A Change in the Weather

We’ve had a few changes here in Britain the last few weeks: summer temperatures, days of unending sunshine, then grey clouds and storms and a temptation to put the central heating back on! We’re great at talking about the weather – a very British trait, we are led to believe. But how good are we at writing about the weather?

I don’t mean a meaningless conversation. Yes, that’s real life but, as we know, real life has to be made readable.

Weather in fiction should be used actively ie it should do one or more of the following:

  1. Enhance the mood of your story. Gothic Literature is full of weather: storms, dark clouds, rain and fog which really help in creating suspense, horror and terror.
  2. Add to the setting of your story. A forest in the sunshine presents a totally different background to a forest in a storm or fog.
  3. Help develop and show your character’s personality. Is your protagonist astraphobic? (A fear of thunder and lightning.) If she has to go outside to save the day, how will she behave if a storm suddenly breaks?
  4. Impact the plot. A group of mountain walkers are trapped in a hut by a sudden snowstorm.

When writing about the weather, be careful:

Don’t let the weather take over your story. Always have your characters lead the action, reacting to the weather.
Don’t start a story or chapter with a description of the weather. Your characters must do that.
Be aware that there are quite a few weather cliches: the calm before the storm; raining cats and dogs; as right as rain; it never rains but pours. Once in a while they can be used in conversation, or as a title. Otherwise, avoid. 

Weather can also be used in a metaphorical sense eg the sun smiled on us all day. When it is used like this, this Figure of Speech (or Literary Device) is known as PATHETIC FALLACY. If you’d like to read more about this, then take a look at this week’s article here.

A bit of organisation

I had a visitor this week who spent some time filling in a form on his laptop. I felt it would be rude to leave him on his own, as he occasionally asked me a question, so I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs until I decided to look through the emails on my tablet. There were over a thousand, some going back to 2016! So I started deleting, and that was a job that took me the rest of the afternoon. I went through all my emails, received and sent, on my tablet, phone and desktop computer. I’m now aiming to keep just a week’s worth in each section. A bit like those old pieces of paper we all used to get through the post: the best rule? Answer, then file or delete.

Please pass it on

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Hard sell to come!

I’m still working on my Let’s Get Writing Book which I hope will be out later in the year. That’s when the hard sell comes in😊 Until then, please keep reading, writing and sending me comments, critiques and queries.

Best wishes and happy writing.

Linda