. What difference does that make in the love scene? Or the first boy‑meets‑girl encounter?

Writing an historical novel? What changes in the weather have taking place during the years (or centuries) between Then and Now? How would those characters have responded then vs. how we might respond now?

The point is:

Don’t just THINK about the weather—like we all do.

Don’t just TALK about the weather—and do nothing with it.


See you next for Thinkin’ on Thursday!


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