Friday, March 07, 2008

Wind, Rain, Sleet or Snow

Weather changes things in real life and will do the same in the lives of your characters when writing fiction. It can even be used to foreshadow upcoming events or create a question in the reader's mind related to other details they already know. In chapter one of my creative writing manual Pumping Your Muse, I challenge writers to describe the sky in one sentence everyday for a whole week. Learning to show the sky in brief snippets makes the scene real, offers information naturally and can even be used to foreshadow events. Consider this example from exercise 1B: Attention to Detail: The Sky and the One Sentence Rule.

"Silent thunderheads gathered like an army above the eastern horizon."

The clouds create an ominous foreshadowing of things to come. Needless to say, the sky provides readers with information and should generate further interest. Will rain spoil the picnic? Should the young mother with the kids in the car be driving in this weather? Will the lover be late and miss his chance to tell her he really loves her and does want to marry her?

Create a scene where the weather plays the role of a character. For example pit your character against the weather. Give them a goal and let's see who wins.

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